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Chihuahua Lake Trail is a 7.2 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.

Distance: 7.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,879 feet 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

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.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 day ago

hiking
flooded
rocky
scramble
3 days ago

7/4- sadly did not make it all the way to the lake as thunderstorms rolled in early. Peru Creek dirt road to the Chihuahua Gulch trailhead is 2 miles and is graded and drivable without 4x4. Several stream crossings - very manageable! This trail is a 4WD road and there was a fair amount of Jeep traffic today. Trail rises fairly relentlessly at first but then levels out into a beautiful valley with several marshes and ponds.

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful as always! Lots of snow still up high, but not on the trail. Lake was still partially frozen on 6/28 and the creek is running high, so you’ll have to get crafty with the water crossings until the snow melts down more.

ohv/off road driving
flooded
muddy
rocky
10 days ago

This was more of a 4x4 trail rather than a hiking one. You can actually take a 4x4 all the way up to Chihuahua trailhead, which would make it easier. Otherwise you're looking at around 9 miles round-trip. you'll need waterproof shoes for this trail. there are numerous crossings and one really fast moving, deep crossing. I took off my shoes and walked across. You can try going off trail, but I found this method the best. The trail is really pleasant and then when you get to Chihuahua it's incline all the way. The last part you will be hiking vertically to get to the lake which can be challenging. Well worth the views at the top!

hiking
flooded
washed out
15 days ago

Completed this Saturday morning. Started at 7 and about 20 minutes in there is a stream crossing. Not too deep but cold! About 1 mile in or so there is another crossing that is very deep. You can walk upstream and jump across where it’s safe, but then you will have to bushwack back to the trail. After you get up from the basin the trail is perfect with only minor snow. Lake is still froze but absolutely beautiful.

recorded Recording - Jun 16, 3:58 PM

hiking
flooded
muddy
off trail
rocky
scramble
20 days ago

There was a lot of running water on the trail which made us had to find alternate routes and go off trail. The ascent is mellow until the last part that gets you to the lake and it is a climb. The lake was still a bit frozen over. Great views in the gulch and we didn’t see anybody on the trail. 4.4 miles up, 4 miles down. We stayed on the trail coming down and just accepted our fate of wet feet at that point.

hiking
flooded
muddy
snow
washed out
1 month ago

We made it halfway thru the 2nd clearing before we started post-holing regularly enough that we decided to turn around. Bring snowshoes if you want to practically make it all the way to the lake right now. Also, river was high and wading was needed. It got about shin deep at the deepest we encountered. Bring water shoes. Weather and temps were perfect. Cool beaver dam in the 2nd clearing. We hiked through the bush to take a closer look. Give this one at least another month, I’d say.

hiking
2 months ago

The gate is frequently closed in the fall and spring so count on starting at the gate and adding 2+ miles each direction. Easy climb with a couple difficult creek crossings and rock scrambles near the end. Great spots on the lake to eat lunch before you head back down.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

Road is closed at the turn off from Montezuma. Adds 2 miles each direction. The road it’s self was fine, but once we got to the lower trailhead, we needed snowshoes and broke through deep powder. Made it about 1/2 way to the lake (6 miles RT) before we decided it was too difficult for the dogs (and it was grueling for us as well).

hiking
snow
5 months ago

The forest road to the trailhead is now closed, adding on 4 miles RT. Deep snow once you get on the trail, even with snowshoes it was pretty grueling

hiking
icy
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

WATCH OUT FOR PORCUPINES!!

hiking
8 months ago

From Montezuma Rd, that’s where the dirt road starts that brings you to the 4x4 road. It’s about 2.5mi each way and any car with clearance can make it. There’s a little pull-off at the turn for the 4x4 road, that can hold about 5 cars, it only had 3 on Saturday 10/19 at 11am. If you have four wheel drive, you can drive the next 1.5mi up the 4x4 road to the trailhead. If not, park and start walking. Saw a few groups, a runner and lots of dogs. Didn’t see any wildlife. The lake and snow at the end is unbelievable.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
9 months ago

Such an incredible hike. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen! We got the Peru Creek road at about 7:30am, and ended up deciding to give the off-roading a go. I have a F-150 with slightly bigger tires and she did well, but we as we got further up, the rocks started getting larger and we decided to park in a turn around area about a mile up the road. I was glad we did because I don’t think we would have been able to make it up the next couple sections of the road. We saw THREE moose right at the beginning of the hike - the first while we were in the car, then we came face to face with a mother and her baby about half a mile after getting out of the car. The baby was older and ran off but the mother stared us down and started moving towards us, so we retreated slowly into the tree line and walked around till we were out of sight. Make sure you read up on wildlife safety before. We got very lucky since neither of us really knew what to do in the situation. Took about another 2 hours from the trail head to make it to the lake. The beginning of the trail is quite difficult since it’s so steep and there are many loose rocks, but it evens out for a while once you get past the first part. You do cross a couple streams and some standing water so better to have waterproof boots. The scramble was definitely hard, but not that long. Many loose rocks and gravel, and the path gets a little hard to follow as you go up. The lake was absolutely incredible. We we’re up there for about half an hour/ 45 mins and had the whole place to ourselves. Most definitely worth the hike! Good to bring gloves/ a hat as it was quite windy when we reached the top. The way down was a lot easier, but a little sketchy with the loose ground. Took us about 2 hours to make it down back to the car. So about 6 hours round trip with breaks. We saw a few sets of people going up as we were coming down, so if you want the lake to yourself hit the trail early. The most beautiful hike i’ve done so far. Highly HIGHLY recommend this to anyone with a good pair of boots!

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