Chief Mountain Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
984 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Directions from Idaho Springs: Exit I-70 in Idaho Springs at exit 240. Go south on Colorado Highway 103. The trailhead is located 5 miles east of Echo Lake on Colorado Highway 103.

5 hours ago

Great trail! Nice and steady incline all the way to the top. Hiked this 12/9, leave your snow shoes in the car, this hike is totally doable with just yaktraks

1 day ago

I really enjoyed this trail. I'm from florida, didn't need spikes uphill, buy used hiking sticks downhill.

hiking
10 days ago

Did this 11/29/18. Fun hike that should probably be labeled as “moderate” in the winter. Used yak traks today and they were very necessary. It is a slog going straight up but the views are worth it!! We breezed down which helped. Trialhead VERY easy to miss as others have stated look for a light reflector sign across from the parking area. Lots of snow on the road to the trail head that a person in front of us got stuck in. Be careful and mindful driving up.

hiking
13 days ago

Snow-packed trail that was mostly protected by trees; the wind at the top was brutal in conjunction with the 15 degree temps. Traction wasn’t necessary, but I would bring them just in case.

hiking
29 days ago

Yaktracks and layers made this possible and as wonderful as well. Will be back !

29 days ago

This is a great trail to couple with the Squaw mountain. I would suggest doing this one first. This one is still an easy trail, but is slightly more difficult than Squaw. The incline a little more steep. My opinion is this is better because it’s more in the woods and the trail is more fun. The views at the top are stunning as well.
You will be able to identify the parking on the side of the road but the trailhead is easy to miss. It’s on the other side of the road and is a small entry.

29 days ago

As of 11/10/2018 the trail is covered in snow but I didn’t need shoe traction at all and the trail is still being used enough that the path is obvious. A great, short hike with unbelievable views at the top. Download the PeakFinder app for some fun after summiting.

1 month ago

Bring spikes! Great mini hike with incredible views.

hiking
1 month ago

Wear micro spikes.
2 miles straight up but views so worth it.
Incredible

walking
1 month ago

Easy trail with great 360 views. Requires crampons in fall due to packed ice and inclines

1 month ago

What a perfect trail for beginners, out of towners, and people who want a short day. Easy trailhead to get to. Easy, well-maintained trail, and a great destination. Beautiful drive up and view from the top of Chief Mountain.

hiking
1 month ago

Snow covered most of the trail and was all packed down, though slick in many spots. The wind was pretty cutting at points and at the top, so definitely bring a wind breaker. I'd also advise on gloves if you have trekking poles, I did not have gloves and regret it.

The hike was beautiful and the view from the top was incredible. I went on a Wednesday afternoon and had the entire mountain to myself.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views at the top! I’d consider the hike to be overall easy if there’s not snow. I went on 10/20 and the majority of the trail had hard, slippery snow.

1 month ago

I hiked the trail on Friday and it was completely passable, though snow covered and a little icy in some patches from the snow getting packed down from foot traffic. The second half of the trail is exposed above the tree line. It could get windy at the top, though the weather was very warm and nice. Amazing 360 views at the top. I imagine this trail would be an excellent choice in any season!

hiking
1 month ago

Always a great hike! Views are beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

great hike for beginners and family time! Dogs are welcomed and the views at the top are worth the work

1 month ago

The views on this hike are amazing. Make sure at this time of year you bring proper gear. Sheer ice in places made it extremely slippery coming down

1 month ago

Excellent hike. Snow packed so very slippery in places. At the top is beautiful...50+ degree weather was perfect.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views from the top. Easy hike, 1.5 hours round trip with about 10 minutes the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

Fabulous views as you go up, and it's definitely worth it to scramble up to the top. The trail had heavy traffic though, making it not as peaceful as I would have liked. With snow on the trail, the traffic really packed it in, making it fairly slick.

hiking
1 month ago

Arrived around 9:30am Saturday morning and parking wasn't more than 5 cars although once we got back to the car around 11:30 there was a line of cars and more people. There was snow most of the trail and icy towards the last portion of the trail, but was an awesome hike and fantastic views!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome short hike with an amazing view! The view at the top is worth it. As of 10/12/18 there is a couple inches of snow and the top by the ridge is SO windy so be prepared.
Limited parking, we were the second car there at 9am and when we were back at 11am the whole side of the road was packed.

2 months ago

It’s a great hike for families. With a moderate gain and only 1.5 miles long you get some great views.

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty easy and amazing views, even on an overcast day at lower elevations. Would recommend to visitors to the area because of the huge reward for little effort.

hiking
2 months ago

The hike was about 3 hours start to finish. Great path up to the peak. It was foggy when I arrived but the sun peeked through and I got some great views of the golden aspens. Would definitely hike again.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent 360 degree views!

hiking
2 months ago

Great family hike with kids and dog. Trailhead a little hard to find just past Echo mountain ski area. Nice and easy. Fun scramble up the rocks at the top. Amazing 360 views especially of Evans and Bierstadt to the west. 50 minutes up. Hung out 10 minutes. Back down to Old Squaw Path then up the dirt road to Squaw’s peak at the fire tower — a must see — and back down to co-103 in just under 2.5 hours. All great except for firing range just off squaw road about halfway up. Way to ruin peaceful nature.

2 months ago

OK, let me start by stating that my wife and I are in our 60’s. We accomplished the hike.

But this is not an “easy” hike for people our age....unless you do “a lot” of hiking. The elevation at the trailhead is around 10,500 feet!

It is a steady climb of 1.5 miles. The top has some fantastic views, but again, the altitude at the top is 11,700 feet!

If you come from anywhere near sea level, I would hesitate doing this until you get acclimated to the altitude.

But from a standpoint of views, it rates a 10!

The drive up there was beautiful with all the fall colors (September20th). Parking was no problem even at 9am.

Enjoy!

2 months ago

It was a nice little hike definitely easy with beautiful pine trees everywhere.

hiking
2 months ago

Incredible hike with the family. Consistent incline but not particularly difficult. The hike through the trees opens up to an incredible 360 degree view at the top.
Highly recommend this trail!

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