Chinns Lake Trail

EASY 18 reviews
#31 of 119 trails in

Chinns Lake Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, fishing, and mountain biking and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.7 miles
738 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



mountain biking



wild flowers


Directions from Idaho Springs: Take I-70 west to exit 238. Take Fall River Road to the Fall River Reservoir Road, 6.5 miles from I-70. Go 2.5 more miles on this road to Chinns Lake turnoff. The trail begins here.

17 days ago

Pretty cool spot! Don't recommend going up without a high clearance vehicle. Views are pretty good and today we saw moose! Overall pretty rad spot.

17 days ago

24 days ago

Absolutely beautiful! Fiance and I went camping there for a night and got the whole place to ourselves. Took the Adventure Trailer up and had a great time. Trout were top water feeding all day so bring the dry flies. I would recommend a high clearance vehicle. With all the runoff and rain it has created some difficult spots but nothing super crazy.

off road driving
1 month ago

off road driving
1 month ago

Easy trail to navigate if you have a relatively high clearance vehicle. Not recommended for cars. There are a few sections of the road where you will be glad you have a high clearance vehicle. It's a pretty easy trail. The views of the reservoir are gorgeous. There are a few hiking trails that hug the side of the reservoir you can take. Overall well worth the short trip up!

1 month ago

Beautiful mountain lake views. However, don't expect to drive up to the lake! Unless you have a pickup truck or a jeep, it's probably not a good idea! I had no idea how rocky the "road" was, and was praying I didn't damage my smaller SUV. You're better off walking up it. I will never drive it again.

2 months ago

easy trail no issued

off road driving
2 months ago

Trail to chinns is still snowy. We turned around and went to the Fall River res. The res. Trail was smooth sailing until the last two corners. Two snow banks created a fun challenge but we broke trail and made it up! Very good trip. Roughly 50% still covered in ice. Lots of traffic mid day.

5 months ago

10 months ago

11 months ago

Both Chinns lakes get low with muddy shores and are less attractive later in the season. To escape all the 4x4 crowds and enjoy a much prettier lake and even more spectacular views, keep going another mile up to Slater lake and beyond into the incredible glacial cirque farther west.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Friday, August 05, 2016

Lots of great camp sites. Go during the week, very busy on the weekends. You will need a 4x4 to get there. Road very rocky and steep.
Bring a fishing pole and good luck

Sunday, July 31, 2016

off road driving
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This is one of my favorite spot to off-road, camp and fishing in the weekends and stay close to Denver. The camping spots are amazing and the view is simply beautiful.

nature trips
Saturday, August 01, 2015

This hike is closer to 2 miles from the trailhead, with much more elevation gain than 400 ft. The trail is a very rocky 4x4 road, and cars go up and down it pretty regularly when you're hiking. Honestly, this lake is probably best reached by car vs by foot (we were the only hikers on the trail that day). Once there, however, the lake is pretty .

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Fabulous hike!

I don't think it is just 1 mile... but I don't have tracks for this one. But we spent 3-4 hours enjoying the hike at a slow pace.

Read all about it on my blog:

or watch the YouTube Video of the pics my friend and I took: