Paula M. on Chicago Lakes Trail
I couldn't get to the final lakes. First time here. It isn't easy, definitely it is hard.
did most of this trail last weekend. pretty crunchy until 3 miles in, then it became obvious there hadn't been anyone on the trail in a few weeks. about 4 miles in, started seeing really big mountain lion tracks. being alone, and not having seen another person since the first 1/2 mile, i decided to turn around. anxious to get back out and give it another go. highly recommend.
Completed this trail today. Looks like nobody has snowshoed since the snowstorm. Got lost a few times and had to redirect ourselves until we found the trail again. It was a very VERY tough hike but it was worth it. As others have stated, you start off going down for about the first mile which made it strenuous going back up the last mile. Took us about 6 hours round trip but I am a slow snowshoer.
Fantastic hike offering everything you can possibly want. It starts off a little strange....you actually hike DOWN about a mile or so at the start of the hike, going deep into the canyon. From there, you work your back up to the two Chicago Lakes. I would estimate that this hike is more like 11 miles round trip, instead of 8.7. Bring some snacks and make sure you have enough water. Absolutely one of the best hikes you can do.
I am thinking the trail originally ended at the lower chicago lake. And that is about 8 miles roundtrip. But now the trail extends to the upper lake and beyond. Length may need to be updated.
But great hike, pushed my envelop which probably needed pushing. Spectacular space. I took the final set of switchbacks to Echo Lake slowly. Learned about lichens.
I took my family on this. 4 little kids (age range 2-6) and a husband. We really had the best time just poking around and meandering through the trees. It was a simple, easy walk. We didn't do the whole thing because it got chilly and we were underdressed.
Gorgeous trail. Please make time to go to the very last lake at the very top. While the entire trail is scenic and impressive, the very end is the absolute best, most awe inspiring view. It is worth it. And yes, that last steep long incline is worth it too. It is a long day hike. More than 8.7 for sure. Was recording, but phone died - I would say closer to 11.
Awesome hike. Definitely a long one if you make it all the way to upper Chicago lake. Bring a lunch and eat it next to the waterfall. Dogs are allowed, trail was moderately busy. Expect steeper switchbacks and a little climb to the upper lake. Worth it though!