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Mount Evans Resthouse Trail

MODERATE 47 reviews
#17 of 37 trails in

Mount Evans Resthouse Trail is a 11.1 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 June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,273 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Idaho Springs: Travel 14 miles south on highway 103 to Echo Lake Campground. The trail begins at the campground (look for the sign that says trail, this takes you past restrooms and camp sites).

hiking
24 days ago

There was no snow on the trail! The views open up towards Lincoln lake, in a what I think is a burn area. Gorgeous view of mount Evans, past Lincoln lake it descends back into forest. It wasn't too crowded when I was there, saw about ten other people. It's a really pretty trail, with dense spruce forest for most of the trail. Definitely worth a day hike or an over night, gives you access to many other trails too. Flowers are blooming now too. Lincoln lake is very pretty, good place for a lunch, seemed kinda difficult to camp at the lake, as it's enclosed in a cirque and boulders cover the entire shore of the lake. Good spots near the first creek (near echo lake).

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Really pretty trail, through the first five miles the snow was manageable but it coated the trail about 1.5 miles away from Lincoln lake, snow drifts were 3 feet high. It's melting really fast so I'd imagine in a week or two it'll be much better. not too much mud. great trail and easy to access!

backpacking
snow
1 month ago

I hiked from Echo Lake to Lincoln turnoff on Friday, June 7th, 2019. Don't even think of it for at least 2 more weeks unless you are a glutton for punishment or just not too bright - I'm a little of both. Those are my posthole steps you will follow if you try it. There are still 5-foot deep drifts and the snowfield is all but unbroken from Vance Creek to where you come out of the trees near the Lincoln Lake turnoff some 3 miles later. It was a punishing journey to say the least. Not sure if snowshoes would help as the drifts, while mostly unbroken, are interspersed with patches of rocky mud. Any way you cut it you're in for a brutal hike for at least 2 more weeks, probably 3.

2 months ago

I did this trail on May 14, 2019, with several people from the Colorado Mountain Club. Even though it has been officially spring for a while now, the weather is still cold and the trails, including this one, are still mostly snow covered. This is not an easy or short trail. I clocked it at 11.8 miles. It starts at 10,600 ft and the highest point, the lake is 11,707 ft but the total elevation gain is nearly 2200 ft because there are two up and down stretches, during the first 2.5 miles or so you climb about 600 ft then you come down again and you consistently climb up again about 1200 ft during the next 3-4 miles. That means that on the way back you have, again a 600 ft climb as you are hiking back to your car. The entire trip took about 9 h with a 30 min lunch break at the lake. About 4.5 h to get up and about 4 h to get back. We used spikes for the first mile or two and the last mile or two but the rest of the time we used snowshoes except during a short stretch near the top where the snow had melted. The trail is mostly under the tree line until the end where you cross a sad looking forest that was burned during a fire in 1962. The destination has nice views though and the lake was still mostly frozen. We did have the trail to ourselves, we saw no other hikers.

hiking
7 months ago

Stumbled on this trail after trying to get to echo lake trail and SO glad I did. Went today/Sunday 12/16 and it was covered with snow but no ice! Steady incline and so low trafficked I only turned around because I got a little nervous being by myself haha. One of my favorite hikes now — can’t wait to go back.

hiking
10 months ago

Nice trail. For the first part you can hear the cars going up mt. Evans since this trail is so close by, but the farther you go into the forest the less you hear. While my husband and I did not do the entire trail, we noticed the trail hikes up then down, then up again. The incline was pretty consistent and was a good workout. We only did about 4 miles out and back, and only came across a few people. Not a lot of clearing for views but regardless it was a pretty good hike. We brought our 4 year old pug and he was fine because the temperature stayed relatively cool.

backpacking
Saturday, July 14, 2018

Great weekend hike into Lincoln Lake. Very few people on this trail. The wildflowers are beautiful along the way.

hiking
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Glad I did this hike. However it's a one time hike. Much prefer Chicago lake if I drive up to this area . Took about 4 hours round trip to get to Lincoln Lake.

snowshoeing
Monday, February 26, 2018

Only did a little more than a mile in to the first saddle on snowshoes. The snow was quite packed down from previous snowshoers/skiers. Snowshoes not totally required, but some form of spike/crampon would be useful. I took off the snowshoes for the hike back down hill. There was a cool little igloo city near the parking lot. It was quite cold and windy, but nice in the igloos!

hiking
Friday, February 16, 2018

We did 1.2mile, only two of us in whole trail, because deep snow. there is a big rock we did climb up, very nice view.

snowshoeing
Monday, January 15, 2018

There is enough snow for snowshoes but they are really not necessary. This trail is much less trafficked than the nearby Chicago Lakes trail. it is relatively easy to find and follow the trail, you get some pretty views but nothing spectacular but you will have the trail mostly to yourself which is nice.

hiking
Friday, October 20, 2017

Oct 20th --trail snow packed and icy...had to quit a short distance in. However saw 3 moose in the parking lot. Made the morning a little better. Will be back up there in July!!

trail running
Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Great for a challenging trail run. The trail kinda disappears by the lake. I went on a Tuesday morning and did not see anyone else the entire run.

hiking
Sunday, July 09, 2017

Light foot traffic during the time I went. But awesome trail. I will be back soon.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Had a lovely hike and picnic on this trail. Only saw two other hikers on the way. Great day!

snowshoeing
Friday, March 10, 2017

Packed snow on the trail up to the high point with a view of Mt Evans. We used snowshoes but would also be navigable with boot tracks. Very windy but protected in the trees.

snowshoeing
Sunday, January 08, 2017

did most of this trail last weekend. pretty crunchy until 3 miles in, then it became obvious there hadn't been anyone on the trail in a few weeks. about 4 miles in, started seeing really big mountain lion tracks. being alone, and not having seen another person since the first 1/2 mile, i decided to turn around. anxious to get back out and give it another go. highly recommend.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

You want to dress in layers. The temperature can change by 20 degrees depending on altitude and time of day.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Beautiful trail! we got about 2 miles in and the weather started looking ify so we turned around, but never a day wasted

hiking
Monday, June 20, 2016

A beautiful hike although not as exactly as described - much more than 200 feet in elevation gain. This is the 2nd time I have done this hike and unfortunately have never been able to do all of it. You will want to get to the trailhead early as parking is tight. You do NOT need to pay any fees, fees are for camping. While the trail description on this website shows heavy traffic, we started Saturday around 9:45 am and only saw a handful of people on the trail. When I think of heavy traffic I think of the Matthews Winters trail where you are overcome with bikers and hikers on the weekend. Have a wonderful time and enjoy the beauty of the mountain.

hiking
Wednesday, September 09, 2015

What a wonderful trail! Some call this the sister trail to Chicago Lakes, and some say its less interesting. I beg to differ, I enjoyed this trail tons more then the Chicago Lakes trail. I hiked to Lincoln Lake, roughly 5.6 mile from the Resthouse Meadows Trailhead. The trail was mostly mellow in my opinion, you start with going steadily up and then drop steeply down to Vance Creek (around 2 miles), remember this- going back up this one section is a butt-kicker. Its a nice easy grade from the creek and thru the burn area. The burn area is one of my favorite features of the hike. There is will a split to Lincoln Lake or to continue on the Resthouse Meadows trail, my goal was to go to Lincoln Lake so I followed the trail that direction. After about a mile or so in the burn area (mile 4.75is), I entered back into the forest and the trail very gradually started climbing upward. Once you start seeing giant boulders mixed with Bristelcone pines you are almost to the lake. The lake is glorious! There is no trail to the lake shore so you do have to manuvere of those giant boulders to get to the flat. The flat areas around the lake are limited, but obviously the boulders are big enough for rest and relaxing. It took me a little less then 6 hours to complete this trail roundtrip so plan for at least a 1/2 day adventure!

hiking
Monday, June 29, 2015

Good, somewhat strenuous trail. Longer than expected. Hiked to Lincoln Lake and it ultimately made the hike worth every step. Beautiful alpine lake and as of now the highway still isn't open so it was nice and peaceful. Definitely plan to be on the trail 4+ hours.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

We've done this hike maybe 5 times. We've never made it all the way to the meadows for varying reasons. We do love this hike. It's very scenic, especially Lincoln Lake and the burn area. When people come visit and want a good hike, this is where we take them. It really never gets old!

hiking
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Beautiful views! The beginning of the trail is a steady climb but once you get to the top, there is a clearing and great scenery. Fun place to explore!

hiking
Monday, May 27, 2013

Initially eyeing the opportunity to hike to Lincoln Lake (approximately 6 miles from Echo Lake Campground TH), my fiance and I ended up stopping around the Vance Creek footbridge about 2.2 miles from the Echo Lake campground Trailhead. The hike took us steadily uphill for the first 1.0 mi, then a gradual descent through forested pines to a clearing/meadow at Vance Creek where you could peer up to see the Mount Evans Road. Overall a nice trail, with moderate difficulty, and rewarding views.

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