Chief Mountain Trail

MODERATE 1453 reviews
#6 of 166 trails in

Chief Mountain Trail is a 3.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 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

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

This trail offers great views of the Rockies in the Arapaho National Forest. The hike is a steady incline through a pine forest, thinning out at the top, with breath taking 360 degree vistas. Prominent peaks such as Pikes and Longs are easily visible. The path is rocky, well maintained, and well marked. Roadside parking may be limited on weekends.

hiking
rocky
snow
1 hour ago

We hiked two days ago, Monday 1/20. It was a gorgeous day! The trailhead is tricky, look for the reflectors along the road. The trail was mostly packed snow with a little ice, rocky towards the top. If you get off the trail, the snow is deep. We both wore yaktraks and found the traction to be really helpful. The trail is hard to find in places, a few less switchbacks than in summer. The views from the top are amazing! I’ve been on this numerous times and enjoy it in all seasons.

hiking
snow
1 day ago

Great hike with my dog today. Trail is mostly packed snow, it got a little difficult to find in some places. Microspikes helped significantly, especially with the dog slipping so much. I love this view. Made it up in about an hour, about 30 minutes to get down.

hiking
1 day ago

Great trail! Hard to find the entrance, which is at mile marker 18 or close to the ski lift. Hard packed snow today. Really good trail conditions. Bring micro spikes if you have them for the hike down.

hiking
icy
2 days ago

Great hike today! Arrived at 11a on MLK Day to easy parking. Icy in spots. Spikes today would have been nice downhill. Beautiful view from the summit. Steady climb all the way up. A lot of dogs on the trail today. Will definitely hike again.

hiking
2 days ago

Good with kids

hiking
snow
3 days ago

Another one who enjoyed this trail on the holiday. Plenty of dogs out there, and most were not on a leash (if that bothers you); all the ones I interacted with were friendly. Packed snow most of the way; the rest was no snow. Didn't break out added traction; hiking boots were enough. Weather was awesome. Seems more folks there in the morning than afternoon.

hiking
4 days ago

Awesome hike at Chief Mt today. Trail was packed but still slippery in places. We did it in boots with poles. Spikes would have made it easier but weren’t completely necessary because we did have poles. It was very windy near the summit (blew us over a few times) and cold. Beautiful view for the pay off!! One of my favorite hikes yet!

hiking
snow
4 days ago

Just hiked this trail with my husband. Trail was well enough trafficked to follow footsteps. Up towards the top it’s a little harder to distinguish but we made it. Top is VERY windy. We made it in Sperry boots and him in tennis shoes. Poles would have made it perfect.

hiking
snow
4 days ago

icy
snow
6 days ago

Awesome views. Packed down trail, little ice in spots so would suggest yak traks. To find it, look for the green post after squaw trails.

hiking
7 days ago

Messed up the map, but best trail. Try it.

walking
snow
9 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

First time doing this trail and I really enjoyed it. Definitely a shorter trail compared to other ones and it took me about 2 hours round-trip since I stopped a lot to take photos and eat. Nice little incline going up to get your legs working but definitely doable. I hiked 1/12/20 and it while there was snow all on the trails, it's packed pretty well so just had my boots on and no need for spikes. Beautiful views at the top!

hiking
snow
10 days ago

hiking
rocky
snow
11 days ago

Trail was great today - arrived around noon with my dog. There was a moderate amount of traffic and the majority of the trail was packed snow. I reached the summit without micro-spikes, but they would've been a plus to have. Overall, fantastic day though!

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
11 days ago

Trail was ready nice today. Well packed down. We did it in snow boots. No need for snow shoes really. Yak tracks may help in some spots.. but it isn’t icy. Just a little slick snow in some spots. Parking lot wasn’t full when we arrived at 11:30. Trail is very dog friendly. Lots of puppers. Incline is a nice gradual incline. Most of the way up but joying terribly crazy. Can get windy at the top, a hiker warmed us the wind was bad up there, but it was fine when we got to the top. Nice trail.

hiking
icy
off trail
snow
11 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

Great trail! We did this a few days ago with some out of town era and it offers beautiful panoramic views and was pretty moderate for folks coming from sea level! The trail was snowy but we just had water resistant boots without yak tracks or anything and we had no problem.

hiking
snow
13 days ago

Beautiful and sunny with a crisp 16 degrees and no wind at 10am! We all used Microspikes which worked perfect on the mostly packed trail. Some sections of crud and dirt. Snowshoes unnecessary, trail so uneven, it would've been hard to snowshoe. Love the spectacular 360° view at the top!

hiking
icy
snow
15 days ago

Such a pretty hike. Did this 1/3/19, and spikes were a must. Pretty chilly because of the shade, and insanely windy at the top. Kind of a leg burner on the way up, but the views are worth it!

hiking
icy
snow
17 days ago

One of the most beautiful views. Bring micro spikes and this trail is awesome!

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