Chasm Lake

MODERATE 343 reviews

Chasm Lake is a 7.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2522 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

horseback riding

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

snow

no dogs

Take Hyw. 7 out of Lyons to Longs Peak trailhead.

hiking
7 hours ago

Started this hike around noon yesterday and made it to Chasm Lake in 2.5 hours! Would recommend starting earlier due to weather but we got lucky! Pretty rigorous hike, but soooo worth it! The wildflowers, waterfalls, and alpine terrain are too beautiful for words! Lots of curious marmots on trail. Be careful crossing snowy areas this week as one of my steps broke through surface revealing open space and a decent fall beneath the snow! Be careful! Overall, one of my favorite hikes! Have fun!

hiking
2 days ago

This is an absolutely beautiful hike! All the snow is pretty much melted outside about a 20 yard section that you have to cross right before getting to the lake. I would say this hike is in my top most scenic hikes!

hiking
8 days ago

So far this is my favorite hike in RMNP ( I still have lots to go). FYI, I got to the trailhead at 7:45 and the people were already parking pretty far down the road. Steady climb for almost four miles through forest with a couple of surprise waterfalls. The last quarter to half mile are fairly steep and rocky with an uphill scramble at the end to get to the lake. Absolutely gorgeous at the top with 800 foot pillars of rock surrounding you. Only a couple of snowy spots left on the trail. Surprisingly quite on the trail despite the crowded parking lot (most people must be on Lon'g Peak.

9 days ago

Round trip - 8.6 miles (per park office and recording)
Some snow in the final mile, no poles needed or special equipment - take it slow and enjoy the waterfalls and views.
Great hike overall, but certainly not for beginners.

11 days ago

Awesome hike. Very strenuous. 4.25 miles each way, so the distance is actually nearly another mile than suggested on this site. But it’s all up hill 2.5 miles of forest with running water and log crossing into alpine tundra. Get up past the tree line and get amazing views of Mount Meeker, Longs peaks’s black diamond and Mt lady Washington. Come to the trail junction at battle mountain .3 miles and turn left to head up to the chasm lake at 1.7 miles remaining. Once you get to the trail junction of chasm and the boulderfields stay left and see views of peacock pond. Hike a ridge and cross some snow fields to the end of the trail right under chasm lake. Beautiful views of the twins sisters and the basin behind you and surrounded by the the three mountains mentioned as well as views of two waterfalls. Scramble up the rocks to chasm. It’s still frozen. The hike is speactacular. And very rewarding. There are restrooms. At chasm and at the junction as well. Enjoy!!

13 days ago

Snow fields were intimidating but rewarding, a hiking pole definitely helped. IMO the rock scramble to the top puts this hike closer to the hard category. I encountered a few confused hikers midway up the scramble who had no idea how to proceed, since there's no trail or a sign to which way Chasm is. You could very well climb the opposite direction. Download the trail map prior to hiking and you'll be golden though!

13 days ago

I did this in late August last year and I definitely plan to go back this summer! Magnificent views of Longs Peak after a fun scramble to the lake. Parking is hard on the weekends, so get here early or pick a weekday. I got dropped off at the trailhead while my companion did an easier trail towards the bottom. There are restrooms at the trailhead and a privy along the way. Highly recommend once it gets later in the season!!!!!!!!

14 days ago

Beautiful hike. A little challenging with snowfield but I’m an amateur. Bring sun screen!! It’s worth the scramble at end to see the Chasm Lake. Had a great day!

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful and challenging hike. Excellent views. Friendly marmots!

hiking
22 days ago

Great hike with amazing views. Hiked on 5/27, snow on trail about 2 miles in that was soft but manageable without traction. More snow as you approach the waterfalls closer to the lake, can be a bit tricky but doable without traction as well, just take it slow. The final climb to Chasm lake requires some scrambling to avoid some more snow. Though all completely doable it adds a bit of a challenge at the end.

hiking
23 days ago

Absolutely stunning hike. It's not an easy hike, but it's also not a super difficult hike (like if you wanted to summit Long's Peak). Don't forget sunscreen everywhere as it's easy to get burned up there if they sun is out. There was a good section right before the last stretch where we had to traverse across a somewhat steep snow field. While it was a little nerve racking, it wasn't hard at all. I am sure this will be gone by June. Made the hike kinda fun actually. Bring plenty of bars/water of course as it's nearly 8 miles round trip. What I love about this hike over some other hikes you can do in RMNP is the beauty and majestic views are really drawn out for along section of the hike. The last quarter - third of the hike is going down along a valley towards the lake where you have a constant view of the wall of rock leading up to Long's Peak. Definitely a win if you want to enjoy Long's Peak without having to scale the summit.

hiking
27 days ago

We were in Estes Park in mid-June and wanted an upclose of Long’s Peak. But without crampons and ice picks nor previous experience atop Long’s, we opted not to die but to do Chasm Lake instead. It was a decent step down hike.

A “moderate” difficulty ranking is appropriate. Nothing technical. It won’t leave you beat up.

As usual, very windy and gusty coming off the diamond of Long’s face.

Columbine Falls and Peacock Pool were beatiful and the pool appropriately named.

Dress in layers and get there early since it’s the same parking lot as Long’s!

1 month ago

Snow packed majority of the time with some large snow drifts. Didn’t need traction but snowshoes might have helped as you get to the top. The lake is starting to melt ever so slightly but it was a beautiful day with minimal wind! Long hike but worth it!

1 month ago

A challenging time in the snow with some narrow crossings over creek flow and on the trail just before Chasm Lake. The frozen lake is very clear and the boulders in the lake are like sculptures glimmering under the crystal clear lake surface!

1 month ago

Love this trail

1 month ago

About 0.5 miles in, snow and ice almost completely cover the trail still. Micro spikes and poles are advisable. About 2ish miles in, you summit to the cirque (not a pretty area), which strangely has little ice and snow. At the summit of the cirque you have a nice view of Peacock pool. From there you’ll hike the ridge, which is just snow. It’s sketchy at points so poles are highly useful at this point. After, dropping down, you’ll hike a little further until you summit up to Chasm Lake. Beautiful view of the lake.

1 month ago

I did this trail on 4/22/18 with no spikes and a walking stick. Parts of this trail got really sketchy without spikes. I got through it but would definitely not recommend going with just hiking boots, it got real dangerous but the view at the top is really amazing. Took me 4hrs to go there and back

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on 4/17/2018. Left Long's Peak Ranger station at 9:15am and reached Chasm Lake at 12:00pm. Did the whole trail with micro-spikes only. Trail is well traveled and well packed. Micro spikes a must. Weather was perfect on the way up, clear and a little windy. On the way back around 1:30pm it got really windy and started snowing. I made a hustle to get back to the treeline as fast as possible. Made it back to the Ranger station at 2:15pm.

Love it. Amazing views!

2 months ago

Hiked on 4/16, the trail is well packed with snow, and not super icy. I would still recommend spikes and poles, but snowshoes are not needed. Above tree line, this trail can be brutally windy. Me and some other hikers in front of me were turned back by gale force winds that would knock you over and make it difficult to move forward. I would recommend checking the wind conditions for the trail, but even making it as far as I did the views of Longs Peak were seriously awesome.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful winter hike, gorgeous views of Longs Peak. Didn't need the snowshoes yesterday but was glad to have the microspikes. There are a couple areas of exposure just before the big snowfield traverse, probably better early with ice and microspikes than later with softer snow.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on April 14th. Great hike! Definitely need micro-spikes. Really, really beautiful. The drop from the trail to Chasm Lake is actually pretty steep, which in the snow we decided to do anyways and just took some small boulder climbing. AMAZING views. The final few turns in the trail after the privy had some icy spots with steep drop offs but with the micro-spikes it wasn’t bad at all, just take it slow if it’s icy. It’s just so freaking beautiful. Start early in the morning. It gets icier and windier in the afternoon.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on 4/9. There was 2-3ft of fresh snow above tree line which made it very difficult to find the trail. Snow shoes are a must with all of the snow.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked today 3/25. Started early in the morning and was the first one to the lake. Only need microspikes, snowshoes are a bit much, at least until the next snowfall. I started at 6:00am and it was a bit windy. Made it past the snowfield with no problem thanks to the previous tracks......but coming back was a different story. I stayed at the lake for about 2 hours and that was enough time for the sun to soften the track on the snowfield. As I was coming back across I slid about a quarter of the way down and had to dig into the side of the snowfield to make my way back up. Be careful once the snow begins to melt it can be a bit treacherous. I would go as early as possible if the weather is warm, to make sure the snow stays solid.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on 3/24/18. Started at 7am with mostly snowpacked trails along the way. Met up with a couple other guys at the Chasm/Boulderfield split, and hiked all the way to the lake. We hugged the upper incline and it was fresh 4 in of powder with a thick layer of ice underneath, highly recommend at least microspikes. The wind was mild and final destination was totally worth it!

2 months ago

Hiked 03/24/18- microspikes very helpful. Multiple social trails after treeline break so keep your eye out for the cairns but you have an epic marker: the diamond and keyhole of Longs Peak. Above treeline, very mild “posthole-ing” (less than 8 inches) but past the fork to Chasm or Boulderfield is a different story. Too off camber for snowshoes in my opinion and spikes worked but you had to be diligent. Considerable “posthole-ing” at times just before the 2nd privy and headed up to the lake (depending which route you took: Rocky scramble/icy or posthole land). We lucked out with little to moderate winds and lots of sunshine! ENJOY!

hiking
3 months ago

Spikes only needed on 3/17

3 months ago

Spikes are definitely needed, hiking sticks come in handy as well. Bundle/layer up for sure and enjoy the beauty that is Chasm lake, so worth the climb!!!

3 months ago

Microspikes were definitely helpful, but snowshoes are probably overkill now. We had no problem making it to the lake with just spikes. The snow was only not packed down right near the lake

3 months ago

Tried to do this hike a week ago. The snow was not packed at all unlike many of the other reviews. Our feet sunk in 3 feet with every step on the way up and it was incredibly tiring. Once we broke the treeline, the wind was so strong that the trail disappeared and my gps unfortunately glitched out. We brought microspikes and trekking poles, but I imagine snowshoes would've made it a lot easier. We had to turn around past treeline due to the aforementioned things, but I still enjoyed it and will be trying again soon.

hiking
3 months ago

Attempted on 1/27/2018.
I used my Microspikes and found it very doable. Made it all of the way to the base of the lake after pushing through 50+ mph winds. Only to find that that the snowfield had not yet been traversed. The guy in front of me had 2 ice axes and crampons and was not able to make it across. It was absolutely beautiful and will try again!

Load More