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Ypsilon Lake Trail

MODERATE 225 reviews
#49 of 210 trails in

Ypsilon Lake Trail is a 10.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 10.5 miles Elevation Gain: 3,244 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

hiking
icy
snow
4 days ago

Traction (micro spikes or the equivalent) were necessary/used up until about mile 2.5 and then I needed snowshoes the rest of the way. The tracks stopped at about 3 miles and I broke trail the rest of the way to Chipmunk Lake. I didn't go any further due to time constraints.

hiking
icy
snow
24 days ago

clear until the 1.3 split, icy snow pack on and off up to 1/2 mile before ypsilon lake, we started sinking at that point and used snow shoes to finish out the last 1/2 mile and would recommend the same.

recorded Recording - Nov 10, 03:49 PM

hiking
snow
1 month ago

We didn't make it to the lake due to starting late in the day. Trail currently snow packed. I highly recommend microspikes but you don't need anything more than that. Creek views along the way, nicely shaded and was surprisingly not busy for a Sunday afternoon. we started at 1130am.

hiking
icy
snow
1 month ago

Used both micro-spikes and snowshoes today (11/2). Glad to have both since we ended up breaking trail and needed the snowshoes in the last two miles. Lost the trail for a bit between lower and upper chipmunk, but found it again at Upper chipmunk. 9.6 miles for us.

hiking
2 months ago

Hike this today. Fall colors were in full bloom on the first 2 miles. The remainder of the trail is in the woods with tiny glimpse of the mountains beyond through the timber. I would rate this trail as hard. It’s uphill with no reprieve for 4.0 miles. The last .5 is a downhill to the lake which had beautiful views the sign on the trail says this is 9 miles total out and back. It was a great workout. I like more vistas and varying terrain and scenery on a hike than this hike offered. The best part is it not heavily traveled so had the trail mostly to ourselves.

hiking
blowdown
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

As many reviewers have said, this is a steady climb through the forest, but never too difficult. Chipmunk Pond is a pretty and serene spot. Ypsilon is beautiful. We caught 6 trout in 30 minutes on the west side of the lake. Wander around to the east outlet, it is lovely. We continued up to explore the waterfalls and Spectacle Lakes. This is not for the faint of heart and took us two attempts at the climb up the outlet rockfall. There is one climb section that is extremely difficult to get up and heart was racing and brain working to solve the move. Most of the scrambling was fairly straight forward but I was definitely more nervous after that one tiny section. Coming down was easier. There is a second scramble to the lakes but is less intense. However the effort paid off and Spectacle Lakes were simply Incredible. So Beautiful and interesting since we summited Ypsilon the day prior. Getting to Spectacle Lakes pushed this to a 5 star rating. Windy for sure, but we had the basin to ourselves. Highly recommend but only go to Spectacle if you are not afraid of heights and have some experience scrambling/climbing and feel like you can go down what you went up.

hiking
2 months ago

I started at 6:30 am which I highly recommend if you’re going on a weekend. It was just me the whole way up. After the first 1.5 miles there’s a beautiful crossing over the river. The next 3 miles were just forest and a good incline overall. After 4.5 miles there’s a small lake that’s gorgeous and quiet. Go the next half miles for the big lake. Absolutely peaceful and worth the hike! I would agree this is a moderate trail. It really pushed me. The way down I saw between 40 and 50 people coming up, keep in mind it was a Saturday. This was around 9/10/11 am when they all started to show up. Overall, great hike and would do it again!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail takes you to spectacular lake, which is past ypsilon. So, it was just over 9 miles to Ypsilon and back. Gentle incline and lots of shade. The views were okay but no great sweeping vistas. Started at 9 and only so three people on the way down. Headed back around 1p so more groups headed down. Met some lovely groups and everyone was kind and courteous. Saw a fox, no moose today.

2 months ago

This is a moderate hike not a hard one. The miles, elevation gain and ease of walking most of it makes this ‘moderate’. I went 1/2 way to Spectacle Lake w/o using my poles used them on the way down, was in a hurry and down hurts back,hips, knees, shins, ankles & feet! (For the record I’ll be 61 tomorrow)

hiking
3 months ago

10 miles, well maintained. Challenging because of the distance but overall moderate

hiking
3 months ago

The first mile or so of the hike looks out on a valley and mountains. After that for several miles you mostly hike through forest. We started out early and reached Ypsilon Lake around 9 am. There were only a couple other hikers in the area. If you're looking for a hike to an alpine lake in RMNP that provides solitude, this is a great option.

hiking
3 months ago

This was an awesome hike! Similar to previous comments, I thought this trail was more on the difficult side rather than moderate as it is pretty much all incline once you leave the trail head. We pushed past the first lake and came to the actual Ypsilon Lake, which was absolutely breathtaking. If you explore a little further, there's a neat waterfall nearby too. I would definitely hike this again!

hiking
3 months ago

Incredible hike but beware of 3 things: It’s 10 miles not 8 The first lake isn’t the final destination don’t be fooled. It’s not moderate but difficult in my opinion

hiking
3 months ago

August 16 - Our GPS said 9.1 miles. It was our first hike in CO, so we really felt the altitude, but it was also a bit steeper than we expected from a "moderate" hike. Within the first 2 miles you see a stream and some pretty views, but to us, the rest of the hike wasn't worth the effort. Very quiet trail, we had it to ourselves for most of it.

hiking
3 months ago

not a bad hike, just completely enclosed in under the trees for most of the trip; But beautifully clear lake at the end.

hiking
3 months ago

Saturday, Aug 18– temperatures were showing to be a high of 75 and low of 50 in Estes Park area. Approx time hiked: 10-1530 including leisure time at the lake and a start toward the next lakes. Fairly easy uphill gain with a few spots that would rate as moderate+ depending on your level of acclimation. We passed only a few small groups for this trip and it had a well maintained trail which was easy to follow without signs. It had tree cover for 95%. Once past Ypsilon Lake you pass through some taller grasses, waist high shrubs, and some prickly plants over a thinner trail (so possible scratches). The weather rolled in and when we got to a section that was mostly big rocks to climb so we decided to head back to avoid slipping and any stray lightning. Overall an enjoyable, low traffic hike! I look forward to goin again and getting to the next lakes!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

the effort just wasn't worth the reward unfortunately - theres better hikes out there in the park

hiking
4 months ago

beautiful hike ...mostly up on way in thru beautiful forests ...next to river . Pond and falls and lake at end JUST GORGEOUS

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail-the best part was that we only saw a handful of people the whole time. Signs say 4.5 miles to the lake and my iPhone said more,making it at least 9 miles. You see a pretty little pond when you’re almost to the lake so keep going-the lake isn’t far.

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

challenging hike but so much fun! the river that follows the trail is beautiful and the lake was worth the trip up. be aware that there is a small pond before lake ypsilon, keep going another .5 mile to the lake past that. at first we thought it was the lake but it is not!

hiking
4 months ago

Be sure to bring bug spray. Lots of waterfalls if you continue past Ypsilon lake toward Spectacle lakes. Very green trail.

hiking
4 months ago

We did this Tuesday, 7/16/19. This was not the intended hike. Was looking for less elevation and less miles. We were directed to this one because of us wanting a lake and waterfall. Even though it was a tough one to do because we were not acclimated to the altitude, it was worth it. Thunderstorms threatened but never produced rain (thank goodness). Trail was easy to follow and we never felt this was “hard” with the exception of the length. We are not experienced hikers. The pond was beautiful! The Lake was also beautiful. Didn’t stay much to look around due to timing. Mosquitos were a problem. Not a lot of people of the trail at all. Not much wildlife. Chipmunks, squirrels, birds and a cute Yellow Bellied Marmot!!

fishing
bugs
rocky
4 months ago

Hit the trail at 5:30 in the morning to beat the weekend traffic. Steady uphill the whole way till the Chipmunk lakes. Lots of mosquitos in the forest, not much at the lake. Trail is rocky and only muddy after upper Chipmunk. Fishing was pretty good, lots of cutthroat. Overall not much of a view from the lake of trail. Still definitely worth it. And yes, lots of wonderful horse poop.

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