Chicago Lakes Trail is a 8.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is best used from June until November.
Directions from Idaho Springs: Travel southwest on Highway 103 approximately 14 miles to Echo Lake Campground which is located at the intersection of Highway 103 and Highway 5 on the Mt. Evans Scenic Byway. The trail begins at the Echo Lake Campground.
Hiked this back in the fall of 15 and took our fly rods. It was a great time, but we only made it to the lower lake. On my list to go back to and make the trek to the upper lake.
I couldn't get to the final lakes. First time here. It isn't easy, definitely it is hard.
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.
10.05 miles to the 2nd lake. 4 hours 33 minutes.
Fresh snow on the ground in early November. Great hike, very scenic.
Snow added some dicey moments on the descent.
A few steep parts, but not a very difficult hike. Enjoy.
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.
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.
Somewhat difficult - got by wearing day hike runners. Decent balance of uphill/downhill.