Hells Hole Trail is a 9.3 mile heavily 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.

Distance: 9.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,916 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

cross country skiing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

rocky

snow

This is a very popular trail leading up into the glacial cirque known as Hell's 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
1 day ago

The trail was in great condition, no mud or snow and the views at the end were lovely. The last 3 miles driving to the trailhead are on a dirt road, I made it fine in a Hyundai Accent but there were times where a higher clearance vehicle would’ve been nice!

hiking
muddy
snow
1 day ago

Hiked on Memorial Day 2020 and the snow was delightful. Good hike for practicing thin air breathing. Several creek crossings with flowing water that the dog enjoyed... quite wooded.

hiking
3 days ago

Trail conditions were great. Not much snow. The road leading to the trailhead may be a challenge for lower clearance vehicles.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful trail! Did this 5/31/20. I got to the trailhead at about 6:50am and there were about four cars so it felt like I had the trail to myself on the way up. The first mile and a half was a bit exhausting but after that it’s smooth sailing for the most part. The meadow at the top was stunning. Really pretty vegetation and the ridge lines surrounding it made for great views. Plenty of places for a siesta at the top. No mud, no snow on the trail so this is a good hike right now for some alpine views without having to worry about the elements.

hiking
3 days ago

This is a great trail with gentle elevation gain in and then gentle elevation gain on the way out. The trail is shaded and you can hear - but can’t see the creek. The views during the hike are fairly limited, but at the top it opens into this lovely bowl that is quite nice. Not too busy today, but we were on trail at 7am!

hiking
3 days ago

5/29/20: Beautiful hike! Not very many people on the trail. The gorgeous Aspen groves are just starting to put out their leaves. The wild flowers are just starting to burst forth. Great views at the top! Clear trails with no snow or ice.

hiking
4 days ago

Such a good hike! Easy to access from Idaho springs. No need for 4wd. We arrived at 7:30am today 5/30/2020 and there were 5 other cars. Got down by 11:30 and it was packed. Sizable incline for the first mile and then rolling uphill. Absolutely gorgeous views. My watch clocked 8.5 miles but either way great distance!

hiking
4 days ago

Hiked on 5/30/20. Absolutely beautiful hike through aspen and pines up to a meadow right at tree line. Lots of bristlecone pines at the upper elevations. And some wildflowers are starting to bloom! It’s a gradual uphill hike from the TH, but not very strenuous. The trail is mostly dry with only a few small mud patches. We started early and while the TH was full when we came back, the trail didn’t feel crowded on our hike down. (I think a lot of people are just hanging out at the picknick area near the creek, not actually hiking.) I plan to come back in the fall to see all the aspens change color :)

hiking
4 days ago

Very nice hike and a good workout, too! The meadow at the end is nice and quiet, a lovely spot for a little picnic. I didn’t realize how pretty the trail was on the way up but coming down with the aspens leafing and flowers blooming it was a gorgeous walk through the woods. Would recommend and do again.

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike and pretty much completely empty! I would strongly recommend this hike!

hiking
7 days ago

Completed the whole thing in chacos, a few spots with light snow on the trail but mostly cleared!

hiking
9 days ago

A little snowy but I could do it just fine. I had spikes and didn’t even put them on. Very beautiful. Need to come back in the summer

hiking
muddy
snow
9 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

Great trail - hiked it 5/23. Very little snow patches higher up, no problem to get thru. Great day, flowers starting and aspens filling out. Plan to spend some time sitting in the meadow at the base of the mountain - very beautiful area. Will do this one again in the fall for the aspens, for sure.

hiking
12 days ago

Perfect day outside! Trail is completely dry except a few patches of snow as you get farther up the trail. I’ve only completed this in the fall and winter and it was delightful seeing the aspens springing to life. A few more weeks and there should be great wild flowers to enjoy too.

hiking
12 days ago

A very nice wooded hike till the very end when you come out into the alpine valley with great views. The trail ends right there in a little clearing, anything beyond will be off trail bushwhacking. A few patches of snow here and there but easily traversed with trail runners, should be completely snow free in the next week or two. We did no off trail exploring and my STRAVA App said the round trip was 8.66 miles. Last mile of road had a few rough spots but easy for an Subaru Outback. A vehicle with low clearance might scrape in a couple of places.

hiking
muddy
14 days ago

This trek is the hardest in the first 2 miles, but the views at the end are well worth it! Very little snow on the trail, spikes not required.

hiking
rocky
snow
15 days ago

Great trail, mileage comes in closer to 9 miles. Some snow left but manageable in boots

hiking
16 days ago

Drove up on Monday 5/18 to hike but roads are closed to non-county locals due to COVID so I decided not to hike there. Non-locals, hike at your discretion.

hiking
snow
17 days ago

It was great hike. Definitely going to have to come back during the summer and fall when the aspen have leaves on. Have the 13ers around you. There is nothing better.

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
17 days ago

Great hike! Although, there are some areas where you lose track of the trail. So be careful.

hiking
1 month ago

4/8/2020 Holy post holing batman! Even with snow shoes the spring snow was tough. The snow shoe trail just stopped about half a mile from cirque and I didn't have enough daylight left to adventure without a clear trail. In this warm weather snow shoes and gaiters are necessary to get to the top. I'd recommend putting them on at the Evan's Wilderness sign. Beautiful snow shoe through the trees but half my usual pace and disappointed I was just shy of the end of the trail.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

The point where I turned around requires snow shoes - post holing up to my belly button. Don’t try to park up next to the campground, you will get stuck.

hiking
off trail
snow
washed out
5 months ago

Hiked this 12/11. The trail doesn’t have visible markers other than a sign about a mile in, and with all the snow, the trail disappeared several times. We did it with spikes, which were great where the trail was sort of packed down, but there were large sections after the first mile where we were trudging through almost knee-deep snow. The views themselves might have been great at the top, but it was all in the forest the first few miles which got kind of boring. We only made it 5 of 8 miles and had to turn around. Also, the road by the parking lot and the lot have high snow, and my AWD SUV almost got stuck. I’d wait til summer to try this again.

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