Explore the most popular dogs on leash 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.

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!

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.

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.

hiking
2 days ago

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
3 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.

hiking
4 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!

off road driving
4 days ago

This trail was great first trail that’s gave my Jeep Cherokee a little challenge since I’ve been in Colorado. Lots and lots of ATVs and dirt bikes watch out because they will fly around the blind corners like no body’s business. The trail was great once you get a little over 300 yards from the top there is a great view of the saint Mary’s glacier. There are two spots there that I wish I would have had a bigger lift on my Jeep but we were able to get through it no problems. The trail was a lot of rock I mean 85% rocky roads and 5% dirt and mud 10% boulders. You don’t need to go there and back if you just go out on Jeep road to mine road to Fall River road you will be back on I70. Over all had a blast would definitely do it again and explore more of the trails around it. Make sure you bring a map or down load the map from here you will lose service most of the trail.

98 Jeep Cherokee 2.5 lift 31 grabbers open diff
Been off roading over 10 years across AZ

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
4 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!

on Echo Lake Trail

hiking
5 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!

on Oh-My-God Road

off road driving
5 days ago

This drive wasn't super scary or spectacular. The ruts in the road were pretty bad. The old mining sites and dredges, as well as the semi-ghost town of Nevadaville was interesting. Basically, this is a mellower route to take from Idaho Springs to Central City.

Beautiful not to difficult to hike up to the waterfall drive up on a 2015 Jeep Wrangler made it up fine

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
6 days ago

a beautiful hike

hiking
6 days ago

I started this hike at 7:30 a.m. (second car in the otherwise empty parking lot) on a Monday and returned somewhere between 1:15-1:30 p.m. This hike was definitely challenging for me as a flatlander and I had to stop to take breaks quite often. I also spent quite a long time up at the lake *maybe 45 minutes or longer) and took another longer break during my return at the reservoir to soak my feet before making the final uphill climb. I think this hike is moderate for people who live at altitude and hike regularly, or who are otherwise very fit. If you're not much of a fitness enthusiast and don't workout very often, this is going to be a very challenging hike. If you're fit-ish to average on physical activity, this hike is challenging.

It really surprised me to see so many folks without adequate hydration and starting later. Do yourself a favor and start by 7:30 a.m. because there isn't much shade after you get passed 10:30 a.m. All of the regular rules apply: bring sunscreen and reapply once you're up at the lake, wear a hat and sunglasses, bring more water than you think necessary, and pack loads of snacks. I brought 64 ounces of water and drank about 3/4 of it. Didn't encounter too many bugs other than curious bees at the lake. The only wildlife I encountered were birds (saw an eagle at Echo Lake first thing) and chiding squirrels. Trail rules indicate dogs are required to be leashed but most were off-leash - doesn't bother me but it's something to consider if you don't like dogs.

Some additional navigation tips:
-Once you complete the initial descent and get closer to the water, look out for the primitive log bridge to cross
-Exiting the woods, take a left to follow the access road for about a mile; if you're early in the day, you'll pass the Idaho Springs Reservoir and see trout jumping out of the water to feed.
-Follow the access road past the cabins; the trailhead will be ahead on your right with a no-fee permit station. Fill out your permit and take the trail immediately in front of you, not the unmarked trial to your right.
-You'll pass a second sign indicating that you're entering the Mt. Evans Wilderness; don't worry, you're on the right trail.
-I tried finding the trail to the upper lake and was unsuccessful. I ended up following some of the unmarked trails that go around the lake and wound up in a boggy area just before the lake. Maybe avoid that and do more research on picking up the trail to the upper lake than I did.

hiking
6 days ago

As with many others, this was my first "fourteener" and it was a blast. Couldn't of asked for better weather. Stayed in Georgetown, and got to the Guanella pass parking lot at approximately 0600. Yes, it was already full, however the summit overlook parking lot still had spaces left.I'm a flatlander from northeast Ks. but went prepared. Took my time, with frequent breaks, especially the higher I got. The scramble to the top was probably the toughest part, but by that point you've gone to far to not do it. While many folks, myself included, do Mount Bierstadt because their research reports it as being the easiest fourteener. Be forewarned - if you are a flatlander, even one who is in decent shape, there is nothing easy about trying to breathe at altitude.However do not let that dissuade you from doing this hike, as I can assure you that you will not be alone. Start to finish approximately 6 hours, half hour to 45 minutes on the summit.

My dad and I set out for an ‘easier 14er.’ Headed out around 6:45am and got back to the car around 12:45. We started at Summit Lake and did Spalding to Evans, and then back down Evans and Spalding again (so basically out and back). The hardest part we thought was the return over Spalding after already having climbed across some tricky rocky scrambling to Evans. Did see goats which was the highlight for me, and the view on top of Evans was really beautiful. Would recommend maybe going down the road after summitting Evans to make the trip a little more pleasant.

To reiterate others' comments, the road is an absolute mess -- without a SUV, pickup, or Jeep, there's no way you'll be able to drive to the upper (summer) trailhead. We managed to get about half a mile in a Honda Civic before parking on the shoulder and walking the rest of the way (~2.5 miles). By 7:00 AM on a Sunday, the parking lot was completely full. Don't expect much solitude, especially on the weekend - at least a few hundred people summitted the same day we did.

All that said, the hike itself was a lot of fun, though certainly difficult even after a few days of acclimation at RMNP. I'd recommend doing Grays first, going down the saddle, and then heading up to Torreys. Grays is all steep switchbacks; from the saddle, Torreys is a short but very steep climb. We thought the views were slightly better from Grays. Despite being rained on, hailed on, and briefly snowed on (yes, in August), the trails themselves weren't difficult to follow. Definitely a good experience for our first 14ers!

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