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

TO DO TRAILS Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Awesome hike! Went up in November 2018, trail was pretty icy / snowy but could hike it in sneakers (did a lot of butt slides on the way down). The fire tower is well worth the hike and then the climb when you reach it.

Getting to the trail head was very very bumpy and slow moving in some spots.

snowshoeing
2 days ago

First ones on the trail 1/13/18, for the most part followed skiers along the trail I was familiar with. We reached a point where the trail was lost and followed up a skiers way for a bit and turned back. We were about .5mi from the lake which was a bummer !!

Absolutely bring snow shoes and spikes. Views are just fabulous

Beautiful bluebird day! Snowshoes were very helpful with about a mile to go. The trail was clear and easy to follow. I highly recommend!

hiking
5 days ago

Went with just spikes and gaiters. Unavoidably deep at some parts. Waist deep about 0.3 miles from the end of the trail, which was a real bummer.

hiking
6 days ago

Snow packed, great trail to upper lake. Traction was ideal, snowshoes not necessary at all. Clocked 9.9m, 2100’.

snowshoeing
8 days ago

Snowshoed on 1/1/19. Beautiful area and good amount of snow after a couple of miles. Not necessary in the first couple of miles.

Want to test your new microspikes out? This is a great hike. Hard because it ends with an incline. Strava mapping wasn't as great at calculating the distance/elevation gain- was more than 2 miles off (said we hike 11.2 versus the listed 8.7). Enjoy!

Beautiful!

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.

snowshoeing
9 days ago

Lovely conditions on 1/5/19 - snow covering 95% of trail to upper Chicago lake. Most of trail has packed snow, due to heavy use, but adequate to snowshoe, which we did for part, but using micro spikes was ideal due to rocky trail (particularly, the type that have crampons - I use Hillsound, rather than little yaktracks). I snowshoed on the lower reservoir lake surface, which looked to be solid ice. However, use caution...

snowshoeing
10 days ago

Great day to get out and explore. Honestly, the trail is so packed you don't need snowshoes. I put mine on about 1/2 miles before the lake, thinking I would need them, but I didn't. Micro spikes would've been fine. Also agree with the last comment...please pack out all of your trash and your dogs as well.

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
11 days ago

Great hike! Started mid-morning and the sun and incline kept us warm. Snowshoes definitely recommended for the second half closer to the lake. Personally had fun figuring out where i would less likely sink down ha
My friend had snowshoes which helped a lot

hiking
12 days ago

Gorgeous views throughout! We snowshoed today but probably could have gotten away with just microspikes as long as we didn’t step off the trail (we definitely saw evidence of postholing a couple feet deep just inches off the trail). Please pack out ALL trash as there are no trash pick ups here. In other words, please don’t leave bags of dog poop on the side of the trail or laying by the port-o-lets - take it home to throw away. Thank you for keeping the trails clean.

I was able to jog this up and down in just running shoes with a little caution. It’s gorgeous in the winter! Make sure to go the extra couple hundred feet to sprouting rock.

Hiked to Lake Dorothy up the Arapahoe pass on Sept 17, 2018. A beautiful day, we arrived at the trail head at 8:30 AM and were able to find a legal parking space just down the hill from the camping area. We only saw 5 other hikers the entire trip; one woman coming down, two college men who passed us on the way up and three people going up on our way down.
Very windy at the lake, The "shelter" at the the lake is little more than an organized pile of rocks that is too short to protect you from the wind. The Arapahoe trail was protected from the wind, and the sunny south exposure was very pleasant. Completed the 7.6 mile round trip in a little less than 4 hours with a lunch break at the lake.

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 hike overall. Brought snowshoes in anticipation of a lot of snow but micro spikes worked well since the trail was packed snow. Definitely coming back this summer.

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful "gotta do" hike.

hiking
14 days ago

Steeper than you think, but views at the top are spectacular. Leave some extra time to hang out / explore around the lake. Wildflowers are fantastic in season.

Fun hike near Denver. With half the population of the front range. Parking can fill up early.

Great trail for a half-full day adventure the view at the top is so worth the trek. It may be a tough little hike for small kids, out of shape adults or those tourists coming from sea level so plan accordingly. I will do this one once a year now that I know its there.

Best hike ever!

snowshoeing
19 days ago

We went snowshoeing a day ago and it was great conditions and views, especially after a fresh snowfall. Snowshoes are definitely required at this time. Poles were also helpful to have.

This has to be one of the best hikes in Colorado. The trail head is easy to access and the trail is short but steep w/ some scrambling. I did see children on the hike so that trail is family-friendly but the steep, sharp rocks would not be ideal for dogs. I completed this hike in about 3 hours in the summer so it was fairly hot - wear proper shoes and bring lots of water. The views are definitely worth the steep climb!

hiking
20 days ago

One the best hikes ever for our family (completed on 12/26). Totally worth every single step to a winter wonderland. Hiked with my wife and kids 12 and 6. We took plenty of stops for the kids on the way up. Some areas were icy and steep. Strongly recommend good quality snow boots with traction devices attached to them. We got ours from Summit Canyon Mountaineering in Glenwood Springs. They were worth every penny we paid.

hiking
20 days ago

You can’t say you’ve hiked in Colorado without hiking this trail. One of my all time favorites!!

One of my favorites, can’t go wrong in the Brainard Lake area really :) one thing I learned this year: Lake Isabelle serves as a reservoir, and at the beginning of September if gets largely drained. Still a beautiful hike with long lake, a waterfall, and happy doggos. Always see moose up in this area, and marmots and pika often chirp alongside the lake.

Huge coniferous trees and rushing mountain brooks made this trail gorgeous all the way through. My favorite part of visiting Glenwood Springs, hands down! My mother had a bit of a hard time "going straight up", but even she said it was worth it.

Load More