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Fabulous hike. Sturdy views, etc. highly recommended.

hiking
2 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.

hiking
2 days ago

Very rocky trail, too many people and a drained lake. It should be called a reservoir not a lake. People should be TOLD when getting a permit that the lake has been drained. Huge disappointment. (see pic of Jasper pond)

Beautiful not to difficult to hike up to the waterfall drive up on a 2015 Jeep Wrangler made it up fine

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
4 days ago

a beautiful hike

hiking
4 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

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.

off road driving
7 days ago

Did this trail in a stock 18 tacoma off-road with no issues. Had been there a couple weeks back but had to turn back due to my friends 09 2wd jeep commander not being able to make the rut towards the beginning of the trail, but it looks like someone has filled in one side with some rocks since then. Overall a great trail, anyone with reasonable ground clearance and 4wd should be able to do it. Only gripe is it gets really busy on the weekends

Amazing hike. Not that hard at all. Saw big horn sheep, mountain goats, and lots of marmots. Spectacular views

I usually love this hike but the lake was about half drained, almost no water.

off road driving
7 days ago

It was a nice, relatively easy drive with the family, I went up in a 4Runner with only a couple inches lift and never felt like I was close to scraping anything. Beautiful scenery. There were lots of people at the top, I counted 35 trucks up there on a Saturday around noon. I thnk calling this trail moderate is a bit much, it's slightly slightly more complicated than what I'd call easy.

off road driving
7 days ago

I loved this trail. It was a 5/10 difficulty. It basically has two “harder” obstacles at the very beginning but once you get past those it’s great.

The only reason it gets 4 stars is because it’s extremely crowded. There are hikers walking along the road and campers everywhere. If you’re looking to “get away” this isn’t the spot for you.

hiking
7 days ago

I went early so there weren't too many cars on the road up. Beautiful views!

hiking
8 days ago

A very scenic trail/road that follows a river most of the way up! It is a 4WD road so you may be passed by cars at times but don’t let stop you! If you drive it you miss all the beauty of the river and wildflowers (that are now in full bloom). Once to the first lake keep hiking to the top via a skinny path through the bushes to rise above the lake and see two more. This is a great place to take out of towners for epic views but you’ll need to breaks on the way up with the inclined road and steeper path to the top.

off road driving
9 days ago

The Destination: Wonderful place for a picnic and/or camping. Beautiful serene lake at altitude. Water is too cold for recreational swimming, but good for fishing. Also, a kayak or paddle board would make for great exploring around the lake rim and up to the waterfall. The lake area doesn't offer much shade. Bring sunscreen, or a cover of some sort (umbrella, lean-to, overland-awning). Remember UV exposure hits harder up here.

The Trail: The trail is more of an access road than trail. Moderately trafficked by SUVS, Trucks, and ATV's. Hikers may not enjoy being passed by off-road vehicles (be courteous 4WD'ers). Trail is suitable for novice drivers and unmodified SUVS/Trucks with 4WD and a little ground clearance. Tire placement will be essential for stock vehicles. I would recommend 9 to 10 inches of ground clearance.

Pros: Easy to access. Great picnic spot. Open areas to play. Good easy hiking up form the loch.
Cons: Easy access (maybe too easy for preservation), Novice trails attract newer less courteous (uneducated) off-roaders and even tourist in rentals.

Nice hike, relatively easy with lots of flatter areas. The reservoir and Chicago lakes themselves are pretty. Relatively quiet on a Thursday am. Took me 4 hours rt

Ran this in my stock 4Runner with BFG KO2’s with no problem at all. Great trail lots of camping. Make sure to bring your fly rod.

off road driving
10 days ago

The second gate is now open for summer 2018. Great camping spots along this off road trail that leads right up to the beautiful lake.

This hike took us just under 7 hours. You’ll be going downhill at the start of the hike so be prepared to go uphill at the end. We ended recording about 11 miles going to the upper lake then back to the parking lot. It was a beautiful hike and I’d definitely do it again.

hiking
12 days ago

This is a moderate trail with some beautiful spots. If you see signs for Windy Peak, keep in mind that’s a side trip that is off of the Mountain Lion trail. The trail markers end once you decide to take the Windy Peak detour, so it’s easy to get turned around.

We didn’t encounter any wildlife on the trail, although we started later in the morning around 9. It’s a great workout, but there’s no “wow” view that makes it feel like it was worth the trek.

hiking
12 days ago

Fairly easy, though rocky on the road, so just look down when you hike. All gates open. It was busy with campers. Hiked it from the 4x4 road which made the hike about 6 miles. wildflowers in abundance, might not last with all the dogs off leash, but beautiful. Go up to the 3 lakes above the lock the further up the better flowers. There is also a lions den up there, so be watchful, though with all the people, we never saw any. Get there early for calm waters and less crowds.

Does anyone know if the second gate is open yet so I can drive up to lake?

Amazing trail. Somewhat difficult in spots but the views are worth it!

hiking
13 days ago

I really enjoyed this hike despite how heavily trafficked it was. Has about everything I would want in a hike.

on Jasper Lake Trail

13 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike with varied terrain. I arrived about 9am on Saturday and the trailhead was busy. Parking is very limited so I would suggest starting between 7 and 8am if you can. I noticed a shuttle taking people up to the trailhead but I'm not sure how often it runs or where the pick up/drop off location is. The bypass trail to Jasper lake was fairly dry. Not much snow until you got closer to the lake. Sometimes you find yourself maneuvering muddy sections or walking through a shallow stream. My feet stayed dry for the most part, wearing water resistant shoes. Highlight of the hike was sighting two moose. I can't wait to come back and do more exploring. Would highly recommend!

Great trail and perfect weather! Easy until about half way through then it got a bit steeper but definitely not difficult. We went counter clockwise. Lots of water passing for pups to relax and drink from.

hiking
14 days ago

I haven't been on many hikes in Colorado yet, but this one is my favorite so far. Hiking all the way up to the lake is well worth it. There's a good mix of forest and meadows with lots of wildflowers. The elevation gain is gradual and not difficult at all. I've been able to do this hike a couple times already in tennis shoes. I highly recommend checking this one out if you haven't already!

My latest trip was on a Friday and I had no trouble finding parking along the side of the road at 7:30 AM...weekends and holidays are a different story. When in doubt, take the shuttle from Nederland (holidays and weekends in the summer I believe). I took the shuttle on the 4th of July and it was an excellent experience. It's FREE!

hiking
14 days ago

Everyone below is spot on, it’s very gravely in the beginning. Lots of family’s at the beginning too. Once you get up about a mile, it splits into a bunch of different directions. That’s when it gets good. I was very surprised how wet the trails was, so be warned. I had hiking boots, so I was good, my friend not so much! It’s gorgeous. It’s very green and worth it!

hiking
14 days ago

This is a great hike! I had difficulty finding the trailhead. You have to get to the west side of Echo Lake, through the campground, to find the trailhead. Definitely some tough spots and Oh Momma, the last mile back is uphill. The stretch from the lower lake to the upper lake is short. . .but very tough! Much of the trek is quite easy, so you can definitely catch a break here and there. Well worth it, to be able to sit on top of a boulder and enjoy the view!

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