Trail Condition Report - Last 14 Days

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Hiking, climbing, and many outdoor activities can be dangerous and can result in injury. Additionally, trail conditions may change from day-to-day and even hour-to-hour. This website does not represent to the accuracy of any information contained herein. Please use the information contained on this website at your own risk and do not depend on the information contained on this website for personal safety or for determining whether to attempt any hike, climb, route or other outdoor activity.

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IPWA Hiking Season Start: 05-29-2017 | IPWA Hiking Season End: 10-01-2017
Date_Hiked Trailhead Start Trail Destinations Trail Condition Trail Information
07-25-2017 Fourth of July TH Arapaho Pass Trail (4th of July TH to Mine site)
Diamond Lake Trail (Arapaho Pass Trail Jct to Lake)
Diamond Lake
4th of July Mine
Somewhat Muddy Trail to 4th of July Mine and Diamond Lake is muddy/wet in areas. It is relatively easy to walk through. Watch for spikes from old boardwalks on the trail to Diamond Lake. Flowers are super awesome on the trail (columbines, monkshood, larkspur, paintbrush, elephant heads, etc.). Pretty buggy at Diamond Lake.
07-25-2017 Long Lake TH Jean Luning Trail
Dry The trail is dry and in good condition.
07-25-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Mitchell Lake Trail (TH to Mitchell Lake)
Mitchell Lake Trail (Mitchell Lake to Blue Lake)
Dry The trail to Blue Lake is dry and in good condition. An early start is recommended for this trail and many others in the Indian Peaks and James Peak Wilderness areas. Visitation is at an all time high, so parking lots fill earlier than in previous years; and also, we are in the yearly summer monsoon, so an early start gives you a better chance of finishing your hike before the afternoon storms.
07-24-2017 Long Lake TH Mt. Toll
Somewhat Muddy The trail up to the pass was very easy to maintain, and was very dry. However, there was an occasional large snow patch that one would need to walk on to continue, however it was very manageable. The descent from the pass to blue lake was steep, with loose rocks and lots of snow making travel time very slow. The trail from blue/Mitchell back to the parking lot was heavily eroded, with some standing water on trail.
07-24-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Mitchell Lake Trail (Mitchell Lake to Blue Lake)
Dry The route from the Mitchell Lake Trailhead all the way to Blue Lake is clear and easily navigable.
07-24-2017 Heart Lake TH (East Portal/Moffat Tunnel) So Boulder Creek Trail (TH to Forest Lakes Junction jct)
Forest Lakes Trail (midway to Forest Lakes)
Forest Lake (Lower)
Dry Mostly dry throughout. Just a couple of muddy/ wet runoff areas. As mentioned earlier, a couple of hikers commented on several dogs being off leash.
07-24-2017 Brainard Lake Recreation Area Blue Lake
Dry The trail to Blue lake is dry, some snow around the far end of Blue lake. Multiple wild flowers in bloom.
07-23-2017 Long Lake TH Jean Luning Trail
Dry just a bit of mud, both sides of Long lake: flowers still beautiful, as was birdsong, woodpeckers. Parking: LL and ML TH were full at 6.15, 6.30am resp.: at ~8am, we waited ~ 10min for space in Br Lake lot, thereafter full, 45 cars were waiting in queue as we left
07-23-2017 Long Lake TH Lake Isabelle
Dry Lake Isabelle trail: Mostly dry, some mud and two waterfall crossings up high, small snowfield (40 feet long) near Lake Isabelle, easy to cross. Niwot cutoff trail from Brainard Lake to Long Lake in good shape.
07-23-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Mitchell Lake Trail (TH to Mitchell Lake)
Mitchell Lake Trail (Mitchell Lake to Blue Lake)
Mitchell Lake
Blue Lake
Upper Blue Lake
Mt. Toll
Snow Packed in Places Trail dry to Upper Blue Lake except for one snowfield Suggest trekking pole or micro spikes. Large snowfield beneath Mt Toll, easily crossed Thunderstorms appeared at 10:45 from the east. Terminated hike.
07-23-2017 Heart Lake TH (East Portal/Moffat Tunnel) Crater Lakes Trail
Somewhat Muddy Good trail conditions. Trail was wet and marshy around lower Crater Lakes. Early start recommended (8:30 or earlier) given popularity of trail.
07-23-2017 Heart Lake TH (East Portal/Moffat Tunnel) Forest Lakes Trail (midway to Forest Lakes)
Somewhat Muddy Still muddy in places
07-23-2017 Brainard Lake Recreation Area Long Lake
Dry Trails in the vicinity of Brainard, as far as Long Lake, are almost entirely dry except a few puddles from recent rains.
07-21-2017 Beaver Creek TH Mt Audubon Trail (Beaver Creek Trail jct to Audubon summit)
Somewhat Muddy beautiful hike- more wildflowers than previous seasons!!! easy to follow trail-wear water proof boots and stay on the trail.
07-21-2017 Hessie TH King Lake Trail (Devils Thumb trail jct to King Lake)
Dry The trail was in good shape. I turned around about 3 miles in from the Wilderness Boundary because of the time not because of the trail condition. One person told me she turned back because the creek that crossed the trail to King Lake was too high and fast to cross without poles and without getting her feet very wet.. Another person told me he had camped at the lake and could jump the creek a short distance upstream from the usual crossing, jumping from a rock on one side to a rock on the other. He said that it would not be easy to cross at the normal trial crossing.
07-21-2017 Long Lake TH Lake Isabelle Glacier
Dry -
07-21-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Pawnee Pass Trail (Long Lake TH to Lake Isabelle)
Pawnee Pass Trail (Lake Isabelle to Pass)
Pawnee Pass Trail (West side of CD)
Cascade Creek Trail (Buchanan pass trail jct to Crater lake)
Crater Lake Trail
Somewhat Muddy On the Pawnee Pass trail on the west side of the divide, as well as the summit, the trail is dry with no snow banks. Going up to Pawnee Pass from the Brainard Lake area, there still are several snow banks within the last .5 mile to the summit. Some are around 100 yards in length and may still be dangerous to cross for those with dogs or have only light hiking shoes.
07-21-2017 Rainbow Lakes TH Rainbow Lakes Trail
Dry Trail is in good shape. Dry, no trees across the trail.
07-21-2017 Heart Lake TH (East Portal/Moffat Tunnel) Heart Lake
Somewhat Muddy Top 2 miles of trail are muddy in spots due to recent rains. Trail is in good shape.
07-20-2017 Coney Flats TH Beaver Creek Trail (Coney Flats TH to Buchanan Pass Trail)
Buchanan Pass Trail (Beaver Creek Trail jct to Buchanan Pass)
Buchanan Pass Trail (west)
Cascade Creek Trail (Buchanan pass trail jct to Crater lake)
Snow Packed in Places There are a few snowbanks up at the summit of Buchanan Pass. One is on the last major switchback and hikers are avoiding it by going up a connector trail. Within the last 100 yards on the east side of the summit where the trail becomes a series of switchbacks between two large crags, there is another snowbank impacting the trail that most hikers are avoiding by scrambling over some rocks (about six feet high in spots).
07-20-2017 Fourth of July TH 4th of July Mine
Somewhat Muddy -
07-20-2017 Long Lake TH Jean Luning Trail
Dry flowers along Jean Luning trail beautiful! * also a few patches of snow, and a couple of fast-dring mud patches. Ferret sighting reported at west end of lake. North side dry: few flowers, Long Lake parking lot continuously full, and folks still arriving as I left *carpets of Elephantella, aspen daisies; primroses in creeks++
07-20-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Mitchell Lake
Somewhat Muddy Trail was solid and passable with virtually no mud and very little snow on the sides. Big flow from streams and mosquitoes are out in force.
07-20-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Mitchell Lake Trail (TH to Mitchell Lake)
Mitchell Lake Trail (Mitchell Lake to Blue Lake)
Dry Flowers nice near streams but sparse elsewhere. Some ice remains on Blue Lake
07-20-2017 Heart Lake TH (East Portal/Moffat Tunnel) So Boulder Creek Trail (TH to Forest Lakes Junction jct)
So Boulder Creek Trail (Forest Lakes Trail Jct to Crater Lake)
Dry The trail to Crater Lakes is dry and in good condition. The social trail that continues to Upper Crater Lake is also in good condition.
07-19-2017 Long Lake TH Jean Luning Trail
Somewhat Muddy Some mud and one snow bank on south side of Long Lake.
07-19-2017 Long Lake TH Jean Luning Trail
Lake Isabelle
Somewhat Muddy Wildflowers abundant along Jean Luning Trail, especially in the meadows at the east end of the trail. A few patches of mud. Bridges in good repair. Many thanks to the folks who cleared the fallen trees. There was still a lot of snow at Lake Isabelle. I hiked around the north side to the west end of the lake. Trail was tricky in a couple of spots near the waterline.
07-19-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Blue Lake
Somewhat Muddy Turned around just prior to blue lakes. Trail conditions were good.
07-19-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Mitchell Lake Trail (Mitchell Lake to Blue Lake)
Dry Dry trail with a few damp spots on the trail.
07-19-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Beaver Creek Trail (Beaver Creek TH to Audubon trail jct)
Beaver Creek Trail (Coney Flats TH to Audubon trail jct)
Beaver Creek Trail (Coney Flats TH to Buchanan Pass Trail)
Mt Audubon Trail (hiked a portion of the trail)
Snow Packed in Places The Beaver Creek trail (between the Mount Audubon junction and the Beaver Creek trailhead) has several snow banks that are easy to transverse but it will take some effort to relocate the trail in different parts.
07-18-2017 Fourth of July TH Lake Dorothy
4th of July Mine
Dry We turned around just after the Fourth of July Mine due to threatening storm and lightening. Trail is in good condition.
07-18-2017 Long Lake TH Niwot Ridge
Dry The Niwot Ridge trail is dry and in good condition.
07-18-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Mitchell Lake Trail (Mitchell Lake to Blue Lake)
Somewhat Muddy -
07-18-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Mitchell Lake Trail (Mitchell Lake to Blue Lake)
Dry -
07-18-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Blue Lake
Dry -
07-18-2017 Heart Lake TH (East Portal/Moffat Tunnel) So Boulder Creek Trail (TH to Forest Lakes Junction jct)
So Boulder Creek Trail (Forest Lakes Trail Jct to Crater Lake)
Crater Lakes Trail
Crater Lakes
Somewhat Muddy Trail in good condition. There are wet/muddy areas (especially near Forest Lake Junction and at Crater Lake but easy to navigate through. A little buggy in the wet areas. Flowers at Crater Lake are spectacular (columbine, every color of paintbrush, monkshead, elephant head, mountain bluebells, asters, mountain bluebells, shooting starts, just to name a few!
07-17-2017 Hessie TH Jasper Lake
Dry The Devil's thumb bypass trail and Devil's thumb trail is dry all the way to Jasper lake, with some muddy sections and multiple small water trail crossings. Many wildflowers in bloom, we identified over twenty varieties. One moose sighting in a lower meadow, and a wild bee hive along the trail, about a mile below Jasper lake on the right side going down.
07-17-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Mitchell Lake Trail (Mitchell Lake to Blue Lake)
Somewhat Muddy Some wet spots but very passable.
07-17-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Mitchell Lake Trail (TH to Mitchell Lake)
Mitchell Lake Trail (Mitchell Lake to Blue Lake)
Somewhat Muddy The trail is muddy and wet in parts due in part to rain and melting snow. There is evidence of hikers creating "new trails" to avoid mud. This creates erosion.
07-17-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Blue Lake
Somewhat Muddy Trail after Mitchell Creek crossing heavily braided, with plenty of mud. Some planks need repair or replacement, too. Lots of wildflowers just below lake, but scarce elsewhere.
07-17-2017 Rainbow Lakes TH Arapaho Glacier Trail
Dry Trail totally dry and passable, thanks to the IPWA volunteers who cleared several fallen trees.
07-17-2017 Brainard Lake Recreation Area Mitchell Lake Trail (Mitchell Lake to Blue Lake)
Somewhat Muddy -
07-16-2017 Coney Flats TH Red Deer Lake
Snow Packed in Places occasional water on trail, expect slightly muddy conditions. Occasional snowpatch, easily walkable.
07-16-2017 Hessie TH Lost Lake
Dry -
07-16-2017 Heart Lake TH (East Portal/Moffat Tunnel) So Boulder Creek Trail (TH to Forest Lakes Junction jct)
Forest Lakes Trail (TH to midway to Forest Lakes)
Somewhat Muddy Just a few muddy spots. Lots of wild flowers.
07-15-2017 Fourth of July TH Arapaho Pass Trail (Mine Site up to Pass)
Dry Hiked from 4th of July mine to Lake Dorothy. Trail was in very good condition, dry overall with a couple of areas that still had seepage. Wildflowers were in full bloom.
07-15-2017 Long Lake TH Lake Isabelle
Dry Dry from Long Lake TH to Lake Isabelle. There are snow fields on the trail still around the lake , and as you head towards the waterfalls.
07-15-2017 Mitchell Lake TH Blue Lake
Dry Trail mostly dry, two small snow- packed places less than 25 feet long each on trail. A few muddy areas below Blue Lake. Columbines blooming up high.
07-14-2017 Beaver Creek TH Beaver Creek Trail (Beaver Creek TH to Audubon trail jct)
Mt Audubon Trail (Beaver Creek Trail jct to Audubon summit)
Dry Trail is in excellent condition. Many wildflowers.
07-14-2017 Fourth of July TH Arapaho Pass Trail (4th of July TH to Mine site)
Arapaho Pass Trail (Mine Site up to Pass)
Somewhat Muddy Just wet in spots
07-14-2017 Fourth of July TH Diamond Lake Trail (Diamond Lake to Devils Thumb jct)
Somewhat Muddy The trail to Diamond lake is mostly dry, with a few muddy spots. The campsites at 5,6,7, still have large mounds of snow on them.
07-14-2017 Fourth of July TH Arapaho Pass Trail (Mine Site up to Pass)
Somewhat Muddy Passable. Sometimes wet with running water, sometimes muddy, but mostly dry. Gathered half a bag of trash, some around fire rings, and several plastic bags of dog poop left beside the trail.
07-14-2017 Fourth of July TH Lake Dorothy
Dry -
07-14-2017 Long Lake TH Pawnee Pass
Dry The Niwot Cutoff Trail and the Pawnee Pass Trail to Lake Isabelle is dry with only a couple of wet/muddy spots. When going to Pawnee Pass, there are snow banks. We went up a mile and only encountered one snowbank but someone told us who had gone a few miles the snowbanks were more numerous and poles and treks would be good to have.
07-14-2017 Rainbow Lakes TH Arapaho Glacier Trail
Dry The Arapaho Glacier trail is completely dry and in great condition.
07-14-2017 Rollins Pass TH Crater Lake Trail
Dry -
07-14-2017 Heart Lake TH (East Portal/Moffat Tunnel) Crater Lake Trail
Somewhat Muddy My 1st in James Peak W. 1st time to Crater Lake. Roots, rocks, ruts. Trail was great !! Wow! What a great place!! Saw lots of trout. Lots of flowers on the way up.
07-14-2017 Brainard Lake Recreation Area Long Lake
Somewhat Muddy Brainard gates are open so hikers are able to park at trailheads. Long Lake had a few muddy places, a few areas with snow banks on trail but easily passable. Moose are out, so heads up.
07-13-2017 Fourth of July TH Diamond Lake Trail (Arapaho Pass Trail Jct to Lake)
Somewhat Muddy No snow on trail. Muddy in spots due to rain the previous day. Beautiful wildflowers, as usual.
07-13-2017 Long Lake TH Jean Luning Trail
Pawnee Pass Trail (Long Lake TH to Lake Isabelle)
Long Lake
Lake Isabelle
Somewhat Muddy Note: Road was still closed at day parking area (East end of Brainard). When starting at 7:30 a.m. there were 36 cars in the day parking area. When I returned at 10:30 all lots in the day use/picnic area at the east end of Brainard were near full. Trail along north side of Long Lake and to Isabelle Lake was a mix of wet and dry with a few areas of mud, puddles that were easily navigatable. The trail to western end of Isabelle had an area of snowpack and some small stream crossings just past the junction to Pawnee Pass. Great patch of glacier lilies on the first part of the Pawnee Pass trail. Other flowers spotted along the trails: Paintbrush, shooting stars, elephant heads, monkshood, globeflowers, marsh marigolds, just to name a few. One bull moose spotted at the start of the Long Lake Trail. Trail crews working on bridge east end of Long Lake and have been working on a number of trails.
07-13-2017 Long Lake TH Isabelle Glacier Trail (Lake Isabelle to Glacier)
Dry -