Significant snows remain on this trail, and it is difficult to follow at this time. Ignorance on our part, but we turned just below Devil's Causeway due to snow depth and softening snows. This trail will need a few more weeks of warm weather before becoming viable for the less technically inclined.

attempted the full loop memorial day weekend and made it with gaitors, spikes up to the causeway. the trail is totally covered in snow, a lot of exposure from the basin up the causeway and we got snowed on. gorgeous view and we glisaded down. pup's paw can't handle that much hiking in snow so didn't do the full loop, but absolutely amazing. be careful

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
10 days ago

May 2020: this was my first time in this area and I was excited but nervous to take on the causeway. The dirt road to the trail head is rough and started getting heavy snow coverage 2 miles before the trailhead so I parked and hiked in. Very eerie because I was literally the only person beyond that point, but a nice quiet trek to the trailhead. Once I got there, the trail was still heavily snowed over. Probably would have been fine with equipment like poles, snowshoes, and spikes but I had none of that so I took photos of the beautiful lake there then turned around. I wasn’t about to go on the causeway in those conditions. That being said: beautiful area! I will definitely come back later, probably mid to late June, to see if I can finally do the Devil’s Causeway. Note: I had my dog with me and he loved the snow and I had him off leash due to no other hikers and lots of space plus he is good with voice control. Kinda wish there had been a review like this before I went up but I’m glad I got to have a day adventure. I’m not sure if the trail gets better as you get higher but I didn’t want to risk it.

Early June 2019 snow covered top of road going to hike at causeway. Surprised by 500 pound Goldie Black Bear which smelled me and my dogs. he came running down steep embankment toward us. I could see his big brown eyes. thank goodness I was in my car! He took off after he assessed the situation.

hiking
7 months ago

So calm and peaceful in the Flat Tops with all the fall colors and so few visitors. Of all the trails we hiked in the Flat Tops, this one had the most people on it, but in a day’s hike, we probably only saw 20 people and 10 dogs

hiked at the end of July over three days. Tons of bugs at that time. wildflowers were amazing. saw 12 people the entire time, loved the feeling of solitude. We were supposed to do the maroon bells loop but that needed ice gear still and the Rangers asked us not to go. This was so much prettier than I thought, and honestly with the lack of crowds probably better for me.. I want to go back and do China wall next year.

hiking
8 months ago

Loved this hike! Wildflowers were still gorgeous though probably at peak 9-14 days ago I’d bet. Gorgeous views the entire hike up and down. I didn’t cross the Causeway- it is no joke!- but did get up to the the top. Really loved this hike.

Beautiful views: dozens of lakes and ponds, gorgeous valleys We completed this trail from 8/31-9/1. The conditions were great. The streams were all passable thanks to small rocks and low water. We did the trail the opposite way that most seem to do it (we started on the east side of the lake and went in the direction of Island Lakes first.) Most of the miles that day were spent hiking through a forest that was definitely damaged from a fire...still beautiful. Elevation gain was slow and steady for the most part. The first day we camped off the Island Lakes trail segment. The second day we woke up, left our packs where we camped, and hiked to Island Lakes. Stunning view from the top! The hike down was rather rocky and wouldn’t have been fun if we still had our packs. I enjoyed the challenge in the hike back up after viewing the lakes. (Island Lakes trail portion is about seven miles, give or take) After grabbing our packs, we headed back to the Island Lakes/regular trail intersection. From there, we hiked to Wall Lake. This part of the trail had beautiful valley views and the forest fire didn’t seem to touch this side of the mountains. The view of Wall Lake was much more beautiful from walking in this direction (walking from Island Lakes instead of from Trapper’s Lake). From Wall Lake, we hiked back to Trapper’s Lake to finish off the hike. There was a lot of descend after Wall Lake. The last few miles were spent walking on flat land. Overall, beautiful hike! If you’re going to do this in two days, I’d recommend evening it out more (we did 7 miles the first day and 16 miles the second day.) There are quite a few places to camp between Island Lakes and Wall Lake. Many people camped at Island Lake, but bringing your pack down there wouldn’t be fun. By the end of the trip, we got a lot of bug bites, but they were never super annoying. There are plenty of streams if you have a water filter! Enjoy!!

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike. No bugs. Wildflowers were gorgeous but will soon be fading away. First mile and a half is a fairly easy climb through mostly woods towards the alpine. Terrain becomes fairly steep until it begins switchbacks to the ridge. From the ridge, it’s a steep but shorter climb to where the causeway begins. This trail is rated as “moderate” but it easily as difficult as The Fish Creek Falls hike which is rated “difficult”.

Echoing what others here have said - this is an awesome loop! Hiked it over Labor Day weekend (3 days, 2 nights). Did the loop counter-clockwise, which is definitely the preferred method for camping, seeing as you'll run into issues with no water access up along the China Wall. We camped the first night at Causeway Lake, about 5.5 from the trail head. Plenty of great sites to camp, and getting water isn't an issue. We made the hike from Causeway to West Lost lake pretty quickly, about a 6 mile hike. Instead of calling it there for the night, since it was still pretty early in the day, we decided to load up on water and make the push up to ~11,700 feet. Plenty of great (though a little exposed) camping up there, just no water, so make sure you have enough for dinner, and the 3rd day as you make your way back to the car. If we'd gotten an earlier start (or were maybe faster/stronger hikers!) you could probably do this hike in 2 days, by hiking straight through to East or West Lost Lake. Gorgeous views once you're up on the China Wall! Like others said, you'll probably lose the trail a time or two, but don't worry about it. Recommend having the Alltrails map downloaded offline to look at every so often, if you feel like you're too far off course. Generally, try to stay up towards the top of the ridges (don't lose too much downward elevation) and you'll be fine. Even off-trail, it's super walkable, tundra-like grass. Devil's Causeway is definitely sketchy, but just don't look down and you'll be fine :) Oh yeah - and bring some bug spray. They weren't the worse I've ever seen, but still worth having in your pack.

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing hike today. We did the loop counterclockwise from Stillwater as suggested. It was perfect as the clouds started gathering once we were on the plateau. We did not encounter rain though the wind was fierce and the mosquitoes vicious below tree line. We were glad we had used bug spray. Nice surprise that there were still so many wildflowers in bloom. Probably not for long as it was 49 when we started the hike. Frost will be coming soon I imagine. Not many on the trail.

hiking
9 months ago

A really nice hike. Only saw 4 other hikers the entire day and the causeway was empty. The bug situation in the forested portions of the hike must be very variable as I only saw a few unlike others who have reported more. I did the causeway using my hands since I am not the most coordinated. Another person with whom I hiked used poles and stood upright. Lots of wildflowers at lower altitudes and alpine meadow/tundra on the tops of the buttes. Sheep could be seen in the distance but the herding dogs were never near us.

This loop was awesome. Nighthiked in Friday night to Causeway Lake. Lots of campsites, and some trash there, but not too bad. Sadly...I broke my own rule of packing out everything and I dropped my prescription glasses in the dark...looked for a couple hours in the AM with no luck. Then hiked to West Lost Lake Saturday and relaxed for the afternoon/evening. Lots of campsites and a few campers. Sunday completed Chinese Wall and the Causeway. Look for cairns at the top and follow general direction and you will be good! I crossed the causeway with my backpack and my dog harnessed just fine. Could be very cumbersome depending on the dog, though. The wildflowers were insanely gorgeous, especially at East Lost Lake. I would highly recommend this loop. Bring some bug spray.

Beautiful trail! The first day we crashed after a lot of elevation gain and didn't make as much milage as we hoped. The route provided isn't quite right, there is no connection above Anderson lake. if you follow the USGS topo map it's more accurate. Second day we hiked to Island Lakes. The view from the top is amazing! Unless you're camping down there it might not be worth the huge drop in elevation to come back up again. The trail also goes by Island Lake, no longer too it. There were a few hundred sheep grazing over a mile away on top and a sheep dog decided to run at us and we were concerned it might attack our dogs. Luckily it just came to the trail and barked. Bear spray may be good in that case! Weather was some on and off rain/snow but when the sun was out it was nice and we brought deet 100 so bugs were managable. I also think that it was more milage than the route said but overall would still reccomend this trail!

The loop was great, did it in 3 days, 6 in to causeway, then 6 to west lost, then finished up. The last day is a haul around 11 miles and a good climb. Bring plenty of bug spray, devils causeway is scary with a pack on if you are me. There is a lake after west lost lake you could potentially camp at too reduce the third day or to fill up on water, but it probably doesn’t have a lot of fire wood. Fishing was great. For a moderate backpacker, about 3-5 trips a year, this was a moderately challenging trip because of the last day with 11 miles and elevation gain, also after you get up to the lost peaks the navigation could be difficult, there are sticks and Karins but I had a GPS that was helpful.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike! The trial is well maintained and easy to follow. The wild flowers are in full bloom right now. Bring your mosquito spray.

hiking
9 months ago

Lots of dogs! Most of the elevation is at the end. The meadows with wildflowers were awesome!

Bring bug spray. Name says it all. Flowers starting to show.

hiking
9 months ago

Top 5 hikes. Actual Causeway crossing is short but worth the hike up. Amazing views. Bring bug spray.

hiking
9 months ago

Lots of bugs. Bring spray.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

Wildflowers! Insane views! Huge payoff for little effort!!! Worth every bug bite!

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bugs
rocky
snow
10 months ago

A must-do! The causeway alone is sufficient reason to undertake this hike. It is a unique rock formation unlikely to be rivaled elsewhere. As of July 26, 2019 there are still a few snowfields, nothing impassable. Mosquitoes can be bad in places, especially in the parking area, and storms can come up quickly, so bring bug spray and rain gear. But don't let bugs or weather deter you! This hike is worth it.

We only went to Wall lake and back. 2 hours up and 2 hours back down, tracked a total of 9 miles. Beautiful hike that I would say is moderate. Warning: BRING BUG SPRAY! We didn't even stay at Wall Lake very long the bugs were so bad. Rest of the hike they weren't quite as bad except in the wooded shade areas.

hiking
10 months ago

Flowers were gorgeous along Stillwater lake - especially a few hillsides of columbines. The trail has some patches of mud and snowfields on the upper sections, but the causeway is dry. Saw maybe a dozen other hikers.

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