Hells Hole Trail

MODERATE 46 reviews
#11 of 112 trails in

Hells Hole Trail is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, CO that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.1 miles 1960 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

wild flowers

This is a very popular trail leading up into the glacial cirque known as Hells Hole. Traveling along West Chicago Creek, the trail climbs for a mile to a bench above and west of the creek. The trail continues climbing less steeply, through lodgepole forest and into the bristlecone pines. The trail ends at timberline in Hell's Hole, in an open meadow at the base of Grey Wolf Mountain

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty trek close to the front range. Moderately steep uphill for the first two-ish miles with it becoming less steep for the last part of the trail. For those who don't pay attention to the details, note that the elevation of the trailhead is 9655 with the apex being a little over 11,500. During the hike, we experienced a variety of weather so make sure to pack appropriately.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

beautiful route! Hiked this route in August and it was a great morning hike!

2 months ago

Went about the last weekend of September, timed the color change perfect. I imagine this is a pretty hike any time of year. With the Aspen changing, the first mile or so through the aspen grove is breath taking. Overall is a moderate hike with a decent uphill hike. Definitely a hike to do if you can time the color change.

hiking
4 months ago

The trail was so-so; it was nice to have a shady hike on a hot day. Views were decent, trail was well-marked, and overall it was a more 'easy' moderate. But Hells Hole itself was nothing special; the trail up/down was more exiting than actually getting to Hells Hole. Another downside were the groups of people hammered at the campsites at the TH (at 9am). I saw some empty bottles around the TH too so I'm guessing this is a party area for many.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail with a decent climb for the first half.

hiking
4 months ago

Terrific trail, first half up is the hardest and than mellows out the next half up. Lots of wildlife and hardly anyone actually on the trail. A bunch of hooligans were causing a ruckus in the campground area at the trailhead in the morning, don't be discouraged by that, I got out of ear shot quickly and enjoyed the serenity hells hole has to offer.

hiking
4 months ago

Lots of trees along the trail provided plenty of shade in early July. Not very crowded on an early Sunday morning. Hell's Hole itself is nothing fantastic but the overall hike was very nice.

hiking
5 months ago

More difficult than I expected only because of the elevation. The tree cover was great, keeping it cool for a warm July day.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike! We enjoyed the water crossings and the section under the aspen trees with lots of wildflowers. The view at the end is nice and a great spot for a picnic.

hiking
5 months ago

The trail is completely dry (6-29-16), with easy water crossings on solid logs and/or rocks. It's a gorgeous trail, starting in a lush, green Aspen forest with columbine, red and yellow paintbrush, Parry's Primrose and many other wildflowers. The Aspens give way to pines and eventually bristlecones, and some magnificent views. The trail is easy to follow -- some areas of rocks and roots but also areas where the trail is soft with pine needles. All in a all, a helluva nice hike.

hiking
5 months ago

This is not the trail for those looking for an easy stroll. This is a moderately difficult trail due to the 1200' altitude gain in the first couple of miles combined with a rocky, tree root trail. However, the benefit is the variety of ecosystems you get to experience along the way - aspens, spruce, firs and bristlecones, bog (at least through early summer), and an alpine meadow. I saw elk scat and prints, but no wildlife because of the time of day. The pond in the cirque was pretty much played out. Took me 4 hours to complete, but that include breaks, lunch, and photography. I will come again.

6 months ago

6 months ago

hiking
1 year ago

Beautiful trail lined with Aspens in the beginning. Will definitely do again next year but a month earlier to see the leaves.

hiking
1 year ago

A Beautiful & Warm October Day! Hiking solo it took me 1:25 to reach the end of the trail, 4.1 miles. The first 3 miles are rather rocky and the surface becomes smoother for the last mile. Still no snow on the trail.

birding
1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

This is a great trail as the bristlecones at the end are awesome. I have one complaint though. KEEP YOUR DOGS ON LEASHES!!! That is the rule in the wilderness and I must say that probably 75% of dog owners were not following the rules. My question is why? Did you not read the rules at the wilderness boundary and are just ignorant or are people just blatantly disregarding the rule thinking everyone loves dogs. Rules are rules so follow them! Maybe it is going take a bear attack by a provoking dog to drill this into peoples heads.