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This trail does get packed later into the day and holidays, so the earlier you go the better and there are two parking lots (north and south of the trail) that cost $5.00 cash to access. The trail head is in between the two lots. While I was there, there weren't many people on the trail and it was very peaceful. If you take the trail to access the lake just follow the main trail, don't veer right until you start to see the lake through the trees on your right hand side, then you can climb down to it using the paths.

The drive up to the trail head is beautiful in the fall, aspens cascade down both sides of the road (which has been newly paved at the time of writing this). The trail starts off wide with some loose rocks, but it is not difficult to hike and it's a short hike if you're just trying to make it to the lake itself. The main trail is nice with lots of foliage and boulders to rest on if you need to catch your breath due to altitude. Once you get to the lake the landscape becomes absolutely breath taking! While my husband I were there the water was unbelievably cold and it's colors were beautiful! Shallow parts of the lake were tan, but then others had a beautiful blue hue and it was completely clear!

If you want the hike to be a little more challenging (and a bit longer) hang a right and walk around the bank of the lake and go up towards the glacier. There is a trail to follow that goes up to the glacier and then up to the very top of the mountain itself. There is a warning sign saying it's not an official part of the trail, so take caution. There is wet ground and slippery rocks around due to the glacier and you may lose footing if you aren't careful or wearing proper shoes. My husband and I climbed up to the glacier bit and looking out over the lake and physically feeling the glacier was a wonderful experience. Pictures will be posted on here soon! Over all, this trail is easy, but you can make it more challenging and looking out over the scenery next to a glacier is not a bad way to spend your morning!

Not sure where the main trail head is, we walked 20 minutes over all rock. Tried to hike up next to a waterfall like stream and had to turn around. Terrain and climb was moderate to difficult with little or no payoff. Many people around us were really confused too-very disappointing.

It says closed, but I went on Saturday and it was open. It’s not really a hike but it was a beautiful spot for pictures. It’s definitely worth seeing.

Fun hike! between mile markers 18 & 19 off squaw pass road. Beautiful views at top!

This is one of my favorite hikes yet. You get beautiful views of the city and mountains. There is a cute area at the top that would be great for a picnic. There are a few narrow areas so just be careful with the kiddos.

It was a nice trail. Shaded parts and also parts in the sun. Nice views way up high. Fun hike overall.

Beautiful views for a not-so-difficult hike! It gets a little steep so I'd say be careful bringing visitors here if they're not acclimated to the altitude. Pair this with Squaw Mountain for about 7 miles.

2 days ago

Great easy, short hike for out of towners with a high reward. Extremely crowded which is to be expected for such an easy hike. I highly recommend continuing up to the glacier for a bit more of a challenge plus some great views.

Easy Hike, park on the side of the road. Hike has many exposed area and some shady areas. wear sunscreen. Summit is amazing. No bathrooms anywhere on this trail, plenty of nature

on Chief Mountain Trail

2 days ago

Do this trail!!! Such beautiful views for not much effort. The scrambling at the end is really fun!

Response to post below concerned about little boys carving names in teepee on Horse Thief Falls trail: I was there yesterday, saw the teepee and several marks made by past hikers. The teepee is not sacred, looks like it was made by someone with some time on their hands, using dead wood from the surrounding area.

Carving names into something that's not alive, nor an artifact, is not akin to harming live trees. One could make the same argument about whomever built the teepee in the first place. Shouldn't that person have been equally aghast about that?

I'm glad she didn't scold the mom in front of her little boys. We all have personal opinions and are usually better off keeping them to ourselves. Rating the trail as a 4 due solely to a personal reaction to someone else's behavior is no reflection on the quality of the trail. It is lovely and serene!

While not evident at first glance, the trail continues beyond the series of falls for a while. Absolutely beautiful!

we hiked this trail with our 3 and 5 year olds and it was great! easy enough for them to do without complaining. it took us about 25 minutes to get from the trailhead to the lake. the views from the top were beautiful! the actual hike is fine but not particularly scenic and quite a few people which is to be expected for a beautiful Saturday. we will definitely do this hike again!

on Chief Mountain Trail

3 days ago

Lovely alpine foliage on the trail as well as the drive up. Would recommend as a summit option for anyone not used to the altitude like myself. I paused to catch my breath several times but managed to make my way up in 50 minutes with the steady, moderate incline (656ft/mile). Pretty crowded on a Friday late morning but most trails in Colorado seem to be that way. Enjoyed the scramble at the top, very windy! Stellar 360 views.

nice short and easy trail with a well worth it view

3 days ago

Fun and quick trail. It’s a bit rocky and steep, but an easy trip to do for a nice view of the lake. The lake was pretty and there’s a good area to hangout and swim.

Absolutely gorgeous views for a relatively short hike. The incline makes you work a bit!

This was my introduction to Colorado. It was the perfect distance (for a guy coming from 700ft about sea level). Absolutely beautiful place and great for breaking in the lungs too!

I’ve done this trail twice now and it’s a favorite. It is easy to miss the trailhead because it’s not marked but watch for a long narrow, paved pull out and you shouldn’t miss it! The views from the top are beautiful especially with the leaves changing colors. Pockets of gold are all across the mountains. Trekking poles help as it is a pretty steady climb. The rock scramble at the top is fun!

The start of the trail was a little confusing. It’s mostly a rock path. Once you get close to the glacier it gets pretty steep. It’s a beautiful hike nonetheless!

My first visit to Colorado Springs. I was impressed with the cleanliness of the trail and accessibility. Beautiful!

6 days ago

This is a popular place. I used to live in Colorado and do this hike 3-4 times a year. In the early spring you get a lot of run off. Late July and Aug is the best and you can even take a dive into the lake. Great place for pictures as you summit to James Peak. In Feb/ March this is a great place to sled or ski. We have hiked with our children up to the lake and sled all the way back down to the parking lot.!
Go on a weekday or non holiday! every other day is busy and too crowded. Easy hike for all levels

It was an ok trail. I did this yesterday. Hard to find. Only parking is along side of road, so not the safest. This was a steady incline over mostly rocks the whole time. Wouldn’t really say this is easy though if you’re not in fairly decent shape. I struggled because of constant incline and navigating rocks. However my dogs loved it. The drive up was beautiful though with all the leaves changing.

I arrived at 7:15 am on a Wednesday, I was the only one there. The trail is not obvious but if you scan the other side of the road you'll see it. Like others have said, its incline all the way but not a long hike. Saying its easy is relative though. The most difficult part is following the trail because at times you wonder where the trail goes. The top is a big out crop of rocks. Before you arrive at the top, the trail vanishes and you'll have to climb up the rocks. Going down from the top I had trouble finding the trail but this was my first time. I was all alone at the top, a special experience. There's definitely something magical at the top.

Nice hike with pretty views and close to Evergreen.

First hike anywhere in the Rockies, first mountain hike in years. Parking was good but we arrived around 9:30 a.m. - Returned at 11:40 and the lot was jammed. Trail was fun, mostly rocky, a bit steep the way we went (to left and up, takes you to S. end of lake, off to the right at trailhead would take you to N. end of lake). Though rocky, not marked, it's a nice wide trail the way we went, fairly obvious and I was told more direct as it led to near side of lake.

I did this September 9th 2018 and it is NOT easy, lots of boulders and rocks to slip on but lots of boulders to rest on, when you get to the lake or when you see the lake and St Mary’s Glacier, it all makes it worth while.. just take your time and look around, life is beautiful : )

Lovely views, lots of other hikers. The trail itself isn't very challenging, but the elevation can be if you aren't used to it. The aspens are starting to change, which made the drive out and back very pretty.

Trail was very busy, hard to find a spot to park on a very rocky parking lot. Very rocky trail with no clear markers on the trail, pretty good incline on the trail so I would mark it more moderate. Very pretty once you get to the lake and if you go further up it’s cool to see what’s left of the glacier. But again so many people!

A great hike through lots of terrain to get some miles in without a lot of elevation.

Amazing hike with amazing views. We took our two golden retrievers and they handled it like champs.

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