Hells Hole Trail

MODERATE 73 reviews
#12 of 118 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.

DISTANCE
8.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1961 feet
ROUTE TYPE
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
2 days ago

2 days 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
2 days 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
4 days 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
6 days 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.

hiking
9 days ago

9 days ago

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

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.

hiking
10 days ago

10 days ago

12 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

Hell's Hole Trail was mostly in good condition...not much snow until around 11,000 feet and even that wasn't too bad. A bit swampy in places and a few minor creek crossings, but not much mud. Boots are pretty clean. :-) Snow fields appeared right before the cirque, so we stopped, but it looked like it was still doable and we saw people coming back from the cirque. Everything is blooming quickly...a few different types of wildflowers were found. Not busy at all...must have come across about 6 or 7 other parties/groups.

15 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

I would put this trail on the more difficult side of things. Four steady miles up and steep in spots. After about two miles the many places with deep snow made it even more challenging. I was able to make it to the top but it was not easy in parts. This is a nice hike mostly through the woods and along a stream in many parts and lots of shade. You pass several groves of Aspen along the way which I am sure is pretty in the fall. No real mountain views but sitting in the bowl of Hell's Hole is kind of cool with the mountain surrounding you. Not very busy on this day but I am guessing that changes when all of the snow finally melts.

hiking
22 days ago

This trail was beautiful and uncrowded. I couldn't reach the cirque today; there was still quite a bit of snow at the top. I know that other people were able to complete the hike, though. I am certain that within a few days the snow will have melted enough to get there.

The trail isn't marked really well and you have to pay attention in spots. Thank you to the trail angels for building rock markers. They kept me going the right way a couple times today.

hiking
25 days ago

2 months ago

hiking
3 months 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 :)

3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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