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off road driving
3 days ago

Hell of a road! Super fun

So beautiful! We did this hike in November and the frozen waterfalls were awesome!

This is a gorgeous hike, one of the best in the area. I hiked it on a one-day ascent and descent of Challenger Point and Kit Carson Peak, and so didn't have time to explore the area around Willow Lake much. I want to return to do some more photography in the area. Well worth the hike!

hiking
5 days ago

You can’t get to this trail without a 4 wheel drive truck. The road gets too bad.

hiking
1 month ago

When I was younger I used to run up this trail! Now I hike up and carefully run down. It is quite difficult in spots. The lower Venable portion can be very dusty and torn apart by horse travel, which can get muddy during (practically daily) Summer rains. The higher you go the more beautiful it gets! There is a broken down cabin towards the top. The views at the top are awesome! My lovely (ha!) profile picture was actually taken at the lower Venable Lake at the top! At the very top there is this portion of the trail called “Phantom Terrace” and the trail just disappears into the scree... let me tell you one thing... I would not want to ride a horse over it! The Comanche side of the loop is more forgiving and not as difficult.

This trail was awesome. The views were incredible a little cold but we hiked it in December no big deal. The top of the trail was definitely the hardest! If you are trying to come in the winter make sure you prepare for some cold weather and high winds up top! Loved it overall.

I went in December 2017:
Okay- the good and bad:
1. This trail is 11 miles off highway 50 on a 1 lane dirt road. You need a high profile vehicle or you won’t make it. It took us about an hour to reach the trailhead via the road. It’s rocky, ruts, washboards, washed out, etc. I probably drove around 4-6mph the whole way
2. The trail is pretty much straight up. It was well maintained, but a lil tricky and it will get your heart racing for sure. There aren’t switch backs, just up up up (you are climbing a mountain, after all). The hike down was a bit slippery it’s so steep. It had just dusted snow when we were there.
3. The view is incredible. The trail is gorgeous. I can imagine you’ll likely be the only one there, it is remote! The silence is incredible. The lake at the top is worth it!!!! True gorgeous nature.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a well maintained trail and is somewhat challenging. The steep grade and altitude make this a fantastic workout of the body and mind. This hike has it all sweeping views, streams, waterfalls, and alpine lake, and moss covered forests. We loved it!! Give your self plenty of time as it is a very long 8.6 miles. In fact, I would say it is more like 12 miles out and back. If you go in July, BE PREPARED FOR EPIC MOSQUITOES !! You will need long pants and long sleeves and bug repellent. If you take these precautions you will be fine. We went in shorts and short sleeves and it added a layer of challenge to this hike.

on Lakes of the Clouds

3 months ago

normally a moderate hike. 3/4 of the hike was over snow. Definitely a trying hike but absolutely beautiful. took 5 hours in and right at 3 hours back. well definitely try to make it again before too much accumulation. our 6 year old hiked it like a champ.

Great trail! Started hiking at 8am. Enjoyed the views. A bit confused by the open meadow that you backtrack before entering trees again and start climbing in elevation. Also struggled to find the first creek crossing since it was November and the creek was pretty froze up. The creek crossing is on the trail and it raises quickly from the drainage valley where you would expect it. Then struggled again to find the switchbacks at the camp site mostly because of the snow on the ground. So ate lunch around 11am just where the switchbacks start and headed back. Arrived back at the truck by 2pm. Enjoyed the day!!

great trail and not as steep as many of the other trails in the area

Would like to come back in the spring when the falls will be really running.

epic. saw elk. Aspens were yellow and great did it in about 4 weeks ago. lakes were clear and amazing. snow on the peaks.

backpacking
4 months ago

Great trail. Well maintained.While the hike is somewhat challenging with a full pack, the abundance of amazing views makes it worth the effort. Views of Willow Lake are a breathtaking reward.

fishing
4 months ago

Is it awesome? Yes.
Should you attempt it? No.
Hands down scariest summit ever.
Once was enough for me.

epic trail, the lakes area is incredible. some snow at the peaks. colors of autumn, saw 2 bull elk near beginning.

hiking
4 months ago

Excellent hike. A little bit of everything. Challenging but not overwhelming. Beautiful views worth every step!

I'm old, fat, and broken. Did the loop in two days. Camped near one of the lakes then did the hard part on day two and to the car around three pm. Seen some 80 year old white haired women doing this, so anyone under age eighty should have no problems. Good warm up for Humboldt peak.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike with well maintained trail. Made it to the lake in 3 hours.

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