dog friendly


We hiked a little more than 4 miles in and found a nice lunch spot on the river. You will hike for a good 2 mile before the trail is beside the creek. We saw a couple deer and only passed three other hikers. Great day to be among the changing Aspen leaves.

What a beautiful easy hike the first 6 miles... then we turned around... and just as beautiful going back.

Strenuous, but beautiful (and prime fishing).

Very beautiful trail. seems to be some discrepancies in the mileage but worth it. Making it to the lake in one day is doable, but hard if you are not used to the elevation. Will definitely be back in the future

Great backpacking experience!! You ride the Durango/Silverton Steam Train and it drops you off. You then pass over the continental divide twice and the train picks you back up. It is a fairly difficult hike, but not one that isn't doable. My group did it in 5 days, but I would recommend giving yourself 6 or 7 so you aren't having to push yourself to get to the train on time. All in all beautiful scenery and a great hike. I have done this one twice!!

This was the perfect trail for my first solo backpacking outing. The lake is so peaceful, a perfect location to spend some quiet time in the wilderness. The lake was surprisingly warm!

Just completed the hike (May 2018). As another person posted, the trail is relatively easy for the first 6 Miles. After that point, there’s about 15 downed trees on your way to the lake along with a steep incline. My pedometer marked the hike at 11 Miles one way, not 9, so making it to the lake in one day is rather strenuous. The lakes are gorgeous and well worth the hike!

I completed the hike in July 2017. The first 6 miles a more or less flat with amazing valley views. Once you cross the bridge and head north to the lake, it gets quite steep but you still have access to plenty of water and shade. The real work begins about a mile/mile and a half before the campsite below Little Emerald where you are treated to fallen tree after fallen tree across the trail. On our way up some awesome ladies were working to mitigate that problem but it I imagine it will be a nonstop job with all of the beetle-killed pine along the way.

The campsite south of Little Emerald can accommodate a relatively large group of people without getting too cozy but it will be crowded on a holiday weekend. The walk around Emerald is excellent and the view down the valley is breathtaking.

Lovely hike and a beautiful valley once you get out of the climbing section. Plenty of water, so no need to carry a lot of it. Will definitely return!

Well established - follow the creek quite a ways to get water. When u do leave the creek u are high & dry though. Fairly busy.

Friday, November 20, 2015

My 13 year old son and I hiked this loop/out and back as our inaugural Colorado backpacking trip. We are from Florida, hike the Smokies extensively, and well, Colorado blew our minds. Period. The entire approach up the valley is filled with super rad stuff, and treats like little strawberries on the edge of the trail for munching! Weminuche pass was impressive, as was the first glimpse we caught of Rio Grande Pyramid. I personally felt like Frodo from Lord of the Rings heading into some mystical uncharted realm. It was a surreal and fantastic experience being able to walk amongst such grand beauty.

We never made the window, but we summited the Pyramid on our second morning and hurried back to the car the same day. My only gripe on this trail was the extensive bark beetle damage. In some places entire mountainsides of pole pines are standing, dead and gray. :(

2 months ago

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Friday, June 02, 2017

Wednesday, August 01, 2012