Chasm Lake

MODERATE 497 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
2,522 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
21 hours ago

Nice hike with great views. Fun rock scramble at the end right before chasm lake.

hiking
4 days ago

Amazing! Beautiful hike with a great variety of scenery. Fairly tough incline throughout, but manageable if you pace yourself, and is worth it for the amazing views at the top.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful views.

5 days ago

This was such a good sunrise hike. We had a very large group but everyone was able to make it up and down the scramble at the lake. If you’re not in great shape, the elevation gain will be challenging especially getting closer to the top. It was also super windy for us and I felt that I was going to be pushed over the edge into the gorges below us (it was also really dark too).

hiking
5 days ago

First off I would rate this as moderately hard haha. Only because of the elevation gain. The scramble at the end up to see the lake isn’t bad either and definitely worth it ! Lovely spot to rest and take in the beauty of the mountains and the crystal lake . Absolutely gorgeous .

10 days ago

This is so worth the hike. The lake is pretty and the view from the top looking down to the lake was awesome. The first part goes through the forest and I almost thought there isn’t much to see but as you gain elevation, it gets prettier and prettier. A little windy on the top. Don’t forget your wind jacket.

11 days ago

I had a great time on my trip to Chasm Lake, the views are remarkable and everyone I met along the way couldn’t help but gush about how unreal it is. My trekking poles helped me out a lot on the way back down, as did my headlamp - just keep your eyes peeled, I had a nice little run-in with a baby brown bear and had no intention of waiting around for it’s momma! Enjoy

hiking
13 days ago

In my mind this qualifies more as a climb than a hike. Very strenous. the first part of the hike to the tundra is like a staircase with steps created from logs and rock. These steps can be couple feet high and it is interesting to see how people have created mini diversions around the steps. Be prepared for a very tough day and try to avoid weekends. Gets very crowded.

hiking
18 days ago

Did this on a Tuesday and loved it. The trail wasn’t crowded at all and we were able to park easily around 7 AM. Did get a little hail on the way back so watch the weather and come prepared with rain jacket and hat/gloves. Trail is really nicely maintained and the elevation gain is spread out mostly over the forest section and a long stretch of tundra. The scramble to the lake itself isn’t well marked at all but there are a few ways to go about it and no real danger of hurting yourself if you go wrong and need to double back. Lake is beautiful. Watch out for marmots and pika trying to get your snacks! Trekking poles were majorly helpful getting back down.

hiking
19 days ago

Tough incline. Steep rock scrambling at the end to get to the lake, but you are rewarded with gorgeous views. The way down is no picnic, most of the way is covered in large rocks.

hiking
19 days ago

Great hike, elevation climb is pretty intense. Small amount of rock climbing to get to the lake. All worth it, beautiful scenery

hiking
26 days ago

Fun hike, we managed to luck into getting a good parking spot at the base. Good tree cover so we didn't get too baked but still good views towards the top. The lake water was refreshing to dip your head in at the top after all that hiking. The incline is real though so be ready for that.

26 days ago

Great views of the twin peaks as you head up the trail. The last tenth of a mile is quite steep and challenging, but the lake view is a great reward. Watch for wind and colder weather above the tree line

hiking
27 days ago

The climb looking into Longs peak is iconic Colorado Rockies.The final reveal after the boulder scramble is most excellent. The length is actually around 11 miles.

29 days ago

So beautiful u will be so glad you did it! Make sure you go on past the first lake (Peacock Lake) on to Chasm Lake .
Our favorite hike of the week !!!!!
( bonus : write this down for epic beauty hike in Idaho: Kane Lake - off the grid , ask locals!)

29 days ago

Tough hike and the views keep getting better as you go. Awesome finish at the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best lakes in the Rockies !! Totally worth the visit.

1 month ago

I feel a great sense of accomplishment for my 10 year old daughter, who was the only kid on the trail to Chasm lake today. It was a great hike! So lucky to see a moose, out of nowhere, crossed the trail in front of us. It was scary and amazing at the same time! We waited a few long minutes for the clouds over Long’s peak to blow away. It got so windy but we came prepared and finished the hike.

1 month ago

Wow, this is an amazing hike! It was the perfect length and difficulty, for the occasional hiker. We started at 7:30. Got the last spot on the side of the road at the trail head. We got to the lake at 11. We had a some sandwiches. The hike took almost 6 hrs. We took 45min total for rest. So happy we did this hike instead of Twin Sisters.

1 month ago

Did this on 7/23. Parked at 3:00 AM and was only headlamp I could see on the trail above tree line. There were several cars in the lot and many Long’s Peak hikers. Very windy and steep then when trail splits to Chasm it gets much easier. Views were breathtaking and this is one of my favorite hikes of all time. Add this one to your list and do it. Sunrise on Long’s was worth it all.

hiking
1 month ago

Second time doing this hike. We got to trailhead at 6 am. Parking lots was full but I parked on the side along the entrance so didn’t have to park down the road. We got to lake at 9am. So took us 3 hrs to get there with minimal breaks. It was sunny and no clouds in the sky. Couldn’t hAve asked for a more perfect weather. There’s definitely an incline and last half mile requires scrambling up rocks but it’s so worth it!! One the best and moderate trails to do!

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful - one of the best, if not the best lake hike in Colorado! My only criticism: far too many steps built into the trail. Steps needlessly make this a more difficult hike than it needs to be.

We arrived 6am Wed. Parking lot was full. We parked 1/4 mile down the road from the trailhead. The trail runs 8.4 miles roundtrip per Rocky Mtn Natl park website. It is a moderate hike, IMO (some will find it easy, some hard, depending on conditioning).

The final climb to the lake is a steep rock scramble, under 0.2 miles. it is generally intuitive and partially marked by cairns. If you can't ascend, you'll miss the lake but still be treated to the majesty and splendor that lies before you.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE respect the mountain and weather. I saw one person who had no water or backpack, and people hiking in sandals and one in overalls. Cotton is the worst thing you can be wearing if you get wet. Summer rains mean windy and temps in the 40s, or lower.

Be prepared. The rangers can suggest the right items.

1 month ago

This is definitely not a moderate trail. There's an extended area of narrow trail and you have to do some scrambling that's actually climbing. It's beautiful and challenging!

hiking
1 month ago

This and Mt Ida are my favorite RMNP trails. Really amazing and spectacular. Parking lot was full by 8:15am. We parked about 1/4 mile down the side of the road which isn't too bad. We had perfect weather with clear skies. No dark ominous clouds. Rangers were making trail improvements on a segment of the trail. Turns out they use horses to carry logs up.
Steady incline throughout entire trail with gorgeous view once above tree line. There is excellent view of Long Peaks about 1 mile out where there is also the first privy stop. Great place to take a break. Then the trail flattens a bit along a narrow path by the side of mountain with view of waterfall. The trail crosses on top of that small waterfall. At the base of Chasm lake, there is another privy stop. The last 0.1 mile was a bit of scramble up the rocks to get to Chasm lake. It was steep but that was also quite fun especially knowing that the lake is just above on the other side. Well worth the last bit of scramble.
Took us a little over 3hr to get up (with plenty time to rest and take pictures and absorb the surrounding scenery) and a bit over 2 hrs to get down. We spent a good 40 min by lake to have lunch and soak up the beautiful scenery. Highly recommend.

1 month ago

Amazing hike, started at 4am and got to chasm lake by 7am. Hike is pretty strenuous for someone from the flatland. Overall amazing views and would do this hike over and over again!

1 month ago

Started this hike at 7:25 this morning and finished around 2. Parking lot was full so be prepared. Used this as our practice for Longs Peak and I would rate this hike as hard, not moderate. First portion isn’t difficult. Once you get past the small boulder field and on the actual trail for Chasm it contains some pretty narrow areas but with great views. Some scrabbling is required to get up to the lake and that part of the trail isn’t marked very well. Very easy to get lost in that area. Have plenty of water and sunscreen because that sun can be very hot above tree line. Highly recommend using hiking polls too, I’m 20 years old and an athlete but the polls saved my legs a ton.

rock climbing
1 month ago

my pedometer says 10 miles, and 3500ft vertical. Another Thing To Know Is That This Is A climb, not a hike. you are going up, at least 30 degrees, the entire time. A hike is at least half flat.

storms hit this mountain every day, yes, every single day. I don't Care what your weather app says. bring layers, be prepared for rain and hail, thunder if not lightning. there is a shelter hut by a privvy about 75% of the way up, can't get in but can hide in doorway.

Devote 12 hours to this, bring plenty of food, I recommend caring water cantina and filter, as carrying water up a mountain will be incredibly hard. plenty of people take 2 days on this hike, its a serious physical feat.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike. Did this trail with a friend while our husbands were at the summit. We got to the trailhead at about 6:00am. This was perfect timing, as you’re behind the crowd going to the summit and ahead of the crowd going to Chasm Lake. We got to Chasm Lake around 9:00 and only a few other people were there. So peaceful, and the moon was still up and directly above Longs.

It is high altitude, so could be challenging if you’re not used to that. And you want to start early to get back below the tree line by 1:00 or 2:00 in case of storms

hiking
1 month ago

A little tough in spots but absolutely worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail last Sunday. The parking lot is comically tiny given the volume of traffic on this trail, so prepare yourself for a hike up the road unless you arrive at dark-thirty. There are super sparkly clean pit toilets at the trailhead, and a spigot for potable water a few hundred feet up the trail after the ranger station.

The trail was heavily trafficked and always very visible - except in the couple hundred feet approaching the lake. I saw a lot of people not turn right with the trail, and then find themselves having to scramble down large boulders to get to the shore. A little bit of scrambling is required during the final ascent to the lake, but it's not terribly treacherous or technical (assuming conditions are good).

The lake itself is fantastic, and worth the trip despite being incredibly crowded. Many other beautiful views along the way, and tons of wildflowers all over. In addition, the trail features the most scenic toilet I've ever come across, near the Longs Peak Trail fork. Caution - it is ruled by a bold group of marmots.

A final note, I'm surprised to see this hike called "moderate". It's absolutely not technically difficult, but it is long, and there aren't a lot of breaks in the elevation gain. It may be moderate in comparison to Longs, but it's not an "average-level" hike compared to other things I've done here in CO.

4 stars for crowds, the parking situation, and quite a bit of horse poop on the trail.

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