Explore Colorado 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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This is my favorite spot. Hiking up to the top is work but once you get there the view from the lookout tower is amazing and worth it. If you are not use to the altitude make sure to take many stops and bring lots of water. You will never regret doing this hike.

2 days ago

Where to Park: You will park in the Cheeseman trail lot.

You will find the path to the trail head past the “fancy” outhouse. Take that path over the wooden bridge. The path splits, go left. You will walk about 50 yards and come across a dirt road that interrupts the path. Just walk across the dirt road and the path picks back up across the street. You will walk about 1/2 mile through the woods/trees and come across the actual trail head and map of the trail.

The Trail: the GILL trail runs along the water that leads to Cheesman Lake. Its and out and back.

Suggestions: Bring plenty of water 100oz or more and have at least one hiking friend

We are VERY experienced hikers and this was a Incredibly challenging. The trail is very challenging to follow and the last mile to Cheeseman Lake was a lot of climbing and bouldering.

The views are BEAUTIFUL!

Really cool trail! Especially if you’re looking for a hike that isn’t going to take all day. The fire tower was amazing, the views were insane! My boyfriend discovered that he was terrified of heights but definitely worth the climb! Haha.

horseback riding
3 days ago

Hiking only; mountain bikes and horses are not permitted; dogs on leash O.K. It is a beautiful place.

A perfect hike for a time period of about 2 hours! Amazing views at the top! Have hiked this trail multiple times and it never disappoints!

Quick and fun. Did it with my nephews - both 7 years old. They enjoyed the Tower and talking with the Ranger at the top. The views are fantastic.

This was such a beautiful hike! The park rangers were all so friendly and very helpful especially at the beginning when you get to the trailhead. You get a map of the park when you pull in and pay $7 for a day pass. We took the SR trail to the BE trail then went up the LB trail to get to the overlook of Elk Falls, that view alone is incredible!! Then we came back down LB to the CR trail, kind of a difficult switchback but the view of Chimney Rock is stunning! Halfway down the CR you can walk down to Elk Falls. That trail is difficult but once you get to the Falls, every step is worth it! We were super ambitious yesterday (8/11/18) so when we came back up from the falls we continued on CR then got onto the MP trail until we got to the SL trail (a little difficult towards the end of this 1.5 mile trail) then got back onto SR to get to our car. We covered about half of the state park & can’t wait to go back and explore the other half!

hiking
5 days ago

Great little hike. We took the dog with us and he seemed to enjoy it as well. Some hard scramble spots but the dog and I made it through with no issues. Beautiful views of the river from every angle!! Would do it again.

6 days ago

This hike is basically a novelty. It is neither peaceful nor beautiful (except geologically, of course) because of its urban location. Nevertheless, it is neat, and I was excited when I discovered you can scramble to the top of the rock.

Ok for kids? Have twin 9 y/o’s not in climbing shape yet from move

One of my favorites. This can feel longer than it actually is. Lots of hikers today, and climbing to the fire tower is worth it!

Hiked this trail on a Sunday afternoon and didn’t think it was too busy. Well maintained trail, though the gravel can be a little loose in areas. Great view at the top where you can see 100 miles in any direction. We did the hike in about 2 hours, not counting the time we hung out at the top enjoying the view. Be prepared to drive on some bumpy roads to get to the trailhead.

nice view from there.

hiking
10 days ago

Trail is clearly marked and easy to follow. Nice trot for the family.

Great Hike , close to Denver .
loved hiking next to creek all throughout the time.

great cascades, beaver ponds, flowers, birds, meadows

Have to drive on a rough road to get there, but it's worth it at the top. Make sure you stop in and talk to Billy Ellis!

I hiked this on a Wednesday (8/1/18): no problems parking and not too crowded. The fire lookout and stairs make for an exhilarating and unique payoff for the relatively short but steady climb. It was 3 hours round-trip for us. Really nice.

favorite trail

Amazing!! Can be a bit strenuous at times as it is all uphill but it’s so worth it! If you can, go for sunset!!

Loved it, great weather!

The lookout house is very cool, and the views are a great payoff for the moderate hike. Pretty heavily trafficked, though I went on July fourth.

hiking
15 days ago

Chuck’s Loop is a beautiful and easy hike, but there are many places (5+) where the trail is not clearly marked and you can get lost. My husband went before me and took me back yesterday and we still got lost! Nice terrain and scenery, though.

The view from the top is spectacular and well worth the effort. Take plenty of water and enjoy the beautiful scenery!

Nice quiet hike along a creek. Opens into a meadow with nice views. Then the trail continues through a large aspen grove. We went about 2.5 miles and had to turn around due to the time.

Great views. Get there early and avoid the traffic.

I’ve completed this trail twice now, and I want to keep doing it just for the views! The parking lot gets crowded so do get there early. Bring water, despite this being a 2.5mi hike, you’re heading straight up hill for a big and it can be strenuous for some, especially in the heat. You will not regret this! Would love to return for sunrise.

hiking
18 days ago

Lots of shade, which was perfect for our pug who we brought along. We went just about 2 miles then turned around. The sound of water below was awesome and the view when you get to the open field is beautiful. We arrived at 830am in a Sunday and there were only 2 other cars in the lot. By the time we made our way back we ran into a few small groups of people and the parking lot was full (it is a small parking lot though). I’d suggest getting there early at or before 8 on a weekend if you are looking to be one of the only ones on the trail. But it did not feel overly crowded like some other hikes in the state. It was perfect!

Beautiful views! I arrived around 7 am and there was sufficient parking but that’s not the same if you get there later than 8. Mr Ellis was super nice and the weather was perfect. I enjoyed the gradual increase in elevation...will definitely do this hike again.

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