Haley BakerExplorer

Stunning Colors

I'm always amazed at just how BLUE this lake is, but even more so by how few people take this trail. It's a perfect add on from either Emerald or Mills/Loch, and you will only see a handful of other people the whole time.

Go Here First

If you are hiking up with a big wave of other people, take this side trail first and give people a chance to leave Hanging Lake before you go down there yourself. This is a beautiful spot, and not a lot of people go this way!

Still Busy

Such a great way to avoid the masses at Maroon Lake - there's still going to be people, but significantly less than the Scenic Loop or Maroon Lake. Make sure to look back towards Maroon Lake, though, as those were some of my favorite views the whole hike.

Favorite Hike

I don't know what it is about this hike that keeps me coming back, but it is my all time favorite. It's definitely crowded, so getting up there for sunrise is worth it to have some solitude and time to set up your hammocks before the crowds get there.

Again and again and again

This is one of those snowshoe trips I always come back to. It was my first snowshoe when I moved out to Colorado, and it's the one I take all of my winter visitors on. There's just something so magical about this side of the park to me, and I will never get tired of walking up to Emerald Lake.

Popular for a Reason

Garden of the Gods has been named the best City Park in all of the US, and after one visit here it's easy to see why. This is a gorgeous park with everything from rock climbing to wheelchair accessible walkways. Definitely worth the stop if you're anywhere near the Springs.

One of my favorites

We planned an entire weekend around this hike last year, now it's one of our favorite spontaneous side trips - whenever we're driving 70, we try to get down to do this hike. I'd suggest leaving early for your first visit here - not only will the temps be better, but there won't be as many crowds!

Weekend Crowds + Breathtaking Views

We arrived at 6:15 am to a completely full upper trailhead parking lot, but there was still ample parking along the road. When people tell you to get there early, they're not kidding. Some parts of the trail were so crowded you couldn't even step off to the side to let someone pass. That being said, it was well worth it. As far as fourteeners go, Grays was about as easy as it gets. The trail is well defined and wide the entire way up. The top is wide enough that we didn't feel crowded. In my opinion, the ridge down from Grays to the saddle was the hardest part, followed closely by the snow bank you have to traverse after Torreys (still there on July with no real signs of disappearing). Just go slowly and you'll be just fine!

Good, but not the best

Roxborough State Park is my favorite State Park - I feel like all of the trails have something different to offer. And while that is definitely the case for the South Rim Trail, I just feel like some of the others have better views at a similar distance! Definitely a great hike, but for me there's much better in the park.

Stunning

This hike is absolutely gorgeous the whole way up. It wasn't crowded at all, and even less so once we passed Mitchell Lake. Heads up, though, the entrance fee is $11 as of 2017, and parking fills quickly. We got there right at 7 am and three of the four lots were totally full.

Family Friendly!

My favorite part about this lake? It's accessible. We took a family trip to the Tetons and having something that my grandmother (who's had both knees and both hips replaced) can do with us made the whole trip.

One of my favorite spots in the park

After years spent visiting RMNP, this is still one of my favorite spots in the park. It's one of those stops I make sure to take friends and family when they visit. And it's great if you need a quick escape from the bustle of city life and can't get out on a hike to watch the sunset.

Beautiful!

The destination was beautiful, but the trail itself left a little to be desired. It just looked like a wash that someone dumped rocks on to prevent further erosion. BUT, the "glacier" itself is beautiful and the area just around that is so gorgeous.

Absolutely stunning!

For being located at the visitor's center, this hike was virtually empty (we passed only three other groups the entire time). The views are incredible and it's super fast and easy. Definitely worth your time if you're going to be there!

Such a nice surprise!

We had no idea this waterfall existed, but when we saw a sign that read "Treasure Falls," we had to pull a u-turn and visit! It's a gorgeous site and a really fun hike up to the top (plus, it's a great place to stretch your legs after a long car ride!).

Gorgeous

I was surprised - we did this hike on a beautiful Saturday morning and saw only 2 other people the entire time (we saw just as many horses wandering around as we did people walking). This trail is the perfect way to experience Monument Valley + give yourself some perspective as to just how big West & East Mitten Butte are. Your trip to Monument Valley won't be complete unless you walk this trail.

Worth the traffic

We opted to hike before doing this drive, so we hit mid-afternoon traffic on our drive, but it was still incredible. The views are so amazing - it's hard to put into words.

B E A U T I F U L

The views from this point are beyond incredible - we were lucky enough to time our visit just right with a rainstorm and got to see a rainbow over the valley, too. The sign is no longer there, which is a bit of a bummer, but if you love Forrest Gump it doesn't matter - you can tell exactly where you are!

Absolutely Stunning

Despite the crazy spring winds (and the consequential coat of sand on everything we own), this campground is incredible. "The View" lives up to it's name in every sense of the word - it's hard to beat this location. Try to get 27, 29, or 30 - you're right on the edge and no one can get in front of you & you're closer to the bathrooms!

"Outdoor Stairmaster"

Chautauqua Park is beautiful, but Royal Arch is outstanding. The elevation gain is killer on your calves, but it is so worth it in the end. Pack a lunch and eat it sitting in the arch overlooking Boulder!

Slightly Underwhelming

I love Rocky Mountain National Park, and I especially love the hikes off the Glacier Gorge trailhead. I had never come to Loch Vale, and was excited to see it! In all honesty, the views weren't worth the effort for me. There is a giant uphill climb right before the lake, and the views there were almost better than the views at the top (don't get me wrong, it's still RMNP and it's still beautiful, but not up to par with other locations). I'm glad I snowshoed this trail, if only because it means I don't have to come back.

Alien Landscape

Great Sand Dunes is amazing. It feels so out of place if you're used to the open plains and towering mountains of Colorado, but have spent your summers wandering the dunes at Outer Banks - sand dunes belong at the ocean, not next to snow capped mountains, right? Make sure you take time to go to the Visitor's Center and learn about how these marvels were formed. It gives you a much grander appreciation for what you're climbing on. Also - sand is HARD to walk in. Prepare to struggle uphill and leave with boots filled with sand. It's been mentioned, but MAKE SURE you have coverage if it's going to be windy. We passed a man who grunted "it feels like I'm being attacked with millions of needles" as he struggled along in shorts. It's beautiful, especially so in the winter, and it is a must-see if you're in Colorado.

Awe-Inspiring

The pictures on this adventure are amazing, but in all honesty don't do the falls justice. We came in mid-February and had the place to ourselves (get there early, folks!) and honestly thought it was one of the coolest hikes we've ever done. We used YakTrax, but would have been fine with no traction at all. The road really isn't maintained, and also lasts long enough to make you question whether or not you went the right way. The trail was snowcovered, but the parking lot and road were clear!

Especially Beautiful in the Snow

Littleton got a slight dusting the evening before I went on this hike, and it made everything even more beautiful. It's a great, flat hike that anyone can enjoy. Make sure you take the Overlook Spur that takes you to the top of the fountain - incredible panoramic views!