Chicago Lakes Trail

HARD 283 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.

hiking
15 minutes ago

hiking
1 hour ago

Great hike!! Amazing views and a great workout!!

1 day ago

loved it. The wildflowers were AMAZING

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

5 days ago

great trail, lots of scenery to take in. the last bit is straight up but the views are well worth it. will be back again

hiking
7 days ago

one of my favorites by far !!

hiking
9 days ago

Has been a while since I hiked this. Parents had a cabin up in Echo Lake back in the day. Great trail, the dog loves it! Perfect get away from the city for the day.

10 days ago

Beautiful hike, as others have noted this is NOT 8.9 miles round trip. We logged closer to 12 miles round trip starting at echo lake. I really enjoyed it and it wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be for a Saturday in August. Weather was amazing as well! I would definitely hike this again. The wildflowers were also incredible.

hiking
10 days ago

This was a wonderful trail! We went early in the morning (7am) which was a great time as there were very few people along the trail so it was quite. A lot of people recommend water proof shoes but as long as you are careful you can get around the streams (some are very wide and long so be prepared). It was well worth it to go to the top lake even though it is a bit of a climb to get there. This hike is absolutely worth your time BUT keep in mind you descend down at the beginning of the trail so you will have to hike back up ... which is really exhausting especially after already going 8 miles! I would highly recommend this trail.

hiking
12 days ago

I've been all over the sierra, Appalachia, Acadia and this is a phenomenal hike. It was closer to 11 with a bit more gain as we went to the last lake before the summit lake trail. That alone probably added an additional 3-400 feet in gain. Strenuous but definitely worth the effort. Solitude, 5-star scenery and dog friendly!

hiking
12 days ago

13 days ago

It rained the whole time but it was totally worth the views. Originally from Chicago and was feeling super homesick so naturally I hiked the Chicago lakes trail.

13 days ago

13 days ago

Harder than expected, totally worth it.

16 days ago

Beautiful scenery for sure. Found it challenging at times. Went with my 10 year old and 13 year old children. We had a blast. Did not make it all the way .. had about Mike left when we chose to turn back because of the rain and lightning but we will do it again. Not sure about it being 8 miles .. felt more like 5+ miles one way ..

hiking
17 days ago

This was a breathtakingly beautiful hike the entire way through. It is definitely one that will keep your heart pumping, but its worth every second. Great fishing opportunities at the res and first lake. I will definitely do this one again. I went back in early june when there was still some snow on the ground and the second lake had just thawed out. would love to see what it's like in the fall.

17 days ago

Over 9 miles from parking to upper lake. A great workout for sure and stunning views.

18 days ago