Idaho Springs Reservoir Via Chicago Lakes Trail is a 3.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
797 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wildlife

snow

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 10.27.18

Majority of trail is free of snow and the snow that exists at the beginning is packed down. Beautiful views along the first mile, road at end is not the most fun, and I highly recommend heading further to Chicago Lakes--they're one of my favorite places in CO.

hiking
1 month ago

10/16/18 It was windy/cold with sunny skies. Used spikes at first but really not necessary especially when headed back to the car.

hiking
1 month ago

Fun little trail, definitely bring your spikes it is slick! I wore, and regretted wearing, trail runners.

hiking
1 month ago

Good trail, but had a hard time finding where it looped, so once I got to the top of the reservoir I turned around. Peaceful and beautiful views. Handful of people coming down from the Chicago lakes trail, but not overly crowded. Will probably do this again when I try the Chicago lakes trail. A bit slippery in spots with the colder weather coming, so have good shoes.

hiking
3 months ago

beautiful views of the aspens changing color and the reservoir was calm. I did lose the trail looping around from the trail side around to the dam, so be careful and make sure you stay near the water. great hike with my pup and not a ton of people - tho it was getting busy on our way back to the car!

3 months ago

Loved the hike and the peaceful lake.

5 months ago

Fun day and not too difficult. A couple of spots had drop offs, but we just took it slow.

hiking
5 months ago

This was a nice enough hike (especially the cliffside bits of the first mile), but I suspect that the really beautiful stretches of the Chicago Lakes trail lie along the higher stretches past the reservoir. Half of this short trail is a wide dirt road, which can't help but to detract a little from the trail magic. We did find the trail looping around the reservoir, starting from the dam side, but it frequently petered out into thick undergrowth or boulder fields, so bushwhacking is definitely required.
Surprisingly, the trail wasn't particularly busy on a beautiful summer Saturday morning when we arrived just after 8:30 - maybe the expectation of afternoon storms was enough to turn away the masses?

hiking
5 months ago

Super easy hike, decent workout. Good views, a lot of water! If you're looking for something that will last more than 2-3 hours, pack a lunch and head up to Chicago Lakes.

6 months ago

Get to this trail early so you don’t have to deal with the crap ton of people that come here. It’s beautiful! I plan on going back and going all the way to Chicago lakes. We just went to the reservoir and back. We got there around 8 and left around 1040 but we stopped a lot to take pictures and have a snack

hiking
6 months ago

The hike was beautiful! Couple things though: 1) This hike is rough terrain, be prepared for big rocks/boulders on the trail, 2) theres not a lot of shade, so it can get really hot. Also high altitude so wear sunscreen, 3) lots of people with dogs off leash running around the trail, 4) NOT lightly trafficked as said in this description - it was packed with people.

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike with multiple lakes. Great shade coverage. Trail in starts as incline, transitions to decline, then incline again. The first portion is very steady and mellow, and then once you cross the creek it’s an incline to the reservoir on a road, very similar to incline and length of St. Mary’s Alice. Wasn’t able to find the path around the lake, but there are great spots to set up a hammock!

Didn’t see anyone going up, but going down and around Echo Lake it seemed like the place to be. Get there early!

This trail is listed in a snowshoe book, but about 0.5 miles of the trail is narrow along a cliff, and with another part being the steeper road at the end I’m going to cross that off my winter list

6 months ago

It’s a great hike! You get some spectacular views of Mount Evans. I plan to go back when I have time to make it all the way to Chicago Lakes. Watch your step, as the beginning part of the trail is pretty narrow and is on a steep ledge with lots of loose rocks. Overall lots of fun!

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked: 6/2/2018

So, I actually attempted to go all the way to Chicago Lakes, via the Chicago Lakes trail, but had to turn around after about maybe 1/2 a mile beyond the reservoir because the Chicago Lakes Trail past the reservoir was a little more difficult than I expected. (the Chicago Lakes Trail listing on this website is actually listed as a HARD trail, and I'd say that's accurate).

I'm not sure where the trailhead proper is, but I parked to the east of the Lodge and then walked back towards Echo Lake and picked up the trailhead there. Just west (maybe?) of the stairs into the lodge was a very small sign which started the trail. I THINK that's the trailhead, but I could be wrong.

If you pick up the trail where I did, be on the lookout on the left hand side for where to pick up the Chicago Lakes Trail which will take you to the Reservoir. I almost missed it and would have ended up walking around Echo Lake. Not that big of a problem, but note-worthy.

The trail starts out with a decline into a valley, and then the last mile to the Reservoir follows a dirt road up to the res. I took a hammock and just hung out for a while. Great scenery, great weather. Not much foot traffic in the morning, but it did increase as the day wore on.

6 months ago

Beautiful hike! Did this hike on Saturday 6/2. Got to trailhead at 8:00am and were back to the car by 10:30 after quick snack and time to relax and enjoy nature by the reservoir. On the way back we passed what felt like a million people, but had the trail to ourselves til about 9:15 which was great, so get there early! Wonderful hike through gorgeous trees.

6 months ago

Gorgeous views! Last half going back up was "fun"

hiking
6 months ago

My wife and I really like this hike! You can go past the reservoir and continue on to Mount Evans Trail assuming you’ve started out early enough in the day. Trail was in good shape and there’s plenty of water about halfway up to the reservoir where you cross the creek. At least that is in early June. Plenty of aspen trees that would look great in mid to late September!

6 months ago

Tripped over a dog. Had a dog jump on me when standing on the trail ledge. Basically this trail is typical near-Denver jagfest where every millennial’s dog is the exception to the leash rule. Not a bad hike but wouldn’t bother again unless a weekday.

hiking
6 months ago

This trail was amazing! I went on 5/27. It was busy with holiday traffic but I loved it all the same. I’ve read some reviews saying it doesn’t loop but it does! I did the loop! It’s just that the left side of the loop from the main trail is hard to see because it turns into a footpath that goes along side the reservoir through the woods. I actually saw a lot of people not taking it because it’s not a well maintained path. Trust me it’s there you just have to look for it!

6 months ago

This trail doesn’t loop around the reservoir, it just keeps going up to Chicago Lakes and eventually to Mount Evans

hiking
6 months ago

Great little hike! Went on a Monday, 5/21; We only went to the first valley @ the creek and back up, which was 1.25mi ea way. Saw maybe 4-5 groups the whole way, couple leashed up dogs too. The trail portion we did was on the edge of the mountain until you got to the creek. Beautiful views and quiet place. Very minimal snow on the ground, and not very muddy at all but ground was wet (rained lightly the two days before). Definitely recommended!

7 months ago

Great hike, super peaceful w beautiful views. The last mile was a little tricky because the snow was kinda deep and slushy- but we were fine w just hiking boots the whole time. Stopped and hung out at the bridge over the creek for awhile and it was very peaceful. Saw very few other people

hiking
8 months ago

A lot of snow, but packed down and easy to hike. Amazing views. Not busy.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike! Ups and downs! Pretty snowy but it was packed down well. Some sections of small slippery areas on the path that are along a cliff so a little difficult at time but this trail was definitely worth it for the views!

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful place to hike! We went 3/12 early in the morning. We did not do the full loop at the end as the wind picked up, but it was still a wonderful hike. We did read the recommendations to wear yaktrax but we did not, wished we would have at times but it was still doable without them, just need to be careful with the ice!

9 months ago

I did this hike on 3/8, it was a little windy but an otherwise gorgeous day. Didn’t see too many other people out hiking.

Trail is snow packed and flooded/frozen over in spots. Snowshoes are not necessary but micro spikes are definitely helpful.

9 months ago

Spikes were very useful on hike out. Beautiful day in Idaho springs

9 months ago

A beautiful hike!! Definitely need Yaktrax for now.

snowshoeing
9 months ago

Not enough snow to truly snowshoe - trail was pretty packed the first part and got super fun and deep back by the actual reservoir. We need snow!!!

hiking
10 months ago

it was so pretty! Definitely would have been easier with snowshoes, I did really enjoy it. Not overly crowded, nice short hike.

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