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Chihuahua Lake Trail is a 7.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Dillon, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 7.8 mi Elevation gain 1,879 ft Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Cross country skiing Hiking Nature trips Snowshoeing Ohv / off road driving Forest Lake Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Scramble Snow
Description
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Contact
Getting There

Most visitors park along Peru Creek Road and hike up the dirt road 2 miles to the Chihuahua Lake Trail. If you have a 4WD vehicle, you can drive the dirt road to the upper trailhead. High clearance vehicle recommended. 2 miles up the dirt road you will see a "No motor vehicles past this point" sign. The 4WD road will continue to the right (east). You should take a left to continue to Chihuahua Lake.

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

Directions from Vail: Travel 29 miles east on I-70 to Silverthorne. Travel east on U.S. Highway 6 past Keystone, turn right onto Montezuma Road,FDR 5. Follow this road for 4.6 miles, turn left onto Peru Creek Road, Forest Service Road 260. Go about 2 miles, to the Chihuahua Gulch four wheel drive road on the left.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (277)
Photos (312)
Recordings (209)
Completed (438)
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Julia C.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 30, 2020
HikingGreat!

One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done here in CO! The fall colors were absolutely amazing. We went on a Saturday morning, started hiking at 7:30am and didn’t see a single person until the very top. On the way back down we saw a few groups of people, but it wasn’t crowded at all. We even saw a moose in the beginning! It’s not hard until the last mile or so up to the lake, there is some rock scrambling but it’s manageable without hiking poles. We used the directions through AllTrails and it brought us right to the trailhead. It’s not labeled very well, just a post in the ground with the ATV trail number. Would def recommend this hike!

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Natalie C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 28, 2020
HikingGreat!

INCREDIBLE! While this isn’t an aspen trail, the brush still looked lovely with the fall colors. This trail just kept getting better and better. Not significantly hard until the very end, very manageable uphill until the final push before the lake. You will know when you have hit that :) another bonus: not crowded at all. Arrived around 10:20, 6 other cars. Got down around 4 (we really took our time you could go much faster) and no other cars in the lot.

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Lily DeSantis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 27, 2020
HikingNo shade

Incredible lake- one of the best Side note: Please people keep your dogs under voice control, or if you can’t, then leash them

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Molly Odell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 26, 2020
Hiking
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Jaci Joy
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Hiking
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Jon Hill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 25, 2020
Hiking

Great hike except for the 4 ATV’s coming up as I was coming down. I did have the lake to myself and didn’t see any anyone until I ran into 6 hikers on the road. The lake is beautiful. Not as tourquoise as when I came up earlier in the summer. There is one rock face towards the top but you can hike around it to the right.

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Jenna Owens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Beautiful trail all the way! Very hard once you get closer to the lake! Lots of rocks and very steep. My first huge hike in CO and it was absolutely breath taking and worth it! We packed a lunch and brought a beer and enjoyed lunch by the lake!

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Jackie Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail, steep climb, got to see aspens changing, you hike up over constant rock with a few flat areas but mostly climbing all the way to the lake. The lake is incredibly gorgeous and worth the steep hike!

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Andrew Bearden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
BackpackingGreat!MuddyRocky

Great trail for those looking for a decently maintained trail.

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Kim Micha
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 15, 2020
HikingNo shadeScramble

Great trail with a rewarding view at the end. It was not too busy on a Saturday (9/13). It is steep during some parts and you have to climb through loose rocks at the top, but I expected these things with the hard rating. I am scared of heights and felt comfortable during this whole hike. Highly recommend!

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Thomas Nathaniel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 15, 2020
Hiking

Great mountain views. Beautiful lake. Much more quiet during the week than weekends.

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Joe Hackathorne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020
Hiking

Rating of “Hard” for this trail is pretty accurate. We took the Jeep up to start of trail and would recommend doing so if you have a high clearance vehicle. Stock Jeep might scrape so any lift or bigger tires would for sure be helpful. If I had to hike from start instead of taking the Jeep I may have quit in that last 1/4 mile. The steep ascent and slight scrambling suck for sure, but the views up top are really pretty and peaceful. At the top only one other person fishing and wasn’t remotely close to us even. Heard a couple behind us near top and assume they turned around or were eaten by bears since we never saw them at the top. On the way down passed 3 groups of people so this is not a heavily trafficked trail at all. Go for the views and solitude and enjoy it!

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Paige M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2020
BugsNo shadeRockyScramble

This was one of the hardest hikes I've done - physically and mentally. Regardless of your fitness level, get familiar with the trail ahead of time so you know what to expect! We had pretty clear skies so the lake was worth it, but be aware that you have to go to and over a mountain to get to it (at the end of a challenging hike). Take your time and you'll have no problem getting there safely. We loved the trail and were able to complete it with our dog, the only complaint we have is more of a note to other hikers: there is a LOT of motor vehicle traffic on this trail and we inhaled a LOT of dust and dirt as a result. Other things to note: - The trailhead isn't called out by name, trail marker 263 is a short post on your left after you pass the Warden trailhead and that's where you want to start - Bring plenty of water and sun protection as you'll be exposed for a majority of the hike - You can complete it without poles, but it's a lot harder - Plan to spend some time at the lake even if just to give your legs a rest - it's basically uphill the entire hike there - You're not near the lake until you climb up a scree slope, so just keep on trekking until you get there!

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Mandy Morin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking

I’ve hiked everything in the Breckenridge/Blue River area and so it was fun to try over here for a change. Loved the scenery on this hike but the lake was disappointing. So many prettier lakes worth that kind of climb in other areas! The difficulty and open sun has to be worth it and that’s why I gave it a 3 star.

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A Mc
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Hiking
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Jan Hu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2020
Hiking

Overcast at the top but otherwise really nice weather and scenic trail. I barely stopped so i took less time than expected

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brandon atkinson
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 31, 2020
Hiking

So many better trails in the area than this one. Exposed pretty much the whole way, no shade, tons of people, picked up a bunch of trash people left behind, plus rude people on the 4wd trail, no signs of life in the lake. Lots of effort for not a lot of splendor. Very disappointing trail. Would recommend finding a different trail in the area.

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Emily Cutcliffe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Great hike, awesome views of the lake at the end. Took about 8 miles round trip. Lots of shallow water crossings so make sure your footwear is at least mostly waterproof. We got to the trailhead (parking lot 2 miles from actual trailhead) around 7:45am and we hardly saw anyone until we headed down. Definitely need some sort of hefty 4x4 with high clearance to make it up to the main trailhead. Even the beefiest of 4Runners might struggle. Overall, amazing hike!

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Dean Street
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 29, 2020
HikingGreat!

Ryan’s review is spot on. I held back one star because we have seen several more dramatic lakes. However this is great hike for all types of views of the whole area including Gray’s Peak, Lenawee, and Grizzly. Moose are common here but no guarantee. Extra note: the road from Peru Creek Rd. to the trail sign absolutely requires a fully jacked 4x4. We got to the start at 7 and enjoyed over 45 minutes at the lake with no one else around.

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Jesper B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 27, 2020
HikingGreat!

Beautiful but hard hike. Once you reach the sign showing Chihuahua lake and you think you are almost there you are not. It only goes up from there. Last mile or so is the toughest we have ever done and the loose rocks and climbing does not make it easier. The lake is the reward for sure. Follow the review written below and take the car up to ad close to mile marker 263 as possible.

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Melissa Mirsberger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 27, 2020
Hiking

Tough! Not too crowded and a beautiful hike. Definitely some tough elevation spots, but the lake is a beautiful reward at the end.

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Glenn Wellmann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking
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