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Great loop if you’re in the mood to hike but not kill yourself with ridiculous incline. Beautiful views throughout but the summit by one of the falls is

Did this hike in the beginning of fall. Aspens were starting to peak and it was absolutely gorgeous!! Would do this hike again in any season, it’s awesome. Very dog friendly and the trail is thin so if your dog isn’t quite friendly, be wary of passing dogs. The only thing that turned me off was the amount of dog poop bags along the trail. Pick up your dogs poop!! It’s stupid to just pick up your dogs poop and leave it in a bag as trash, id rather you not even pick it up. Lastly, it’s off roading to get to the trail head and parking fills up fast, so get there early. Awesome hike!

amazing winter hike. snow was loosely packed, not icy. I hiked in just boots with good grip. get out here when the snow is fresh, it's stunning!

My first real “hike” in Colorado. At the start of the trail I saw so much dog poop. I am glad it wasn’t all over the trail. Once you head up in elevation the pine trees start appearing. So scenic. The waterfall was frozen but I bet in the spring it’s stunning. I’ll be back.

Excellent hike!

10 days ago

12/8/2018 - A good amount of ice on the trail, so I would recommend spikes at minimum, but a fresh dusting of snow left the trail impassable with about 0.7M to the end (~1.5ft of snow, and I only had spikes on). Most of the snow on the first half of the road had melted, so not ideal for XC skiing or snowmobiling anymore I’d imagine. Only option for parking is illegal street parking.

Hiked this trail 4 days ago. It was icy with light snow coverage. I used micros which helped a great deal. The frozen waterfall was beautiful!! A great winter hike. I look forward to doing this hike in the spring.

Only two types of vehicles can make it up the road, 4WD or rentals. We had a rental and if you took it slow, it wasn't much of a problem. This may be the prettiest start to a trail that I have ever hiked. A beautiful lake framed by the mountains, it was awesome. The only disappointment was that you could hear the falls from miles away but when you arrive, you can't get a good view of them.

Agree with comment below.

Didn't need spikes today. Nice view at the top, quick hike close to Denver.

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.

hiking
14 days ago

Great winter hike! Did this one today, and there is a ton of snow, but we managed with just spikes. There were a lot of people snowshoeing and cross-country skiing -- good trail for that as well. The lake is completely frozen over, but the views are amazing.

Great hike in the winter.. Not as many people, no snakes and there is actually a waterfall (frozen today)

hiking
14 days ago

Hiked the trail 1/5/19 with spikes. All the way to the lake, the snow on the trail is packed down and snowshoes aren't really necessary unless you want to hike off trail or maybe you're hiking the day after a snowfall. We hiked a little of the Devils Thumb trail from the junction of the Kings Lake trail and snowshoes would be handy there.

Parking is along the side of the road up to and just below the junction of Hessie Road and the 4th of July Road (which are closed). On a weekend day, get there by 8 am or earlier to avoid crowds and parking. We were done around 10:30 am and from the beginning of signage for roadside parking to the junction it was lined with cars, with still more people coming up and trying to find a park spot.

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.

Did this hike on 1/4/2019 and was beautiful. Great snow hike. My girlfriend and I just had YakTrax and boots but saw many others with cross-country skis and snowshoes.

For those with Two-Wheel Drive cars: I have a Toyota Celica and made it to the parking just fine but word of advice would be to park sooner rather than later. At the end of the trail is a hill to turn around. I couldn’t make it up this hill due to snow and ice so I had to reverse my way out. Once you see a parking spot, take it.

Overall great trail and friendly people. The snow made it more of a moderate-hard trail mainly due to the steep grades and slippery snow.

Easy to moderate hike, quick and beautiful.

Loved this trail. Easy to follow. Packed down nicely. Probably could’ve done just fine without snowshoes up until closer to the lake, but I was really thankful to have them.

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.

Easy snowshoe with some decent views. Crowds and parking are kind of a drag.

Easy hike near Denver. Falls aren't awesome. Worth a trip to get some Vitamin N.

UPDATED: Never found our car keys, but have already contacted the number below and they were not ours. Thank you all for checking in with me though! Happy 2019, and Hike On!

The snow was quite packed and I had no problem hiking this trail using micro spikes without snow shoes.

My first snowshoeing experience! So much fun!

Beautiful trail, but it’s really easy to miss the falls. Look for the sign!

Light snow on trail, very quiet, the ice of the falls had a blue hue. Great short hike through tall pines sprinkled with snow.

Excellent views; great introduction to Fort Collins.

Hiked on Christmas Day and maybe encountered a dozen other people total. The hike is simply beautiful and challenging enough to make me feel really satisfied! The trail is very icy (dirt covered) in many places but other than that, it was clear. The falls were incredible and I’d recommend the hike!

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