Hells Hole Trail

MODERATE 146 reviews
#14 of 134 trails in

Hells Hole Trail is a 7.9 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.

DISTANCE
7.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1912 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

rocky

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
8 days ago

We didn't make it to the end today unfortunately so I'll have to come back someday and see what lies ahead but I enjoyed the part of this trail I did hike (about 2miles in)! It was pretty icy today 4/15, we went without traction but it would have been really helpful. The parking lot is a pretty decent size and they have bathrooms (that appear to be open in winter!) The trail is decently steep for the beginning, lots of uphill and you're mostly in the trees so not a whole lot to look at right away but there is a nice picnic area and also a stream at the beginning! The road in wasn't terrible either, a regular car could probably make it but I would recommend taking it slow!

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Highly recommend snowshoes and poles right now

hiking
3 months ago

the trail was well packed thanks to some snowshoers. not alot of views unless you hike till the turnaround point, which made it a less thrilling hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Snow higher up, could have used spikes but made it in boots ok. Beautiful old Bristol Pine Cone trees at the top. Lovely hike.

4 months ago

not much snow right now. first half of trail maybe an inch or 2. second half 4-6inches. it's all packed down, so it's not bad. I did the hike in just my boots. really no need for any traction.

hiking
4 months ago

Snow on most of the trail, but enough tracks showed where the trail was. Slick in places, and pretty views at the cirque.

hiking
5 months ago

Great well maintained trail. Hiked on 11/13 and some snow on the trail. Nothing too deep. Bit slick in places but still a good hike. Cirque at the top is pretty cool.

hiking
5 months ago

Decent hike, several creek crossings, pass through some aspen stands. Cirque at the end is worth the hike. Looks like reasonable access to the ridge, summit of Grey Wolf. Might require bushwhacking through willows. A little snow in patches along the trail right now. Not deeper than an inch or two. Base of the cirque on far side of willows is about waist deep. Encountered a coyote at the tarn.

backpacking
5 months ago

Moderate +plus. Nothin’ difficult, just some steeper parts that merit some reckoning. Gorgeous cirque at the end. Definitely getting into winter conditions with patchy, wind-swept snow in the trail.

6 months ago

beautiful hike, fog rolled in as storms we're developing making it serene, spooky and spectacular all at the same time. lucked out on timing on this one.

7 months ago

Follow the dead end road all the way to the end, past the campground to find the parking lot and trailhead. (I lost service about half way up and just crossed my fingers!). Great moderate hike, very light traffic (on a Monday)!

7 months ago

One of my fave trails... nice little work out. Quite Trail

hiking
7 months ago

Nice easy trail. Nothing that spectacular.

backpacking
7 months ago

Solo backpacked this trail over the weekend - a perfect out and back with just enough elevation gain on the way in to keep me huffing and puffing. Really felt like I'd earned my dinner by the time I set up camp! Just a gorgeous spot at the end of the trail - had the whole meadow to myself (and some elk and squirrels). Totally worth it - but make sure you bring plenty of water! There's no easy access to water for the first six or so miles so if you're going to filter at camp, make sure you've got enough to get you there first.

hiking
7 months ago

Good but not awesome

7 months ago

Really like this trail. Nice to. E by the water. Saw a few nice people. Will do this one again.

hiking
7 months ago

Very pleasant trail and hike. Nothing particularly unique or special about it that makes it stand out from among many other typical "hike up a gulch to a cirque" out-and-back hikes. I think "moderate" is a fair rating - there are no particularly challenging spots or slopes. The first third of the hike has some steeper, gravelly sections that make make you work, but after that it's pretty gentle. We enjoyed that the trail went among a number of bristlecone pines near the top.

hiking
8 months ago

We hikes this on 8/20/17. A perfect day to hike, and an awesome trail. This is we well marked trail, with alot of places to camp if you wanted to. we arrived at 09:30 am, so there weren't many people on the trail. there are a lot of Aspen trees on the way up, so this will be an awesome trail to hike in the fall when the leaves turn.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful start, lush green aspen forests... steep inclines mixed with more mellow sections. Well trodden trail, never hard to stay on it. Probably beautiful in the fall. Bugs weren't bad at all in early August. Plenty of backcountry camping.

hiking
8 months ago

After a couple of years decided to start hiking at 3:00 a.m., "is nice to get there with sunrise "

hiking
8 months ago

I loved the hike, the diversity of trees from Aspen, to Blue Spruce, Penderosa Pine, and more. Look for a magical tree that reminds you of a string instrument. And don't forget the variety of mountain flowers. You will spot Indian Paint Brushes, Blue Bells, and several other beautiful mountain flowers. The trail needs a new name though.

hiking
9 months ago

destination is a high mountain meadow with small ponds and a Creek. The bowl rises up on all sides and is very pretty. Great old trees...

hiking
9 months ago

Pack bug spray for this one! The first 2/3 were packed with biting flies and mosquitos. Otherwise, it was a quick and relatively easy hike. Poles would have come in handy for the steeper and more loose sections.

hiking
9 months ago

The trail is beautiful, but pretty tough. the first 2 miles are straight up, the next two are a little nicer but still up. Getting down is just as bad, lots of steep places with loose gravel. Trail is pretty rocky with lots of sun and bugs. Amazing workout, you will be sore, esp your feet.

9 months ago

The trail head sign is a little hard to find you have to walk through the camp ground but the trail is very easy to spot. Great walk through the aspens at the beginning of the trail. The first 2/3 is pretty shady.

hiking
9 months ago

Great day for a hike and a great trail with our new rescue dog. But more often than not the other dog owners had their dogs off leash which makes it really hard for a dog in training. I know you say your dog is friendly but there is a leash law for a reason. I can respect very well voice trained dogs off leash but 50 feet away from you in my dogs business is not well trained. Sorry to vent but this was the only negative to an otherwise wonderful day. Posting a picture of the rules from the trailhead sign in case you missed it.

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked this trail last Wednesday-if you can go during week it's worth it! I think we saw possibly 8 other hikers up and back along the trail. I would rate the hike as more easy than moderate. A little bit of snow and a few muddy spots along the trail. Some cooler wind gusts at times but much fun!

hiking
10 months ago

No snow. About 3 places where you'd appreciate having waterproof shoes.
I left at 7:30 am on a Wednesday and didn't see a soul until I was coming back, and then just a handful of people. I strongly recommend weekdays if you can swing it.
Classic hike. A couple of gorgeous bristlecone pine trees at the cirque.

10 months ago

Great hike. Not too tough or easy. Not very crowded, cool scenery and unique pathways. Was alot of fun

10 months ago

Beautiful trail, but it's definitely longer than the 8 miles quoted. I would say on the tougher side of moderate, muddy in some spots but is all good with a pair of decent hiking boots. Pretty 360 views at the end.

Load More