Explore Em & Ken - 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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Very short and easy. Short hike for end of day to avoid the crowd.

hiking
1 day ago

Good spot for fishing

Great wide path around the lake. No hills, super flat. Gorgeous scenery. We went at 6:30am on a Sunday and were one of a few people there. Great time to go before the crowds.

Awesome trail!

Short trail. Kinda packed with visitors. Pretty views.

Very easy and beautiful. Keep walking for more of a challenge and an even better view.

Quite the incline for about half way, but worth the view once you hit the overlook point! Going back down is a breeze!

This was a great hike. Fair amount of people, yet not crowded. Still peaceful and fun. Dog-friendly, with friendliest trial I’ve ever been on. Steep hike up, rocky and often narrow, little protection from the cliff, but worth it. Take it easy, rest. It’s a great afternoon. View of Crag’s Hotel and Continental Divide is spectacular. Oh, and stop in the river once you’ve come down.

8 dollar parking.

Nice hike with great views but heavily trafficked.

mills lake was awesome...hike is fairly crowded, but a lot better once you get past Alberta falls...the lake and landscape is a must see!

This is a short but challenging hike. Great views along the way and at the top. The hike up will get your heart going. The hike down seemed almost as hard, especially on the knees. There are lots of trails in this area. Pay careful attention to your route to the base of this trailhead as there are several that will bring you here.

This trail is rated difficult for a reason. Tons of large rocks and quick elevation gain. If you have balance issues or are afraid of heights I would say don’t do. The views at the end are fabulous though, great workout! Beware of small area that would almost qualify as rock climbing and not hiking although once you got up wasn’t that bad because of the hand and foot holds they added. Fairly heavily trafficked trail also..

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike. Offers a challenge but not too steep - it was fairly easy taking it slow. The trail has plenty of coverage and great views! Fairly busy but we were able to avoid most traffic by getting there in the morning. The loop is less busy than the main out & back trail. $8 to enter El Dorado park.

Crowded, but beautiful. Enjoyed the beauty!

Amazing scenery! Great for beginners

Super busy, great sights. Start early

hiking
4 days ago

I'm heading to Echo Lake this weekend to hike to Idaho Springs Reservoir. Can anyone tell me the water level of Chicago Creek as it enters the reservoir? We are looking to fly fish and don't want to waste time if the water levels are too low. Thanks! I'll leave an official comment after we return.

on Echo Lake Trail

hiking
5 days ago

Nice, somewhat crowded, trail that goes all the way around the lake. Kids really enjoyed it. Bathrooms are available at different points around the lake, making it user friendly for little ones, and big ones - ha,ha!

the rocks are SO cool!! fun hike, not super hard

Gorgeous area. If going on the weekend, get there early, parking lot does fill up, and area from echo lake to the Idaho Springs reservoir can get quite busy. Well shaded, good distance, pretty lakes, creek, and reservoir. Also dog friendly, expect to see a few. Highly recommend this hike!

hiking
6 days ago

a beautiful hike

Beautiful lake. Reading the map I was worried about the % grade, but it was easy. Took pictures at most rock outcroppings. Enjoyable and great views.

hiking
6 days ago

I started this hike at 7:30 a.m. (second car in the otherwise empty parking lot) on a Monday and returned somewhere between 1:15-1:30 p.m. This hike was definitely challenging for me as a flatlander and I had to stop to take breaks quite often. I also spent quite a long time up at the lake *maybe 45 minutes or longer) and took another longer break during my return at the reservoir to soak my feet before making the final uphill climb. I think this hike is moderate for people who live at altitude and hike regularly, or who are otherwise very fit. If you're not much of a fitness enthusiast and don't workout very often, this is going to be a very challenging hike. If you're fit-ish to average on physical activity, this hike is challenging.

It really surprised me to see so many folks without adequate hydration and starting later. Do yourself a favor and start by 7:30 a.m. because there isn't much shade after you get passed 10:30 a.m. All of the regular rules apply: bring sunscreen and reapply once you're up at the lake, wear a hat and sunglasses, bring more water than you think necessary, and pack loads of snacks. I brought 64 ounces of water and drank about 3/4 of it. Didn't encounter too many bugs other than curious bees at the lake. The only wildlife I encountered were birds (saw an eagle at Echo Lake first thing) and chiding squirrels. Trail rules indicate dogs are required to be leashed but most were off-leash - doesn't bother me but it's something to consider if you don't like dogs.

Some additional navigation tips:
-Once you complete the initial descent and get closer to the water, look out for the primitive log bridge to cross
-Exiting the woods, take a left to follow the access road for about a mile; if you're early in the day, you'll pass the Idaho Springs Reservoir and see trout jumping out of the water to feed.
-Follow the access road past the cabins; the trailhead will be ahead on your right with a no-fee permit station. Fill out your permit and take the trail immediately in front of you, not the unmarked trial to your right.
-You'll pass a second sign indicating that you're entering the Mt. Evans Wilderness; don't worry, you're on the right trail.
-I tried finding the trail to the upper lake and was unsuccessful. I ended up following some of the unmarked trails that go around the lake and wound up in a boggy area just before the lake. Maybe avoid that and do more research on picking up the trail to the upper lake than I did.

hiking
6 days ago

As with many others, this was my first "fourteener" and it was a blast. Couldn't of asked for better weather. Stayed in Georgetown, and got to the Guanella pass parking lot at approximately 0600. Yes, it was already full, however the summit overlook parking lot still had spaces left.I'm a flatlander from northeast Ks. but went prepared. Took my time, with frequent breaks, especially the higher I got. The scramble to the top was probably the toughest part, but by that point you've gone to far to not do it. While many folks, myself included, do Mount Bierstadt because their research reports it as being the easiest fourteener. Be forewarned - if you are a flatlander, even one who is in decent shape, there is nothing easy about trying to breathe at altitude.However do not let that dissuade you from doing this hike, as I can assure you that you will not be alone. Start to finish approximately 6 hours, half hour to 45 minutes on the summit.

Great 14er for first timers and out of staters.

Busy trail, lots of dogs, but great views

hiking
8 days ago

Great hike! It took us about 4 hours, not including the 20 or so minutes we spend at the top. Great views and plenty of places where the dogs can drink water from streams and lakes.

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