Hells Hole Trail

MODERATE 58 reviews
#12 of 108 trails in

Hells Hole Trail is a 8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.0 miles 1961 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

wild flowers

This is a very popular trail leading up into the glacial cirque known as Hells Hole. Traveling along West Chicago Creek, the trail climbs for a mile to a bench above and west of the creek. The trail continues climbing less steeply, through lodgepole forest and into the bristlecone pines. The trail ends at timberline in Hell's Hole, in an open meadow at the base of Grey Wolf Mountain

hiking
6 days ago

snow on the ground at the beginning of the trail, but it's been a warmer winter, nothing was dangerous, lightly trafficked but used enough so that any deeper patches of snow were only about 2-2.5 feet deep. Didn't make it the whole way around, and also didn't want to hike in the dark because only because we did not plan for it. Starts out at a campground, looked pretty decent, plus some camping farther up the mountain as well. This time of year, however, the camping wasn't open. Definitely will go back, as starting late in the day didn't give quite enough time but was enough for a fun hike for a few hours. Doggo that was with us had a good day too :)

17 days ago

Take snowshoes. Can't get too far without them right now.

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

Hiked it in September when the aspens started to turn. Beautiful with not many people.

hiking
21 days ago

Hiked it in September when the aspens started to turn. Saw very few people. Gradual incline.

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Pretty trek close to the front range. Moderately steep uphill for the first two-ish miles with it becoming less steep for the last part of the trail. For those who don't pay attention to the details, note that the elevation of the trailhead is 9655 with the apex being a little over 11,500. During the hike, we experienced a variety of weather so make sure to pack appropriately.

5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

beautiful route! Hiked this route in August and it was a great morning hike!

6 months ago

Went about the last weekend of September, timed the color change perfect. I imagine this is a pretty hike any time of year. With the Aspen changing, the first mile or so through the aspen grove is breath taking. Overall is a moderate hike with a decent uphill hike. Definitely a hike to do if you can time the color change.

hiking
7 months ago

The trail was so-so; it was nice to have a shady hike on a hot day. Views were decent, trail was well-marked, and overall it was a more 'easy' moderate. But Hells Hole itself was nothing special; the trail up/down was more exiting than actually getting to Hells Hole. Another downside were the groups of people hammered at the campsites at the TH (at 9am). I saw some empty bottles around the TH too so I'm guessing this is a party area for many.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail with a decent climb for the first half.

hiking
8 months ago

Terrific trail, first half up is the hardest and than mellows out the next half up. Lots of wildlife and hardly anyone actually on the trail. A bunch of hooligans were causing a ruckus in the campground area at the trailhead in the morning, don't be discouraged by that, I got out of ear shot quickly and enjoyed the serenity hells hole has to offer.

hiking
8 months ago

Lots of trees along the trail provided plenty of shade in early July. Not very crowded on an early Sunday morning. Hell's Hole itself is nothing fantastic but the overall hike was very nice.

hiking
8 months ago

More difficult than I expected only because of the elevation. The tree cover was great, keeping it cool for a warm July day.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike! We enjoyed the water crossings and the section under the aspen trees with lots of wildflowers. The view at the end is nice and a great spot for a picnic.

hiking
8 months ago

The trail is completely dry (6-29-16), with easy water crossings on solid logs and/or rocks. It's a gorgeous trail, starting in a lush, green Aspen forest with columbine, red and yellow paintbrush, Parry's Primrose and many other wildflowers. The Aspens give way to pines and eventually bristlecones, and some magnificent views. The trail is easy to follow -- some areas of rocks and roots but also areas where the trail is soft with pine needles. All in a all, a helluva nice hike.

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

This is not the trail for those looking for an easy stroll. This is a moderately difficult trail due to the 1200' altitude gain in the first couple of miles combined with a rocky, tree root trail. However, the benefit is the variety of ecosystems you get to experience along the way - aspens, spruce, firs and bristlecones, bog (at least through early summer), and an alpine meadow. I saw elk scat and prints, but no wildlife because of the time of day. The pond in the cirque was pretty much played out. Took me 4 hours to complete, but that include breaks, lunch, and photography. I will come again.