Explore To Do - 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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hiking
17 hours ago

Fantastic 13er! We were in the parking lot by 8:30 on a Saturday and there was not a ton of traffic on the way up. Certainly more as the day went on, but nothing like some of the 14ers around. Great views and steady incline but nothing ridiculously hard. Would be a good into elevation hike for people!

hiking
1 day 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.

hiking
1 day ago

Very rocky trail, too many people and a drained lake. It should be called a reservoir not a lake. People should be TOLD when getting a permit that the lake has been drained. Huge disappointment. (see pic of Jasper pond)

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
1 day 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????????

Lots of boulders to scramble and hop over. Lots of shade and running water to enjoy. Watch out for moose and bears. This was a very enjoyable hike. High altitude, cooler temps, lots of lush forest and beautiful scenery. Most of the people that we met on the trail were really nice and chatty.

A little trail etiquette goes a long way. We were passed by a large group of hikers, blasting their favorite jam, along with three dogs running at top speed - obviously off-leash. One of the dogs almost knocked me off the trail and covered my legs with mud and dog hair. There was no acknowledgment from the hikers in the group or an apology. Not cool. Lets be considerate.

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
2 days ago

a beautiful hike

Wonderful trail! Always busy, get there early..

hiking
3 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.

Beautiful trail! perfect challenge for two sea-level-dwelling moderately fit people. the first two miles are a piece of cake, last mile is steeper and involves some light scrambling. We got there around 10 am on a Sunday and it was fairly crowded on the trail, but if you appreciate friendly fellow hikers and cute pups it's not a problem.

hiking
4 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!

Great, challenging hike. You must go early to get a parking spot.

Excellent day hike! Did this with my father who is in his 60’s and my son who is 13. Make sure to check the weather before going and pack a jacket, it can be cooler in certain areas even in July when we went. Great views!

hiking
4 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.

hiking
4 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
4 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.

hiking
5 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.

When we do this one again, we will probably make it an out and back vs a loop. Half of the loop is on a gravel/rock road and isn’t very pretty. We preferred the tree-covered dirt trail.

Great hike! Parking was a bit chaotic but didn’t see a ton of people on the trail. We had a large group with several kids ranging from 7-16 yrs old. We enjoyed the hike through the forest and seeing the falls. But the best park was making it to the lake. Our dog jumped in right away to cool and swam around. Highly recommend this trail to families with kids!

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

I usually love this hike but the lake was about half drained, almost no water.

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.

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

hiking
7 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

Very busy, however, well worth the trek.

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.

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