This trail has been in and out of my life since I first moved to Colorado. As I learn more about the area, the views and terrain seems to change and mean more each time!
The parking is quite limited, so the best times is weekdays or early, really early. Or really off season, but in Colorado that is a trick, isn’t it.
There is very little shade, so plan accordingly.
I have done the trail left and right at the lolly pop. Left seems to have a bit more of a heart pumping assent, but both are fine.
Pro tip: The “top” can be tricky. If you are not taking a trail to the top, do not expect to reach the tippy top. If you are going counter clockwise, when you reach a point where you climb over some rocks and see an up trail and a down trail – you missed the rock steps to descend!
Verdict: Great after work hike! Or mid winter!