This trail stands a head above in terms of ecological variety, accessibility, and kid friendliness. Even though it is a mere 0.6 miles in length and does not gain any notable altitude, views of Hallet and Longs Peak abound, and early birds are especially privileged to enjoy breathtaking reflections of these jagged behemoth mountains reflected in the morning calm of the subalpine lake.
During the height of tourist season, you'll likely need to utilizing the free park shuttle to the trailhead, as the parking lot typically fills by 7:30 a.m.. An interpretive guide is available courtesy of the Rocky Mountain National Conservancy for a small price, and a guide can really enhance the already stunning hike by highlighting national, geological, and historical information on thirty points around the loop.
A remarkably hot fire ravaged the area in the early 1900s as a result of careless campers. The fire burned with such impressive temperatures that it cracked several slabs of granite in the area. Massive aspen groves flourished in the newly nutrient enriched soil, resulting in a breathtaking golden spectacle in the fall, speckled by lodgepole, spruce, fir, and pine.