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Chasm Lake is a 9.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 9.4 mi Elevation gain 2,601 ft Route type Out & Back
Hiking Horseback riding Rock climbing Snowshoeing Bird watching Running Forest Lake Paved River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Scramble Snow Off trail No dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

Reservations to enter the park will go on sale through Recreation.gov at 8 a.m. Mountain Time on Thursday, May 28. Reservations will be available to enter the park from June 4 through July 31. The next release will be on July 1, for the month of August and any remaining days that have not been booked for July. On August 1, reservations will be available for the month of September and any remaining days that have not been booked for August. On September 1, reservations will be available for the month of October and any remaining days in September that have not been booked. Permits issued using the reservation system will allow park visitors to enter the park within two-hour windows of availability between 6 a.m. through 5 p.m. This process will facilitate advance payment of entrance fees, minimize contact between park entrance station staff and visitors and limit congestion in parking lots. The permit system will apply to all areas of the park. In the initial opening phase, the park will open approximately 60 percent of the park’s maximum parking capacity or 4,800 vehicles (13,500 visitors) per day. Trail is fantastic. First part follows the Longs Peak Trail through the woods. Climb is consistent and gentle, very easy. It steepens a bit once you get past the tree line, especially in the stretch immediately before the outhouse at the trail junction. After the junction you go downhill for a bit, and then have to scramble up a ~150 rockfall to reach the lake. Take your time and follow the cairns.

Take Hyw. 7 out of Lyons to Longs Peak trailhead. This trail has some scrambling and there are areas where the path narrows.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1438)
Photos (1886)
Recordings (1084)
Completed (3278)
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Chris Berry
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Hiking
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Chrissie McElwee
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Hiking

Kind of windy above the tree line but beautiful views!

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Kyo Yohena
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 15, 2020
Hiking

asked the ranger today 10/13 if a permit was needed and he said no. so. don't worry if you dont have a park pass. it was pretty cold once the wind hits you and there are snowy/icy patches. when i hiked there were 80 mph winds and i really had to fight the winds. (im only 115lbs) definitely happy i brought a wind breaker alongside my medium weight jacket.

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Larry Martin
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HikingGreat!
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Sam Londres
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Hiking
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Jenna Berry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 11, 2020
HikingGreat!

I love Long’s Peak, but I have no desire to ever summit, so this was one of my favorite hikes. The last 1.7 miles of the hike have great views of the mountain. I didn’t make the last scramble to the lake because my husband was waiting behind for me, but it was still awe-inspiring being that close to my favorite fourteener. Nothing was particularly challenging about this hike, but I would recommend two poles for support!

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Joy Archer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 11, 2020
Walking

Beautiful

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Vladislav Anderson
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Hiking
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Madhan R T
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 10, 2020
Hiking

Coming from Houston, TX, which is approximately 80-100 ft above sea level, the first two days of acclimatizing to Colorado was challenging- despite all the swimming, running, walking, stretching etc done over the last several months. Two days of moderate hiking (3 hrs of mostly flat terrain Fern Lake trail, first day, followed next day by 4 hours covering 11 miles - Sandbeach lake trailhead to the ouzel falls and back, elevation gain of 800 ft(?) in the RMNP, then a days gap to recover, before doing Chasm lake. Acclimatization was not fully done as the 2400 ft elevation gain from the Longs Peak trailhead proved to be, panting all the way-) it was worth every bit of it. The views unbeatable. In May 2013, with the trail still having lots of snow on it, I had a survival experience, which is chronicled here - https://alismac123.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/my-own-the-way-back-survival-at-high-altitude/

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David Carpenter
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Hiking
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April Michelle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 9, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

This is one of my favorite hikes I’ve done - came back to do it a second time today 10/9. Got to the lot at 515 am and there was plenty of parking left. It was windy and cold this morning, especially at the lake. But we had the lake to ourselves for 20 min before heading back down. It’s a long and steady incline to get to the top and there is scrambling at the very end to get to the lake. No snow right now. People are also being dramatic about the horse poop- it’s there but it’s not that bad and you’re outside so it’s not that big of a deal. Saw a moose at tree line off to the right at well. Such a beautiful hike!

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Lauren Hutchinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 8, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeScramble

4.5 stars. This was a great hike and my first in the RMNP. It’s long but not particularly hard - just a grind to get to the top. Once we got used to the altitude, it was a pretty steady hike up. Only a few other groups hiking the trail. Took about 6 hrs with about a 45 min break at the lake. I docked a 1/2 star because it is not the most scenic hike especially below treeline and there was A LOT of horse poop on the trail that we constantly had to avoid,

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Jennifer Ho
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 7, 2020
Hiking

You are in the tree line a long time, but once you get out in the open, you have views of Long’s Peak almost the entire way. It was a steady climb, but there were no super steep sections. I never had to use my hiking poles. The light scramble over the ledge to the lake was like opening a Christmas present. The scramble was easy. Maybe a 150 feet. Just use your hands. I had a bluebird day. Absolutely no wind at the lake and I had the lake all to myself for about 10 mins. I use both Strava and AllTrails to record my routes on hikes. AllTrails always comes out about 0.2 miles short. Strava recorded my route as 9.15 mi and AllTrails recorded my route as 8.9. With a couple of snacks breaks and hanging out at the lake for 20 mins, it took me 5 hrs 20 mins round trip. I got to the trailhead on a Tuesday right before 6 am. Only about 30% full.

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Irina Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 7, 2020
HikingGreat!

Completed this trail 10/05. Arrived to Longs Peak trailhead at 0900. There were 1/3 of parking still availabe. No one checked reservations. Its my 2nd time hiking this one - first time was a few years ago in the summer - million bugs then. This time is perfect. Not that many people on the trail. Fun began when out of tree line - wind!!!! I you have a little imagination you think you on the planet Mars looking at these landscapes. A little tricky to get through steep last climb to get to the lake. I walk all the way to the cliff in front, then zigzag right towards the lake up. This particular spot is walkable.

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Brandon Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Loghan Thain
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HikingGreat!Scramble
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Tiffany Hall
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Hiking

Did this trail earlier today. It was our first “hard” rated trail that actually had some distance to it and we really enjoyed it. Not too too challenging until the very end. I got winded during the last stretch to the lake. The view at the top was definitely worth it, though! We had the place to ourselves for about half an hour while we rested and ate lunch. A little chilly with the wind but luckily we went prepared. We started at 9:45am and got back to the parking lot around 3:00pm. 10/10 would recommend this hike!!

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Mario Ascoli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

This is one of my favorite trails because of the scenery, but also because it was the first trail I hiked when I moved to Colorado a little over 2 years ago. The trail is well marked and maintained but it is a little annoying, especially on the way down, because it has many "steps" that are not well spaced for my gait. Nevertheless, this criticism should not prevent anyone from going up to this gorgeous lake. The ascent is steady and it may get a little steep at times but is readily doable. Once you get to the "top", but before reaching the lake there is a short stretch of pretty level terrain with gorgeous views. The best part is the short scramble up to the lake though because it is fun and it rewards you with a great view of the lake right underneath Longs peak. I posted a recording that clocked it at 8.6 miles with 2600 ft elevation gain and it took us about 6 h total time. Also, although it is said that reservations are required (as they are for other parts of the park) we did not see any sign of this. There is no entry gate, the ranger station at the trailhead was closed and the parking lot was surprisingly empty at 8:30 am.

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Matthew Matthew Diekmann
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Bryan Holekamp
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Hiking

Great scenic trail that takes you to the base of Longs Peak. The parking lot is generally full by 3:00-4:00 AM from hikers attempting to summit Longs Peak. However, you can park on the road leading up to the mountain. (Just anticipate another 0.5 - 1 additional miles to the trip.). There are several compost restrooms at the trailhead. The trail itself is almost all uphill with a few downhill sections. Depending on the time of year, expect to feel the wind and cold as soon as you break tree line. The wind become more erratic as you approach the lake, which is surrounded on 3 sides by mountains. The direction and intensity of the wind shifts constantly. So be careful when you have to rock scramble up the final quarter mile to the lake.

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Kelly Parsons
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Aaron Hart
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Jenna Berry
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Hiking

My husband and I felt like absolute idiots for getting up early this morning, driving 1.5 hours to the trailhead, only to realize we needed a timed-entry reservation to do this hike. And a pass to the park. Is this mentioned in the description? Yes. I know this is all my fault—I blame it on my teacher brain—but just to be extra clear to future hikers—this hike is indeed in RMNP so you need a pass and a reservation (until mid-October). There was not a pay station, but my husband said there was a WiFi hot spot so perhaps you can purchase a day pass on the internet. Best of luck to all. Hopefully I’ll be back in a few weeks with an actual review.

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