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

Dianne's Bach Map

Great short hike with stunning views in every direction at the top. Packed snow most of the way 3/17, spikes a big help. Gorgeous day!

I would give this a moderate rating in the winter! Steep incline and icy at spots until you get to the top. Great views! I recommend for a short hike outside of the metro area

Bring microspikes in winter months.

great trail with a steady incline pretty much the whole way up. I did this with my wife and two teen sons and enjoyed it very much. fantastic views once you break the treeline. it didnt seem to busy either.

Went up when it was frozen over with some friends. It's tough getting up and back down with all the snow, but so worth it. Some people hike up and sled / snowboard down. You get to walk around on a big frozen lake once you make it all the way. Really awesome.

7 days ago

We completed this trail today. Snowshoes were not needed for the first two thirds of this trail, but were very helpful for the top third. That’s how my wife did it, I didn’t take my snowshoes and still did fine. A lot more snow than last weeks pics.

Used snowshoes on a well-packed trail to Naylor Lake. The trail to Silver Dollar is rocky and right near avalanche possibilities (that was our opinion, however, the amount of snow up on the mountains is not significant due to high winds.) It's a short hike up but with the help of alltrails.com, we were able to trek in the deep stuff off trail on the way down. We just had fun and meandered in the 3 ft. of snow off-trail. Thanks AllTrails! We didn't stray too far from the trail either but you don't want to get lost out there!

Fun day hike! Only downside would be the amount of dog poop everywhere.

This is one of my fave go-to hikes. I do some pretty tough hikes so I’ll be assigning degrees of difficulty to this. But the reason I love it so much is its proximity to Denver, relative ease for most skill levels, and possibly the best view of Colorado’s Front Range you’ll encounter. On a clear day you can see every 14er in the Front Range. Some extraordinarily clear skies this weekend and perfection for this hike. Right now the trail is packed snow with some ice. Traction is absolutely necessary but will create a better experience getting up and down both. Snow shoes are too much but micro spikes are perfect right now in this trail. Again, not required but you’ll have a better day both ways using them. At least until you get above tree line. Go up. Enjoy. Take some gorgeous photos. Reward on this hike for the effort is just hard to beat. Dig it.

14 days ago

I hit the trail at about 9:30 am. Made it on the packed area...straight up to the lake...without traction assistance, but definitely needed my snowshoes to bound around up by the lake. I saw three people on the way up (all within the first half mile) and about ten—on their way up—in the last mile of the descent. :) Windy but great!

The access to the trail is at the lower area of the parking area.. think “parallel parking” on north side (uphill) of the road. It’s technically not a “Easy” Trail, where elderly and young kids can hike, there is incline all the way up the top and somewhat of a rock scramble at the top. But it’s a great view and hike. Snowpacked trail about 95 percent so I’d recommend microspikes just so you don’t have to worry about any slipping.

15 days ago

Hiked up without snowshoes, just spikes, deep in spots, but was able to make it all the way up to the lake. Trail was pretty packed down.

15 days ago

Great hike! As other reviewers have noted the trailhead is a little hard to find. But Google Maps got us there. The trail was completely snow-packed, so boots appropriate for that were essential. The views at the top are stunning! It’s not a hard hike - but it’s definitely a decent incline. I can’t wait to do it again.

Slippery, but good. Wear spikes if you got em.

Super calm serene hike up a beautiful mountain side, the views after the initial incline weigh out any negative thoughts of inclines as well as altitude. Super suggest the hike any time of the year.

It was snowed out, only snowshoers and skiers were on it.

Very easy, beautiful hike. If you’re looking for something non strenuous and short this is a good one. Fun to sled down the hill in the winter too!

The views at the summit of Chief Mountain are absolutely SPECTACULAR. I was actually speechless when I first came to the top and saw the 360-degree views of the Rockies. There were many 14ers in view. I will 100% be coming back to do this hike again.

I did a bunch of research for this hike and kept seeing conflicting points for directions, hiking distance, and difficulty of the hike. Let me be the one to clarify for future hikers:

There are actually two “trailhead” entrances between mile marker 18 and 19 that will get you to the second half of the Chief Mountain Summit.

1) The first is the one that I (mistakenly) took. This was just after mile marker 18 on Rt 103. There is a small parking area across from the entrance, which is unmarked. It is at the top of a hill, not the bottom. This (I believe) is the Old Squaw Pass Rd. It’s flatter and much easier for those weekend warriors who are actually expecting an easy trail. It also adds a mile R/T to your overall hiking distance - which is why some people on here clocked in at 4mi. This is a great cross-country skiing trail if you’re interested! If you take this, you will take a sharp right and start inclining about a mile in to your hike, where there is a wooden sign that says Chief Mountain with an arrow.

2) The second option is the actual Chief Mountain Trail, which is located just before mile marker 19 on 103. The Echo Park ski lifts are on the same side as the parking for the trail. The actual trail (on the other side of the street) is also poorly labeled, with a small wooden sign that says Chief Mountain trail. This is the way I walked back (and ended up a mile from my car...super fun!). This is about a half mile shorter than the other trail option, but I would absolutely put it in the moderate category. I’m not sure who designates whether a trail is easy or moderate, but I’ve noticed several trails that were much harder than their designations. For someone who isn’t used to 11,000ft altitudes or who isn’t hiking 3-4x a week, you’ll probably be out of breath for this. The good news is that it’s only 3mi. This trail is fairly narrow, and if you make the mistake of stepping off the path you will be in 2ft drifts.

Hopefully this helps prevent some confusion!!

I did this hike in trail running shoes and was totally fine without additional traction. You could probably use snowshoes but it’s not necessary. Definitely avoid tennis shoes or shoes without traction - the trail is totally snowpacked and slick at points. It was not windy when we went - it was about 25 degrees and sunny with maybe 10mph gusts that we could only feel above the tree line (for perspective, it was 57 and sunny in Denver when we got home).

We went at 10am on a Thursday and we saw a total of 6 people - one group of 4, 2 cross-country skiers, and 1 girl with her dog. It was super quiet and the snow was pristine off the trail. It was perfect!!

19 days ago

We hiked this on Sunday afternoon and it was windy, cold, and awesome. Be advised that there is . $5 fee to park in the nearby lots as they are on private land. Cash and checks are the only form of payment accepted. There are two lots, on one to the north and one to the south of the trail head. It's a quick walk to the top, just keep to the main trail and avoid what look to be off road vehicle trails that veer off to the right. I think there are two on the way up. The top was WINDY. I'm guessing around 50mph gusts and a steady wind of about 30mph. The kind of wind you can lean into and it will keep you upright. The temp was around 9 degrees and with the those kind of winds we didn't stay up too long- we didn't have the gear necessary to hang out in conditions like that. But it was beautiful up there. We shall definitely return for more exploration!

20 days ago

Stunning views. Did this hike on 2/25. No spikes needed but VERY windy conditions.

It’s a little hard to find at first. It’s directly across from the Echo Mountain ski lift.

22 days ago

Hiked up to this trail this past Monday before the big snow hit and it was beautiful. The trail begins as a wide road and there was considerable accumulation of snow, although it was packed down pretty nicely and made for pleasant travel. The road continues past a few barriers to prevent motor traffic and then thins out. The snow makes the official trail difficult to find towards the top, but there is no danger of getting lost as the remainder is mostly above tree line, making the route to the lake obvious. I would recommend snowshoes for the final bit. It seems that the lake could just the start of some great exploration, but the snow at the top here fairly deep.

Awesome views . Short and sweet

28 days ago

It’s great if you’re looking for a relatively easy trail with great views. The trail was a little packed down for snowshoes, but slick enough that you’d be better off with a bit of extra traction. Just be prepared for a lot of wind at the lake.

Went up on snowy trails today with yaktraks on my boots. Windy at the top, but the hike was easy, even in the snow. Out and back in just under two hours.

Hiked in snowshoes. Not heavily traveled today. Nice out and back to view the frozen lake. Highly recommend the trail.

Snowshoed to the lake today and part way up to glacier. Lots of snow still, very windy. Beautiful views! Everyone says it's easy but felt it a bit challenging for us Minnesotans (but the cold didn't bother us), maybe since we are still adjusting to elevation. It was a steady climb to the lake and steeper to the glacier. Want to make a trip back in Spring or Summer. Ran into several people even on a Thursday afternoon.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike!!! We did it last week, and snowshoes were definitely necessary for the last half, and it was windy at the top. But the snow was deep and so much fun to snowshoe though.
Also, if you go in the winter, It's hard to see the trail through the snow towards the top. Stay to the right of the wooden fence after the metal gate. We just followed GPS.

I did this in the summer. Fantastic views considering the relatively minimal effort needed to get to the top. Short, sweet and rewarding!

1 month ago

Nice hike along the forest road. Limited views until you get to the top. Was snowing when we got there but amazing views of Denver and the lowlands

1 month ago

Traction would have been nice, but not necessary. A go to when you only have an hour of free time to get in a good view.

Load More