Explore the most popular birding trails near Idaho Springs with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
17 hours ago

Good, rocky trail through limber pine, Engelmann spruce, and sub-alpine fir. It was pleasant except that already by half-way up we counted 8 poop bags and 3 unbagged dog .poops.

Rocky climb via Spalding. It was very cold, windy, and foggy today near summit. The true summit is not well marked especially the last 80ft. Definitely nice views. We went down the easy way (Northeast face) as we did not pack gloves. We did it in less than 4 hours up and down with very short brake at the summit.

Loved the hike and the peaceful lake.

Short trail. Kinda packed with visitors. Pretty views.

First of many hikes for my 9 yo son and I. I agree with the other reviewers this is not an easy beginner trail. We did make it up, but I was not expecting as much rock as there is. Especially right at the beginning. Having said that, it’s a beautiful trail and was definitely enough to trigger the hiking bug in my son.

2:30 out and back. Other than a tough switchback, it’s pretty flat and easy once you clear the tree line. A must if you enjoy alpine scenery.

Four star hike with 5 star views at the top.

Arrived at the trailhead at 9:15 on a Sunday. Plenty of parking and very quiet ascent. Coming down (around 10:15) parking was full and there were several groups heading up.

This is a quick hike because of the short distance but I would not rate it as “easy.” The incline is persistent and the terrain is very rocky at times. I’d definitely recommend hiking shoes.

Breathtaking views in all directions at the top!

hiking
1 day ago

This is a 4wd road that climbs from Henderson Mine to Jones Pass. So that makes it a great beginner hike. No challenges for route finding or footing or terrain. Vehicle traffic is light enough to be a non-issue. And dogs can be off-leash, which was a nice change.

About half of the ascent is above tree line, so you do need to be equipped with appropriate clothes at ANY time of year.

Fantastic views and doable by anyone with enough baseline fitness to walk a steady uphill for 3.5 miles. I’m a fan; I’ll be back.

A beautiful hike up, made it to the summit just before the weather came in. A wet hike down to the road but no problem.

off road driving
1 day ago

This is a truly fun trail. Probably my favorite one so far. The views are incredible, the scenery is phenomenal, and you could spend all day picking different routes in the area.

Took my 4Runner here. The views were incredible when your reach the main landing spot. It’s almost like a playground up top because there are plenty of trails from easy to difficult centrally located around this area. Plus it’s one of the closest trails to Denver that I’ve seen

One of my favorites. Great hike with the best views at the top. Barely any traffic near sunset and would highly recommend for out of towners (like me).

Nice hike with great views but heavily trafficked.

Climbed Gray’s Peak today and didn’t continue on because the clouds rolled in. It was a tough hike but very clear trail.

Good trail with a nice challenging climb. Maintained well and easy to follow. The entire hike was a steady climb uphill, not many places where it leveled out. This is perfect practice for beginner hikers who want to hike a mountain at a higher elevation. My husband and I got to the trail head around 8am on a Saturday, only 2 other cars in the parking lot, and saw only a few people on the way up. On our way down it was much busier, saw many groups coming up and the parking lot was very full. I’d say if you are looking for a peaceful climb, get there early. It was a cloudy morning and very windy and cold at the top, storms were moving in. Even with the cloud cover the views were great. Will most likely do this again on a sunnier day.

hiking
2 days ago

A fun hike! I arrived at 6:30am on a Friday and I was the first one on the summit. It has a couple of pretty tough spots on the way up, but it also has some spots that level out to give you a break. The first mile was probably the hardest for me personally. All-in-all it is a great hike if you are trying to build up to doing some 14ers, and it has great 360 degree views at the top.

Lots of fun

hiking
3 days ago

Fantastic 13er! We were in the parking lot by 8:30 on a Saturday and there was not a ton of traffic on the way up. Certainly more as the day went on, but nothing like some of the 14ers around. Great views and steady incline but nothing ridiculously hard. Would be a good into elevation hike for people!

Hands down one of the most fun climbs up a 14er! Definitely more climbing than hiking!

Quick hike with some elevation gain and great views as the payoff. Limited parking near the TH, so get there early. The trail is pretty much all about going up, but no significant climbing or barriers.

hiking
3 days ago

I never tire of the view from the top. Great drive. Even better climb, but I am sure that it is somewhat of a sore spot when you go through all of the hard work to summit this 14teener only to see a giant parking lot at the top. Ha-ha!

hiking
3 days ago

I'm heading to Echo Lake this weekend to hike to Idaho Springs Reservoir. Can anyone tell me the water level of Chicago Creek as it enters the reservoir? We are looking to fly fish and don't want to waste time if the water levels are too low. Thanks! I'll leave an official comment after we return.

Really great hike! Starts out on a gentle uphill through the forest and then opens up. 360 degree view of surrounding mountains. It can be quite windy but it wasn’t bad when we were there! Not hard and has flat spots along the way! We were very pleased with this hike!

The road to the trailhead is definitely crazy - our 4x4 Pathfinder took it like a champ! But, you definitely need a 4x4 vehicle to get through.
We pulled into the lot at 5am on Wednesday and there were only a few cars at the top parking lot.

This was my first 14er and it was the hardest hike I’ve ever done in my life! Definitely worth it! We had our 7 year old with us... and it was pretty difficult for him. We all summited Grays and enjoyed the breathtaking views. We didn’t summit Torrey’s. One was enough for us.
We took a lot of breaks with our son - it took us about 6/7 hours to reach the summit. We made it back down to the parking lot in about 2 hours.

What an amazing hike! It’s a tough one for sure. The road is definitely scary, but we took it pretty slow. My Jeep Patriot did great. Got to the TH at 530am on a Wednesday morning still spots in the parking lot, not too busy on the trail, was perfect. Took 8 hours with a lot of breaks. Did Grays and Torreys, worth every second!

off road driving
4 days ago

did the full loop. recommend some good shocks, tires and height for smoother ride lots of rocks that make it bumpy. moderate is some areas and easy in others. easy to get lost and watch your signs overall great trail! stock jku rubi

on Echo Lake Trail

hiking
4 days ago

Nice, somewhat crowded, trail that goes all the way around the lake. Kids really enjoyed it. Bathrooms are available at different points around the lake, making it user friendly for little ones, and big ones - ha,ha!

I arrived on a Monday evening around 6:30pm - there were 2 other cars by the trailhead, by 10pm the parking lot was about half full and when I headed out at 6:30am the next morning the lot only had a few spots left but there was still another 8-10 spots on the side of the road by the beginning of the trail. There are a few sporadically positioned camping spots by the trailhead with firepits - I counted 5 but there may be more. I highly recommend arriving the night before and sleeping in your car or camping as it takes the stress out of wondering whether there will be a place to park once you finally get up the dirt road. Plus you get to see some amazing stars and get to start your climb at whatever time you choose.

The road is as described by many others - rough. I have a 4x4 Jeep and found it tricky in places and slow going 5-10mph for most of the ride to avoid damaging my vehicle. I did see a Prius and several low clearance 2 wheels up at the trailhead which I would not advise unless you're in a rental or just don't care about wrecking your car (or inconveniencing others if you get stuck).

The hike is fun but challenging. I'm in my early 40s - active, above average fitness and live in Denver so not coming directly from sea-level and found it tough above 13k. There's a lot of rock and scree. The views are worth it. I did Torey's first by veering right where the trail splits and then Gray's - which seemed to be against most of the traffic so I'm glad I did. Overall it was busy (especially for a Tuesday morning) but not to the point where that affected the pace of my climb or my enjoyment of it - just plenty of people to say hello to.

Time wise I got up to the top of Torey's in 2-1/2 hours, it then takes about 45 mins to go down, traverse and summit Gray's. I took my time at the top of Gray's and came down fairly casually. I was back down at my vehicle in 5 hours 40 mins (8.6 miles, 3,107ft of elevation gain).

The weather was great - clear all morning. It was chilly at the top of Torey's so I was glad for a nano-puff and pair of lightweight gloves.

It's a fun, challenging hike - that will take your breath away in more ways than one.

Gorgeous area. If going on the weekend, get there early, parking lot does fill up, and area from echo lake to the Idaho Springs reservoir can get quite busy. Well shaded, good distance, pretty lakes, creek, and reservoir. Also dog friendly, expect to see a few. Highly recommend this hike!

hiking
5 days ago

a beautiful hike

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