Explore new hikes to try - 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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Hiked 3/14. Made it all the way up with boots and poles. Poles were a must or at least spikes as it's steep and slippery. The last mile I was sinking in the snow quite a bit so I actually put snowshoes on to get back down to the river bottom. Awesome winter hike!

No trax needed, couple of icy spots no mud frozen falls beautiful trail low traffic start at 9 am. First trail sign takes to cliff loop come back other way

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

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.

Nice easy hike

Lots of snow. Need microspikes and snowshoes. It is a great workout as it is steep.

My husband and I took 3 babies and our 5 year old today. It was beautiful but much harder of a climb than we expected carrying one baby in a pack and pushing the other 2 babies in a double bob stroller while the 5yo walked. Water still 99% frozen but beautiful still!

18 days ago

Nice hike with expansive views to the south. The change of terrain along the way makes it an interesting half day outing, passing through the meadow, forest and rockier summit.

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.

Good trail - we hiked it the first week of March and it had a good amount of snow and ice we had to hike through but not too bad even without a nice pair of hiking shoes. We got to see a moose! It did get a little confusing because there are three loops that intersect one another so if you take the wrong turn you have to back track but it was overall very enjoyable. We will be back in the spring!

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.

19 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.

Spikes were sufficient until about a mile before the lakes

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.

Yaktrax were needed. The falls are still frozen but was a great hike.

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!!

24 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.

Beautiful area especially seeing it right after the recent snow fall Wednesday 02-21-18.. Little easy for my taste as it left me wanting more but still loved its beauty. Snow packed did not feel the need to put microspikes on but slippery in places.

Awesome views . Short and sweet

1 month ago

Amazing workout, stunning views!

Nice hike. I connected Too Long to create a loop, resulting in 10 miles. I also agree this is morderate, not hard.

The terrain varied all the way to the top (meadows, rocky crags, forest). Not much snow until last push to Windy Peak - where traction devices proved very useful. We took Mountain Like back (via Hidden Valley), which was gently downhill pretty much the entire way and gave us different scenery.

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.

Lovely and pleasant 2.5hour walk through the forest, so quiet and peaceful. Didn’t come across too many people. Path was mostly good although some areas rather icy - we managed with good walking shoes but would recommend stabilizers. Not that strenuous, but a good bit of exercise!

good hike, yaktrax helped a lot with ice

Did this trail on Thursday February 8th. There was hardly any snow or ice until the last .5 mile up to Windy Point. It was totally doable with a good pair of shoes. Nice hike, well maintained and marked.

I left my dog leash along the trail somewhere. I hope it finds a happy new home.

Snowed all morning, but no wind. It was awesome. Most of the trail is good enough to walk on with hiking boots, snowshoes would have been extremely helpful, skis would have also been nice. I have neither snowshoes or skis so I didnt make it to the lakes, started post holing every step about 3/4 mile to the lakes so I turned back. Hey it was worth a shot.

awesome trail

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