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.

Hiked this trail on 05/20. Had to park down Guanella Pass road, about 1.8mi away from the trailhead and started around 8am. Bit of a late start as this was my first 14er. On the way up, the lower section of the trail was frozen. A decent amount of snow near the top, relatively packed. Made it to about .5mi from the peak and had to turn around due to dark clouds. Really muddy at the bottom of the trail. Plan to return at some point this summer to begin at an earlier time and complete the trail.

Quiet walk through the woods. Just arrived in the state that day, so the 10,600 ft altitude slowed us down a bit!

The trail circles the lake but traverses woods part of the way. The trail is flat, sandy, and well maintained. We saw a few friendly people.

My only complaint would be that the trail ends at the restaurant, then you have to return to your car by walking along the road shoulder.

Amazing view at top, 360 degree view, good workout and beautiful drive, I highly recommend this trail, it’s a great mini prep for a 14er

1 day ago

Just did this trail today. Difficult getting above trendline given still deep snow but then trail opens up and is easily hiked to the top. Windy along ridges so dress in layers for wind chill temps. Beautiful 360 views. Well worth the time.

BEAUTIFUL HIKE! Happy to be back in the alpine so early in the season

off road driving
3 days ago

Great 4x4 area with amazing views near Mt. Evans that is right off highway. Air down, pick up your trash, and be aware of those shooting who are not too aware of where they are shooting. :(

I've ran this 2 times with Front Range 4x4 during trail clean up days. There are some great camp sites up here and awesome views of Mt. Evans. Again please pick up your trash and casings.

off road driving
3 days ago

Great trail close to Denver to get out, run a lap in the rocks, and grab some dinner in Idaho Springs after. I've ran this one time and it was in a stock Frontier Pro 4x with AT tires. I scratched the lower front bumper below the fog light in one spot. Other than that I was fine on the trail. Please pick up your trash and thank Front Range 4x4 group for doing a volunteer cleanup on this trail 2 times per year.

hiking
3 days ago

Great trail and the view at the top is worth the climb! Climb up felt harder than “easy” but the altitude has been messing with us. We went today (5/22/18) and there were places that still had snow/slush which made it slick at times.

hiking
4 days ago

This is a great hike, and an excellent time of the year to make a trek into some high-altitude backcountry wilderness!

When I hiked this trail on 22 May, it was clear all the way to the Lower Chicago Lake. Only in the last mile or so did I encounter any sloppy muddy conditions due to remaining snowmelt runoff. Did not walk on any snow on the trail itself, only a small amount near the Lower Chicago Lake.

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!

One of my favorite easier hikes. Amazing 360 views at the top.

Amazing trail. We were fortunate enough to go on a foggy day in Denver and we were literally on top of the clouds when we reached the top. Indescribable.

hiking
7 days ago

Great conditions currently and the trail was easy to follow the entire way.

Don't start too late or you will enjoy crossing the snow melt swamps in the flat lands returning to the trail head. The last mile to the trail head took almost 1.5 hours of low crawlyto make it out.

Also, this is about an 11 mile hike round trip at this time. Geunalla pass is closed about 1.88 miles below the trailhead. Plan accordingly.

hiking
9 days ago

5/16. Awesome hike with great views. Could only reach lower Chicago lake, still too much snow for upper. Although some hikers went all the way up. Reservoir is also beautiful but worth the hike all the way to the top. Once you pass upper Chicago lake it, the trail continues to Summit Lake and then continues to the summit of Mt. Evans. Waterproof shoes a must. Instagram ec_boyd

hiking
10 days ago

Hit this trail last week. Great views on the way up and absolutely stunning at the top. There’s a radio tower of some sort that we explored for a while. Overall great hike but definitely would’ve been better if I had snow shoes. Also great for backcountry skiing or snowboarding

hiking
10 days ago

May 15. Very little snow; less than 1% left on the top part of the trail. You must hike until the end...the views are beautiful. Great place to have lunch. First 3.5 miles are all up hill. Enjoy. Instagram ec_boyd

Took my 4Runner up but the gate is still closed. All snow has been melted as of 3 days ago..

hiking
11 days ago

Started at Echo Lake TH. Made it to the reservoir and kept going. To the right of the Rez there is snowpack that is melting. I post holed a little, but was fine. Passed the private property and on up to the lake. The trail near the lake was snowed in so I couldn’t find the rest of the trail. Had lunch to the right/backside of the lake then turned back.

I imagine in the summer the trail continues on past the lake. I looked at the map where you register for wilderness camping and noticed you can summit Evans from this trail, so I know the trail wraps around past the lake, I just couldn’t find the trail because of snow.

Anyway, I’ll give it another shot this summer. Still a decent hike for 5/12/18.

One of my favorite hikes that I've ever done. Not too physically demanding, but so rewarding. The views at the top are insane, even with cloud coverage. The drive up to the trailhead is a treat in itself too. Did this one 5/14/18 and would recommend crampons or microspikes for the descent- I can imagine it'd be a little slick without them. However, the risk of post-holing is pretty much gone! Get up there and see some beauty!!!

Great hike for early May. The trail was nearly completely snow free and it wasn't terribly hot!! Great views of snowy mountains while you are on dry land! Some parts of the trail were thru forests which is a nice switch up from what I've been used to in CO. The lake is gorgeous and a fun place to sit and watch clouds roll over while drinking water and enjoying a snack and sitting silently without cell service or the sound of cars rushing by. It does become a little physically demanding so lots of water is a must.

hiking
12 days ago

One of my favorite hikes in Colorado. Went up yesterday and the trail was pretty much clear of snow. Some snow in small patches. Beautiful scenery and a moderate amount of people around 10am

hiking
12 days ago

Great variety of scenery; walking labyrinth about 2/3 of the way down the trail. Very little traffic at 8am until about noon.

hiking
12 days ago

I hiked grays to torreys and whent down Kelso ridge. it was covered in snow about 75 80% got off trail and post holed it back for cuple miles... ;) next time it's kelso.to.torreys to Gray's then out ..

the ridge is the best.. I did grays to Torres then down climbed the ridge super fun specially with all the snow up top and post holing on the way back :)) but hey who needs gear

off road driving
13 days ago

Fun trail, but as of this date (5/12/18) it becomes unpassible at about 3 - 3 1/2 miles in because of deep heavy snow. Had to turn around.

hiking
13 days ago

We hiked this trail today. Was amazing! Still some snow up top and good hiking shoes needed for sure as some of the piles are still deep. Also some water crossing you will get wet if not careful. This trail is a lot of up up up for the first 3 miles. But it’s worth it. We didn’t actually see anyone else out there til we were on our way back, which is perfect for those of us that like the path less taken. Happy Trails!

hiking
14 days ago

I can’t comment on the trail itself because we never actually got to it. We went May 7 and it was snow covered. The reason for the bad review is because you have to drive up a bad road to get to the trailhead. Once there, you discover you are at a shooting range and people aren’t even staying within the posted areas to shoot. Doesn’t make for a good trip when your children are frightened and your baby starts crying because of the gunfire.

hiking
15 days ago

Absolutely beautiful scenery throughout the entire hike. Some snow but easily passable with hiking shoes. I brought my yak tracks but didn’t need them. The trail was wet as you get closer to Chicago Lakes #1. If you are careful, it shouldn’t be a problem. My feet were dry the entire hike. There was one slightly sketchy water crossing but it’s not too bad if you take your time and watch where you step.

hiking
17 days ago

Patches of snow that you won't even notice in the morning but if the sun is out, you'll definitely notice them in the afternoon! Lots of post holing after noon, even in snowshoes. Suggest starting really early so you don't have a bad time!

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