Explore possible - 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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snowshoeing
6 days ago

Great views along the way.

hiking
7 days ago

Surprisingly good short hike that we could access before the RMNP road closures. Did it in boots. A few spots micro spikes may have been nice but definitely not needed for today’s conditions. 1/12.

hiking
snow
10 days ago

Great hike on the 10th during the shutdown, and before the storm that night. Used spikes some of the way and shoes for fun on the trail closer to Sprague. We only saw maybe 10 other people that day on the way and zero the next day after the storm on the 11th going to Bierstadt Lake. The views at Sprague are astounding and the day was perfect. It is a moderate hike in the winter with spikes for backup at least. We turned it into a loop by proceeding past the lake along Glacier Creek, coming back down Bear Lake Rd., and returning to Sprague Lake Rd following to the left, continuing on the trail to cross Boulder Brook and meet back up with the main trail, and home to East Portal. It was 6.8 miles total

perfect quick hike, and the views were great! microspikes were very helpful, and it is pretty windy at the top so bundle up!

hiking
12 days ago

Completed this hike on 1/6/2018 and it was the perfect mid afternoon hike. Not too hard, not too easy in some parts but overall, one of the best day hikes close to the Denver area. The first mile or so will require spikes/yaktrax just to help with the slipping of the snow but the last half mile is not covered and does not require traction. It is always windy at the top so if you plan on spending time up there this time of year, go prepared with some layers. Had an excellent view of the sun setting above Mt. Evans and it probably got better as it continued to set. Parking was easy as there was a lot of it in the designated pull off.

hiking
12 days ago

My first hike in Co. Easy trail and beautiful views! Fairly marked trail, not too much traffic too. Great place for pets too

I'd recommend snowshoes. I had Yaktrax and they worked fine for the first mile, then snow got deeper. Trail signage is not the best - bear hard right for Chicago Lakes trail, the sign is easy to miss. Lots of REI snowshoe tours on the weekend with big groups of people since RMNP is closed. Nice wind break from the trees along the trail.

Nice hike, well marked trail for the most part, beautiful views at the top. doesn't take more than a couple hours to complete the full trip!

Hiked New Year’s Day, definitely needed my spikes, lots of ice but didn’t use my snowshoes, though I had them with. Views at the beginning are nice. People were walking out on the frozen reservoir. I had just got back from vacation in flat lands so I think elevation got to me a bit and couldn’t catch my breath to go all the way to Chicago lakes. I’ll be back to finish that but prob wouldn’t do just a hike to the reservoir again.

snowshoeing
15 days ago

It's a good workout with great views. NOTE.... the driving directions via Google maps is NOT the best way to go. Check another map source before you start the car.

hiking
15 days ago

Went for a sunrise hike and it was spectacular. 14er views for 1/5 the mileage. Started hiking at the trailhead at 6:15 and made it to the top by 7:10, about 10 min before sunrise(by myself, allow more time for a larger group) I would definitely recommend the early start, the white cap mountains were a burnt red before the sun came up, absolutely beautiful. Snow packed still, yak tracks or snow spikes were a great help, would be slipping the whole way down without them. Expect to be the only party on the trail if you go for the sunrise. “Parking lot” is on the right and the trailhead is off the road into the trees on the left as your driving from Denver. 1

hiking
16 days ago

Completed this hike with my fiance' on 1/2/19. We originally hoped to do Dream / Emerald Lake, but could not due to the RMNP road closures resulting from the 2018/19 government shutdown.

Moderate is an accurate description, but only because of the first half-mile, which is quite steep. Past the turnoff for the Emerald Mountain ascent, the trail becomes easy. Trail is well-marked, even despite the snow. It took us 66 minutes to reach Sprague Lake, but made the return trip in 52 minutes. Total time, including 30 minutes of pictures at the lake, came in around 2.5 hours.

Although the RMNP road closure was frustrating, there was a silver-lining: my fiance' and I sat on a bench at Sprague Lake for over 30 minutes without seeing a single other person! Round trip, we saw about 12 people, and 4 deer right off the trail. Views at Sprague Lake were great! Views along the trail to the lake were minimal, but there was a decent variety of plant-life and terrain, given its short length.

Next time, we would prefer to do this hike with chains or microspikes. Snow was minimal at first, but the incline made it a little hazardous. Along the campground, snow was relatively deep, though well trafficked and packed-down - microspikes would have prevented many near-falls.

Overall a good hike that I would recommend, especially if you're hiking with kids, under a tight time schedule, or unwilling / unable to drive into RMNP.

12/30/2018 We went here this past weekend and the snowfall was quite less than I had expected for this time of year. The hike was great with not too many people around. One trekking pole and some Yak Trax were all I really needed as the snow was well packed. Fresh snow just fell yesterday so next weekend we may attempt the entire Chicago Lakes Trail if weather permits.

Great little hike on a great hiking day. Trail is hard packed so microspikes were all that we needed. Bit windy at the top but that's to be expected. Great woods and great mountain views.

Did this awesome hike today. It’s one of my favorites but the first time in winter. Traction on shoes is very helpful but the trail is packed and very easy to follow. The clouds rolled in so there wasn’t much of a view but it’s still a great way to spend the afternoon! The hike through the trees is beautiful. I’m from Dallas so the altitude makes this a moderate, not easy, hike for me. Be careful on the drive on Squaw Pass Rd. We saw one car in the trees and another one being rescued as we drove out.

snowshoeing
24 days ago

Packed snow on trail all the way. No need to have snowshoes but we used them. Beautiful views at the top.

hiked on Christmas day! such a beautiful winter hike, I couldnt recommend it enough :) bring micro spikes if you have them, they'll make you feel unstoppable! happy hiking ♡

Great Christmas Day Hike. There was snow almost every step of the way with bare ground at the top where exposed to the sun. No snowshoes needed on this day. The snow was packed very well. Some people used yaktrax. I didn’t. The views were absolutely spectacular. There is a lot of reward for the effort on this fairly short hike.

Beautiful views from the top!! Did this hike on 12/15, didn’t need snow shoes but yaktrax were necessary!! Snow is packed down on the trail but slippy without them. The whole hike took about 1.5 hours, easy seems like the correct classification!

Super easy and beautiful!

Great trail! Nice and steady incline all the way to the top. Hiked this 12/9, leave your snow shoes in the car, this hike is totally doable with just yaktraks

I really enjoyed this trail. I'm from florida, didn't need spikes uphill, buy used hiking sticks downhill.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this 11/29/18. Fun hike that should probably be labeled as “moderate” in the winter. Used yak traks today and they were very necessary. It is a slog going straight up but the views are worth it!! We breezed down which helped. Trialhead VERY easy to miss as others have stated look for a light reflector sign across from the parking area. Lots of snow on the road to the trail head that a person in front of us got stuck in. Be careful and mindful driving up.

Snow-packed trail that was mostly protected by trees; the wind at the top was brutal in conjunction with the 15 degree temps. Traction wasn’t necessary, but I would bring them just in case.

Yaktracks and layers made this possible and as wonderful as well. Will be back !

This is a great trail to couple with the Squaw mountain. I would suggest doing this one first. This one is still an easy trail, but is slightly more difficult than Squaw. The incline a little more steep. My opinion is this is better because it’s more in the woods and the trail is more fun. The views at the top are stunning as well.
You will be able to identify the parking on the side of the road but the trailhead is easy to miss. It’s on the other side of the road and is a small entry.

As of 11/10/2018 the trail is covered in snow but I didn’t need shoe traction at all and the trail is still being used enough that the path is obvious. A great, short hike with unbelievable views at the top. Download the PeakFinder app for some fun after summiting.

Bring spikes! Great mini hike with incredible views.

hiking
2 months ago

Wear micro spikes.
2 miles straight up but views so worth it.
Incredible

walking
2 months ago

Easy trail with great 360 views. Requires crampons in fall due to packed ice and inclines

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