Trail Reviews: 400 points
Questions Answered: 0 points
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My Trail Reviews (4) (within last 6 months)
Pretty easy dirt road in my stock 4Runner SR5. I passed by a guy in a Rav4 who didn't seem to be having a bad time.
The camping spots are plentiful, but a lot of them are right next to the road or don't offer that much that is interesting. Some of them offer nice access to the streams that flow on either side of the pass. I camped at Waypoint 9, which is a nice spot down by the stream. It's pretty expansive and you could fit a large group there. I arrived just before dark on a fall Saturday and most of the spots were empty.
Fall colors were past their prime in early October but still nice. If you hit the peak of fall colors it would probably be pretty great, but other than that views are somewhat underwhelming.
Drove up late on a Sunday afternoon in a stock 4Runner SR5. The trail is rocky but was easy peasy even in my stock 4Runner. It was a bumpy ride though and some of the rocks are big enough that you definitely want something with good ground clearance, not a CUV. I passed a few vehicles on my way in and there were a few more at the lakes when I got there, but not overwhelming crowded. The trail is relatively wide and it's easy to for vehicles to get by each other throughout.
The lake you get to at the end of the trail is alright and there is a nice waterfall, but there are three more lakes further up that you can hike to. I would definitely recommend doing that. The trail is kind of overgrown and poorly marked, but it's not to difficult to find your way up (probably a couple hundred feet of elevation gain) and when you get there you are rewarded with much more pristine looking lakes.
I definitely would recommend this trail. I did it in my stock 4Runner SR5, which handled everything fine, although there were definitely some spots where I had to be careful to take a good line, and I always took the easier bypasses when available. Be careful about heading onto some of the other trails in the area though - I decided to explore a bit on my way back from the lake and quickly regretted it. The most difficult section is very close to the start where some of the road has been washed out. If you make it through that, there's nothing to worry about if you stay on the path to the lake. The lake is great with fall colors, which were pretty well started when I went up in late September.
Easy enough trail for a stock 4x4. Saw a couple AWD crossovers on the trail, but they seamed like they were having a rough go of it. Tons of great dispersed camp sites, I think ~40 in total (must camp only in marked areas), plus a mediocre developed campground at the entrance (no trash facilities - pack your stuff out). Even if you're just looking for a spot to spend the night, its worth going well up the trail because the sites only get better and more secluded as you go farther in. We found a nice spot just past the waterfall with tons of wild raspberries in the meadow above the campsite. Early afternoon on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend it was busy, but there were a few open sites. The traffic on the trail was almost unbearable though as there isn't room to pass for much of it and there plenty of people going in both directions. Unfortunately, I didn't know about the iron fens or the ghost town at the top of the trail, so I only made it as far as the small lake, which was almost dry. There are spectacular views throughout the drive. I would recommend this trail whether you're looking for a fun afternoon drive or a nice place to camp. It would make a nice place to camp before hiking at Guanella Pass/Mt. Bierstadt. There are also a couple trailheads along the road, but I didn't explore them.