Chinns Lake Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and mountain biking and is best used from June until September.
Directions from Idaho Springs: Take I-70 west to exit 238. Take Fall River Road to the Fall River Reservoir Road, 6.5 miles from I-70. Go 2.5 more miles on this road to Chinns Lake turnoff. The trail begins here.
Both Chinns lakes get low with muddy shores and are less attractive later in the season. To escape all the 4x4 crowds and enjoy a much prettier lake and even more spectacular views, keep going another mile up to Slater lake and beyond into the incredible glacial cirque farther west.
Lots of great camp sites. Go during the week, very busy on the weekends. You will need a 4x4 to get there. Road very rocky and steep.
Bring a fishing pole and good luck
This is one of my favorite spot to off-road, camp and fishing in the weekends and stay close to Denver. The camping spots are amazing and the view is simply beautiful.
This hike is closer to 2 miles from the trailhead, with much more elevation gain than 400 ft. The trail is a very rocky 4x4 road, and cars go up and down it pretty regularly when you're hiking. Honestly, this lake is probably best reached by car vs by foot (we were the only hikers on the trail that day). Once there, however, the lake is pretty .
I don't think it is just 1 mile... but I don't have tracks for this one. But we spent 3-4 hours enjoying the hike at a slow pace.
Read all about it on my blog: http://kidologist.com/2011/09/30/fall-hike-to-some-lakes/
or watch the YouTube Video of the pics my friend and I took: http://youtu.be/D81-wQBFsV4