Explore Summer 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summer 2017 Map
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Loved the hike and the peaceful lake.

Short trail. Kinda packed with visitors. Pretty views.

Strenuous incline for the first mile (you start at 10,400ft.). The hike flattens out in the middle with 2 meadows filled with wildflowers. It finishes with an incline for the last mile or so to the alpine lake at 12,000 ft. You can continue on for unobstructed mountain views and little to no crowds.

To help out some fellow inexperienced hikers such as myself: this trail is SO beautiful and it's one of my favorites so far! But you need to be prepared. It can be REALLY cold and rainy in here, so bring raincoats and potentially gloves and hats if you are one to get cold easily! The temperature in here can be a lot different than Denver. Experienced people probably already knew that but I sure didn't! Enjoy

hiking
1 day ago

Great hiking trail. Prepare yourself for the elevation gain but it’s well with it. Pups loved it too!

my favorite trail. starts out pretty easy but the last mile is pretty difficult. stick through it to be rewarded at the top. awesome flowers and water along the way to the top. easy to get to right off the highway.

The hike was absolutely beautiful! There were a lot of wildflowers and the views at certain points were breathtaking. It was certainly not an easy hike {especially if you’re pregnant}, but definitely worth it! A lot of cute doggos adventuring, too! :)

hiking
3 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.

Beautiful trail - definitely spend some time by the lake if you can! I went in the afternoon on a weekday and it wasn't too busy.

hiking
4 days ago

Nice varied trail. Nice lake destination at the end. I arrived at 8am and there were only a few cars in the parking lot. I had the lake all to myself for a half hour, and then only 6 other people were there for the next half hour. On the way down I did pass 50 people hiking up. So maybe get there early because it is pretty peaceful. I wish people didn’t leave their dog poop bags all over the trails though. Just why????????

on Echo Lake Trail

hiking
4 days ago

Nice, somewhat crowded, trail that goes all the way around the lake. Kids really enjoyed it. Bathrooms are available at different points around the lake, making it user friendly for little ones, and big ones - ha,ha!

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
5 days ago

a beautiful hike

Wonderful trail! Always busy, get there early..

hiking
5 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

It's past peak wildflower season, but there were still some pretty blooms up near the top. Please be mindful that this trail is quite steep and rocky for the first mile and the last mile, so if you're bringing dogs or kids, make sure they have proper footwear (yes-- PLEASE put shoes on your dogs to protect their paws!!). View from the trail just before you hit the lake is gorgeous. Go early to avoid the crowds, we arrived at the TH just after 8:00 AM and snagged one of the last parking spaces. It was windy and chilly up at Herman Lake so bring layers!

hiking
6 days ago

Went hiking on 8/11 and it was great! Got there early around 6:30 and their was plenty of parking. Definitely recommend getting there early to beat the crowds and have the lake and trails to yourself. Coming down it was starting to get overly crowded. Last half mile was a little tough but well worth the views.

I liked that this trail had variety of sceneries. Many shaded area as well as some meadows and rocky terrains. Great for dogs since there is a creek running by, and the lakes to get to. Wild flowers are beautiful in August. I saw a coyote (I think) and moose!

I made it halfway up Timberline Falls, but after seeing 2 gals above me slip and get hurt climbing the wet boulders I decided to stop and enjoy hiking another day. Kudos to those brave climbers. Still a great challenging hike with amazing views! I will enjoy the photos of those that made it to Sky Pond

hiking
7 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.

Don’t be scared off by the incline at the beginning. Great views throughout the entire trip, very wooded in some areas and not in others. We clocked about 7.5 miles round trip.

This was such a beautiful hike! The park rangers were all so friendly and very helpful especially at the beginning when you get to the trailhead. You get a map of the park when you pull in and pay $7 for a day pass. We took the SR trail to the BE trail then went up the LB trail to get to the overlook of Elk Falls, that view alone is incredible!! Then we came back down LB to the CR trail, kind of a difficult switchback but the view of Chimney Rock is stunning! Halfway down the CR you can walk down to Elk Falls. That trail is difficult but once you get to the Falls, every step is worth it! We were super ambitious yesterday (8/11/18) so when we came back up from the falls we continued on CR then got onto the MP trail until we got to the SL trail (a little difficult towards the end of this 1.5 mile trail) then got back onto SR to get to our car. We covered about half of the state park & can’t wait to go back and explore the other half!

Awesome place to take the 4x4 n camp out over night

off road driving
8 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

Scenic and forested. The last 3/4 of the hike got hard and had me wondering if I was ever going to make it, but it was worth the effort to get to beautiful mountain lakes.

off road driving
8 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.

Great hike, some steep parts, but I really noticed the incline more on the way down due to the trail being a bit loose. Great views though, lots of wild flowers, pretty lake at the end. Parking g lot fills up real fast, got there at 8am and it was already overflowing to side streets.

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