Chicago Lakes Trail

HARD 340 reviews
#1 of 6 trails in

Chicago Lakes Trail is a 8.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1971 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Idaho Springs: Travel southwest on Highway 103 approximately 14 miles to Echo Lake Campground which is located at the intersection of Highway 103 and Highway 5 on the Mt. Evans Scenic Byway. The trail begins at the Echo Lake Campground.

23 minutes ago

Just went on this hike today. We hiked to the lower lake which was about 8.5 miles round trip. Took us around 4 1/2 hours including stops to take in the scenery. It was a beautiful hike! It was snowing when we got there and was pretty cold the first mile or so. Lots of wind as well. Definitely need good hiking shoes with good grip. The last mile on the way back is tough, because it's all up hill. It did Warmed up as the morning went on, but the trail was slippery at times and muddy.

hiking
19 hours ago

This trail is nuts if you're not experienced. My husband and I came here a year ago in our honeymoon and hiked different trails all over Colorado throughout 6 days.
This was by far one of the toughest. We are from flat ole Texas and not used to climbing uphill so much. We did the hike again, after we moved here last week, for our anniversary. Still were only able to make it to the lower lakes! There is a rough bit right before the second lake that is basically a solid mile up a steep hill.
And while the lakes were gorgeous, there's fencing and cement walks when you get to them and that kind of takes away from it. We really enjoyed the forest last year in the snow though, definitelyrecommend going in the cold or else you'll be pouring sweat!

23 hours ago

Tough hike. Ok lake

2 days ago

Did this trail with my dog, starting at 8am. It took us about 3 hours to get to the lower lake, with a break for food. Didn't see any other hikers until about 30 minutes into the return trip. Total trip took about 4:40. There were patches of snow and ice, but nothing demanding microspikes. I would say this is probably a moderate hike for seasoned Colorado hikers, but it was a welcomed challenge for me, since I moved here from Florida (pretty much below sea level) six weeks ago. Most challenging part of the hike is the last mile...save some energy :)

hiking
5 days ago

Gorgeous fall day to do this hike. Virtually no snow anywhere on the trail. Some small patches of ice and mud but nothing major - did not need to use the microspikes at all during the hike. Made it to the upper lake where it was a bit windy, but great views both at the top and along the hike. It was 10 miles round trip, with many sections that are virtually flat or have little gain. Be prepared for about a mile of uphill at the very end of your hike. Outhouses have no TP this time of year, so bring your own ;)

hiking
7 days ago

10/14/17: started on trail about 9:30am. Parking lot was not as busy as we were expecting but definitely busier when we returned. Not many people on the trail despite a beautiful day. Some mud and small patches of snow on the trail but overall good conditions. The upper lake was very windy but still worth the hike up! 3 adults and 1 dog finished in about 4:30 with a few rest breaks.

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22 days ago

Amazing hike, worth every step!

hiking
27 days ago

Wonderful hike! Perfect mix of snow, fog, and fall foliage. We went to Upper Chicago Lake, no Trail that I could see and it was a bit risky climbing it after crossing the waterfall. I wouldn't recommend the upper Lake. Overall great experience.

1 month ago

Love this hike, great stocked reservoirs and great trails for hiking, snowshoeing, running

hiking
1 month ago