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

Idaho Springs/Georgetown Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
2 hours ago

a beautiful hike

hiking
12 hours 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.

Great views and a well maintained trail. We drive our Outback up to the trailhead parking lot no problem. Few spots where good driving was needed due to drainage ditches. Wouldn't want to take anything with lower clearance than an outback though. Started hiking at 0830 and saw only a handful of hikers. By the time we were done, the lot was full and the trail was quite a bit more populated. Totally worth the hike though!

I give this hike 3 stars in the summer and 5 stars in the winter. It's a great location, just over an hour from Denver and you get to go through Georgetown and past Idaho Springs which both have fun food/drinking options for post-hike. For summer, the hike is easy/moderate and isn't terribly exciting - ranging from 4 or 6 mi round trip depending on if you're able to take the AWD road or not. People mention wildflowers, but compared to most other hikes in CO, there were next to none. This is a lovely quick hike if you just want to get outside and move for a bit, but isn't particularly photogenic if that's what you're looking for. However, in winter it's spectacular for snowshoeing. We came on a Saturday in April and didn't see another soul til we got to the car. It's more strenuous on snowshoes, so that makes it a little more entertaining. The trees are beautiful in winter and you can't beat walking on a frozen lake.

This hike packs a lot in 4 miles, forest, meadow, great views throughout and three beautiful alpine lakes. Of course this also make it very popular. While there is not a lot of elevation gain it is over a fairly short distance so the trail is steep and rocky in a few spots. The last push to the top lake is short and up. Keep in mind you will be above tree line most of the hike so be prepared for whatever weather. This is a great hike for those who want a lot of beauty without a lot of mileage.

Wildflowers, snow pack, Alpine lakes! Awesome hike! It is a very busy trail that at times is hard to pass other hikers so come with patience. The road to the upper lot is very rough. AWD for sure with good clearance, but there was a Mercury Milan in the upper lot so maybe a regular car could make it carefully. Bring bug spray and sunscreen!

hiking
2 days ago

It's a pretty straightforward 13er with spectacular views! A lot of incline at first but then its mellows out shortly before the summit.

hiking
2 days ago

Great 13er to try, especially when 14er training. I would not say this trail is easy as it’s a steady incline most of the way with a few straight away moments.

The vast majority of the hike is above timberline, so plan bathroom breaks accordingly. There is a great bathroom at the parking lot. Although, during this last visit it was a disaster zone.

Expect windy conditions no matter what day you choose. However, we benefited from a beautiful, sunny day.

The trail to the top and back is closer to 7 miles versus the 6 listed on all trails. The view at the top are spectacular and worth the trek.

The view is amazing! Someone was also kayaking in the Silver Dollar Lake.

hiking
2 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.

I was blown away by the views of this hike! There’s actually three ponds, if you go out a bit past the first one and the views from there are amazing! It’s super short and there’s not really any hills. Good for families with kids and for those not able to do much hiking but still want to see some crazy good views.

hiking
2 days ago

Breathtakingly beautiful and easy. We wanted a short little hike before dinner and boy did this location deliver. Gorgeous views 360 degrees. Make sure you hike out to the third pond!

The road heading into this system of trails is very banged up in some places. I didn’t want to take my CR-V up to the trailhead, I parked about a mile away. But I saw a lot of trucks heading up there. Part of the trail is a road. So you have to move out of the way for cars often.

The lakes are very nice and clear! They get prettier as you progress from 1-3. There is a very pretty waterfall up by the third one.

Overall it’s very pretty, but it’s difficult to get to and most of its more for like a dirt road than a trail. Great for more hardcore off roading!

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

Beautiful hike, great views and perfect weather!

Got there at 8am (Saturday), parked at bottom lot after questioning driving up the dirt road (on my way out there was a crew filling in the holes with dirt to make it more accessible). Only ran into a handful of hikers on my way up (I also try to hike at a faster pace). Could have made it up faster, but the views were too beautiful and I kept stopping to take pictures. On my way down is when I really started to run into hikers with their dogs. Also saw families with young kids and a trail runner. Round-trip took me 3 hours, but I didn't stop and have lunch at the top - only took in the views for a bit, took pictures and then headed back down. The higher you get the trail narrows in a few areas, but wasn't bad - still clearly marked.

If you park at the bottom lot it is a bit more challenging, but I enjoyed the challenge (for me it wasn't too bad). By the time I left both the top lot and bottom lot was full. I was the 2nd person in the bottom lot when I arrived. Within 15min it started to fill up. Agree with previous comments - stop in Georgetown to use a bathroom before you get to the trail - there are no bathrooms or trash cans. Also saw the issue with left dog poop. It was chilly when I started, but by the time I made it to the actual trail head I was fine and the day continued to warm up!

Tough ascent in the beginning but worth it. First hike only see from a view. Once out of the tree then nice view, stream crossing, snow crossing.

Silver dollar is nice but if you went this far then go to Murray. Some other guys made it to silver dollar and turned around (didn't think Murray lake would be better)

On the way to Murray, mostly uphill but here is where all the flowers are!! Making it up, it would have been great to be able to explore but we had rain concerns (caught in rain, hail on the way back).

Did this hike with wife and 2 and 5 year old with child carriers for both. 5 yr hiked once we got above tree line on way up. On my way down she was carried , as we were trying to get out of the rain.

Lovely, easy 13er with decent views. Completed back in June when there was still some snow on the route.

hiking
4 days ago

Very nice hike, mostly above treeline. Nice views but also very windy for about half the route. Not too busy on a Saturday (8/4/18) but parking lot was full.

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

Minus the 12 bags of dog poop on the way up. Was a good time.

Fantastic short hike for flatlanders staying at keystone and wanting to get away from the hustle of Summit County. Breathtaking views , clear water and wildlife.

Very nice day hike. **Would absolutely recommend driving up the dirt road to the actual trailhead if you can. Our hike up that road was exhausting. For context, even a Prius made it up that road.**
We are from Nashville, TN and are of average fitness (we were accompanied by my parents who are in their mid-60s). The hike from the bottom of the road to the second lake and back I measured at 7.5 miles. This was a very challenging hike for my parents and we took many breaks. We started at 10am and got back to our car at 3pm. The hike into the lakes is completely uphill but is very beautiful. First mile and a half is in the forest and then the rest is above treeline. There were lots of wildflowers and great views. Foot traffic on a weekday was very light. Trail was very well marked. We enjoyed this hike but was more strenuous than we anticipated.

Awesome hike! You start at high elevation and will certainly feel it on the way up but it’s a nice steady incline. The views are magnificent along the way and especially above the tree line! Get up there early cause we got caught in a storm with lightening and hail- no joke!

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
8 days ago

Easy, yes, but very pretty. As someone else said, the perfect short hike.

8/4/2018
Pack layers, it's chilly and windy at the top! The gradual incline and occasional flat parts made this a really good starter high elevation hike for me (new to CO from NE). It's more of a harsh mountain terrain and not so pretty like some other spots in Arapaho National Forest. Lots of friendly folks out on a Saturday!

Great hike! In two miles you get to see 3 alpine lakes with moderate incline! The wildflowers and blooming and I even jumped in for a quick swim. Would recommend to all since the trail is well marked and trailhead is easy to get to as well!

What an awesome day hike within a day's drive from Denver! Parking is free and easy, I think most cars could make it up the bumpy dirt road to the trail head. The dirt road is just past Guanella pass campground. Trail is easy to follow aside from one switchback in the forest, which we missed and another hiker. It is within the first half mile of the trail.

be sure to go all the way past the second lake. You will see a lake down below, but that is not Murray lake or silver dollar. Keep going past the second lake you see to the third, it is well worth the steep incline once you are able to view the mountains and two lakes below. The trail was not too crowded, lots of dogs. All total for us, it was about 5 miles, not 3.9. It took us 2.5 hours with a large break at the very top lake. We were the only people at the top and had the whole place to ourselves! I would def go again since it was a short drive, free, and not crowded! I'm going to check out some more hikes on Guanella pass this year.

Loved this trail! My husband and I got to the trail head about 730am and it was quite empty. The trail head is across the highway from the parking which was kind of scary, but at 730am there wasn’t much traffic. We started the hike through the trees and t was beautiful. Once we broke tree line it was AMAZING. It was quite windy, and we were not prepared for that but I guess that’s what happens with novice hikers

Load More