Explore todo - 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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We chose to do this trail early before the sun came up to catch the sunrise. It was perfect. Beginning of the trail is very open and wide but once you intersect the homestead trail it becomes more of a “trail” through the trees. Very beautiful and relatively easy. Great for everyone!

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 interval training, good views and not crowded

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.

My boyfriend and I hiked this last Thursday and decided that the boot pack was good enough that we'd go without snow shoes. Mistake. We hiked for quite a while but eventually got to an area where the boot pack was non-existent and we started to sink down in waist-deep snow. We continued on for a while and tried to go up the right side of the gulch via some very slippery rock to get out of the snow, but eventually decided it was best to turn around. We LOVED this hike when we did it in the summer and would highly recommend. The lakes are spectacular.

Great views! Definitely recommend bringing spikes for some areas.

7 days ago

Hiked 3/8. Snow from the Moffat Tunnel mostly packed down first half. Lots of snow second half, recommend show shoes. We made it to the top without, with lots of post holing. About 2/3 into the hike, you come into an opening with 2-3 different paths, stay to the right, you will soon hike in between 2 sawed-off tree stumps, continue up hill through the small canyon to the lake! Amazing hike, beautiful trail! Ps Watch out for cross country skiers.

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

A great way to spend the afternoon. Took us about 3 hours. Great spot to see some foundation ruins from the hotel and nice views of the continental divide. Rock climbers all around. Super close to Boulder/West Arvada

Used snowshoes on a well-packed trail to Naylor Lake. The trail to Silver Dollar is rocky and right near avalanche possibilities (that was our opinion, however, the amount of snow up on the mountains is not significant due to high winds.) It's a short hike up but with the help of alltrails.com, we were able to trek in the deep stuff off trail on the way down. We just had fun and meandered in the 3 ft. of snow off-trail. Thanks AllTrails! We didn't stray too far from the trail either but you don't want to get lost out there!

A quick steep climb. A good walk in the woods.

11 days ago

Was a good trail with some good views at the top. The hike up had a decent amount of ice and some snow. I made it without micro spikes but they would have helped after the first 1.5 miles or so.

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.

Great hike with beautiful views and not too challenging. The trail was quite icy in a lot of spots. I recommend bringing your crampons.

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.

14 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.

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!!

Steep climb with nice views from the top. Make sure when at the top go to all sides to get a 360 view.

17 days ago

Beautiful snowshoe hike. Extremely well marked. Has a 10 to 15% grade for first mile. Mostly packed snow up to the hut. After the hut, trail not marked and mostly powder but easy to snowshoe. Incredible views.

17 days ago

Did this hike today 2/28. Trail was packed down until about a half mile from the lake. You can use just boots, slick in some spots so I used micro spikes. The lake is completely covered in snow. You can snowboard down the majority of the way. Lots of tree cover.

19 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.

Good hike on some packed snow. Gorgeous views! This is my second time doing this trail and it was just as fun the second time.

This was a great little hike out in Eldorado Springs. Since it’s a state park it’s an $8 entry fee, but totally worth it! There was a good little incline throughout the hike, but overall relatively easy. When up there, you can go off the trail a little and see the Continental Divide.

25 days ago

Well maintained trails. Great views right after the recent snow fall. Only saw 2 other people

Awesome views . Short and sweet

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.

awesome views, can be quite icy and slick. bring traction.

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