Explore the most popular birding trails in Echo Lake Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
2 days ago

This is a great hike, and an excellent time of the year to make a trek into some high-altitude backcountry wilderness!

When I hiked this trail on 22 May, it was clear all the way to the Lower Chicago Lake. Only in the last mile or so did I encounter any sloppy muddy conditions due to remaining snowmelt runoff. Did not walk on any snow on the trail itself, only a small amount near the Lower Chicago Lake.

Great little hike! Went on a Monday, 5/21; We only went to the first valley @ the creek and back up, which was 1.25mi ea way. Saw maybe 4-5 groups the whole way, couple leashed up dogs too. The trail portion we did was on the edge of the mountain until you got to the creek. Beautiful views and quiet place. Very minimal snow on the ground, and not very muddy at all but ground was wet (rained lightly the two days before). Definitely recommended!

hiking
5 days ago

Great conditions currently and the trail was easy to follow the entire way.

hiking
8 days ago

5/16. Awesome hike with great views. Could only reach lower Chicago lake, still too much snow for upper. Although some hikers went all the way up. Reservoir is also beautiful but worth the hike all the way to the top. Once you pass upper Chicago lake it, the trail continues to Summit Lake and then continues to the summit of Mt. Evans. Waterproof shoes a must. Instagram ec_boyd

hiking
10 days ago

Started at Echo Lake TH. Made it to the reservoir and kept going. To the right of the Rez there is snowpack that is melting. I post holed a little, but was fine. Passed the private property and on up to the lake. The trail near the lake was snowed in so I couldn’t find the rest of the trail. Had lunch to the right/backside of the lake then turned back.

I imagine in the summer the trail continues on past the lake. I looked at the map where you register for wilderness camping and noticed you can summit Evans from this trail, so I know the trail wraps around past the lake, I just couldn’t find the trail because of snow.

Anyway, I’ll give it another shot this summer. Still a decent hike for 5/12/18.

Great hike for early May. The trail was nearly completely snow free and it wasn't terribly hot!! Great views of snowy mountains while you are on dry land! Some parts of the trail were thru forests which is a nice switch up from what I've been used to in CO. The lake is gorgeous and a fun place to sit and watch clouds roll over while drinking water and enjoying a snack and sitting silently without cell service or the sound of cars rushing by. It does become a little physically demanding so lots of water is a must.

hiking
11 days ago

One of my favorite hikes in Colorado. Went up yesterday and the trail was pretty much clear of snow. Some snow in small patches. Beautiful scenery and a moderate amount of people around 10am

hiking
11 days ago

Great variety of scenery; walking labyrinth about 2/3 of the way down the trail. Very little traffic at 8am until about noon.

hiking
14 days ago

Absolutely beautiful scenery throughout the entire hike. Some snow but easily passable with hiking shoes. I brought my yak tracks but didn’t need them. The trail was wet as you get closer to Chicago Lakes #1. If you are careful, it shouldn’t be a problem. My feet were dry the entire hike. There was one slightly sketchy water crossing but it’s not too bad if you take your time and watch where you step.

Started at 9 AM and got back around 2 pm. There is a little snow but I only put on spikes for the last hill going up to the 2nd lake. Otherwise normal hiking boots are fine.

walking
17 days ago

Very easy for a family with small children. Not rigorous or challenging at all; good when you have a 2 year old who wants to walk.

hiking
17 days ago

Great hike! Was on the trail about 8:45 on Saturday morning (5/5/18), we were the first ones up to the lake although we didn't actually go right up to the shore, we basically stopped where the map shows the trail ending, 50 ft or so above the lake. Mud & Snow most of the way after you hit the reservoir. 2-3 feet of snow in a few spots once you're close to the lake made for a few solid postholes, but i don't think snowshoes would be worth it, and the snow will be gone soon enough. Poles & Yaktraks might help but i didn't have either and was fine. Not sure i would classify this as a "Hard" hike, the most difficult part is probably the uphill at the very end, since the trail takes you to the bottom of the canyon from Echo Lake before you start climbing again, but there was quite a bit of level ground as well, not just a constant climb. Will definitely be back in another month or so to try and make it to the upper lake!

hiking
26 days ago

I actually ended up doing this hike by accident. I was planning on visiting the Mount Evans Bypass, but the road was closed. I pulled off to the side of the road to get a picture of Echo lake and ended up walking around it. I saw a sign for Chicago lake and decided to hike it. It was muddy, but that was expected as the snow was melting. Chicago Lake was absolutely worth it. I cant wait to do this hike again in the summer.

hiking
26 days ago

AMAZING hike! I get to see 3 different lakes. Although, it was still icey and deep snow after 3 miles passed from the starting point. I had a HIIT training class all day yesterday so my body was already sore, but I made it to this beautiful hike and so happy I went. Traffic was heavy until about 2 mile point then I didn't see anyone at the end of the trail(right in front of Chicago Lake). Recommend to get there before 10am to find a parking spot nor you'll be out of luck or driving around to find a spot as the weather gets nicer and nicer. You'll need a waterproof hiking boots unless you don't care your shoes to get muddy. Ski poles are not necessary if you only go up to the first 2 miles but it will be handy after the 3rd mile.

Ran into lots of dogs, but I didn't see any trash cans/bags during the hike, so if you take your dogs, please take stuff to take care of your dogs' afterwards.

hiking
27 days ago

We did the trail the morning after a fresh snow. It was beautiful when we headed out. We started out from the lodge up there which is closed during the winter. The trail goes around rthe back of the lake and then you head out to a rocky trail that zig zags down the mountain. It’s is a little narrow in spots and is rocky and slippery in snow. We had yaktrax and they helped. After you get to the bottom you cross a creek and follow a (closed) road up to Idaho Springs Reservoir. From there you trek up to a trail head for Chicago lakes. More rocky fairly steep trail up the mountain that eventually levels out just before you reach the first Lake. We stopped at the first lake but could see the route up to the second. Awesome once you reach the top! Bring sunscreen and plenty of water. Pack light! You don’t need snowshoes as of April and the trail is too rough and rocky for them most of the way anyway. The hike out is tough. Definitely difficult especially if your not used to the elevation. Glad we did it.

Great hike, super peaceful w beautiful views. The last mile was a little tricky because the snow was kinda deep and slushy- but we were fine w just hiking boots the whole time. Stopped and hung out at the bridge over the creek for awhile and it was very peaceful. Saw very few other people

Awesome hike! With the snow, the trail from the parking lot is a little hard to see, but then it’s fantastic and doable. A little icy in spots, but manageable with hiking boots. As you approach the first lake, the snow is deep if you stray off the trail. If you follow people’s footprints, the snow is packed and there are no issues. We went about 20 minutes past the first Chicago lake and then the snow is not packed and very deep and we turned around. Lake is still frozen.

A lot of snow, but packed down and easy to hike. Amazing views. Not busy.

hiking
1 month ago

This place is gorgeous! We ended up going Sunday March 18th, 2018. The frozen lake, the snow and the wilderness was beyond breath taking. There were a lot of icy spots through out the hike. Not many people surprisingly. I would say this is more of an easy/moderate hike than hard. We will be back this summer!

hiking
1 month ago

i was here Saturday (March 24). Made it to the first lake, but it was hard to get to the second lake. Trails were ok, but sometimes would fell a knee deep. It was easy to get to the Idaho Spring Reservoir. It was snowing the day before, so it was not so icy, but bringing Yaktrax wouldn't hurt. one of my friend made it with a regular shoes. Going back was a bit harder because it goes up. I love this trail in the summer, but it was worth it in the winter/spring too.

Even with the adventure of trying to find the second lake, this is one of my favorite hikes. I was here on 3/24/18 and you needed more than microspikes and snowshoes to get to the second lake. We (I made extra friends and we worked as a team and made our own way) fell in knee deep, waist deep and sometimes chest deep of snow. Beautiful hike, beautiful scenery and beautiful wildlife. The second lake was worth falling in snow and bush-crawling. We ended up hiking 12 miles total. The beginning is down hill which made for an extra exhausting hike up on the way back. There’s a waterfall too between the lakes. Will be going back in the summer!

hiking
2 months ago

Went on this hike in the fall last year and it’s still my favorite hike I’ve done in Colorado. It’s got a lot of different scenery and the lakes are a great end point. We got a little turned around towards the end trying to find the right way to the second lake. The beginning of the trail is downhill a ways so it can be rough going back up at the end of your hike.

My favorite hike! Went about a week ago but had to turn back right before the upper lake because of the snow and lack of trail but gonna be going back for an Easter hike, hopefully I’ll be able to make it to summit lake! Very good trial if you like a challenge with views

Beautiful hike! Ups and downs! Pretty snowy but it was packed down well. Some sections of small slippery areas on the path that are along a cliff so a little difficult at time but this trail was definitely worth it for the views!

Hiked on 3/17/18. No snowshoes needed. Bringing micro spikes of some kind is probably a good idea, there were definitely some icy spots but everyone in my group managed without any additional traction. The lake (we didn’t venture up to the top lake) was beautiful and even for a beautiful Saturday there were not many people on the trail. Excited to come back in the summer!

Beautiful place to hike! We went 3/12 early in the morning. We did not do the full loop at the end as the wind picked up, but it was still a wonderful hike. We did read the recommendations to wear yaktrax but we did not, wished we would have at times but it was still doable without them, just need to be careful with the ice!

We hiked this trail yesterday (3/11/18) and it was quite wonderful! We hiked 3 miles in before turning around. The part of the trail we hiked is packed and easy to follow. Microspikes/crampons recommended after the first mile or so. Definitely don’t need snowshoes right now. For such a popular area, there were only about 15 other people the trail. Great hike, in close proximity to Denver.

I did this hike on 3/8, it was a little windy but an otherwise gorgeous day. Didn’t see too many other people out hiking.

Trail is snow packed and flooded/frozen over in spots. Snowshoes are not necessary but micro spikes are definitely helpful.

hiking
2 months ago

A little slick today, but my footwear was comprised only of Mukluks - nothing with much grip. Conditions have been so variable this year that it pays to keep an eye to the west almost daily to really grasp the spacial variability in the Front Range this season.

Bring water, layers, cheese and why the hell not throw your yak tracks in your bag as well. They don’t take up much space and you’ll be happy you’ve got ‘em at least once.

Happy trails!

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