- Hike Distance: 8.4 to approx 10 miles RT
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Duration: approx 5-7hrs
- Trail Type: Out and Back
- Elevation Gain: Approx +1200″
- Seasons: Summer to Fall
- Dogs: Allowed On Leash
- Hike Trail Map: Click for a Map of Chicago Lakes
- Denver Drive Time: 1hr
- Driving Directions to Chicago Lakes Trail: Click for Google Map
- Town Nearest Hike: Idaho Springs, Colorado
- Beauty: Lakes, Mountain Peak Views, Creek, High Country, Cliffs, Wildflowers, & Wildlife: Mountain Goats, Bighorn Sheep, Elk
- Activities: Hiking, wildlife viewing
- Weather for Mt. Evans: Click Here
The Chicago Lakes Trailhead and Trail: Park at the Echo Lake lot, where you’ll find the sign for Chicago Lakes Trail 52 on the west side of the lake. That will lead you to another sign about .5 mile later directing you to the trail. The trail will turn into Idaho Springs Reservoir Road, then will return to a normal trail. It climbs through a burn area, the result of a fire in the 1970s, then continues to climb to Lower Chicago lake. The trail has a lot of character: steep areas, massive cliff walls, and expansive meadows. The trail continues, faint at times, up a steeper section to Upper Chicago Lake.
As you’ll see in the comments on this hike, people come back with different trail lengths. So, to clear this up: Beginning at Echo Lake, the trail is 4.24 miles one-way to the lake. However, most people don’t want to stop there, many continue on to the upper lake, which adds and additional .6 mile to the trail. Then, some people opt to hike around the lake, which adds to the hike as well. You may want to start early, especially in the Summer months so that you have the time to explore and to avoid our famous, afternoon Colorado thunderstorms.
Tips & Resources for Hiking Chicago Lakes Near Mt. Evans, Colorado :
- TIP: Don’t Miss: 1 – The Upper Lake & 2 – The Cascade between the two lakes
- TIP: Check the Weather before heading up. Use the following link to National Weather Service page for Mt. Evans
- TIP: Look Over trail descriptions from Deb Stanley & David Day before heading out.
- Trail Map: Chicago Lakes Near Mt. Evans
- Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
- After the Hike: Finish your hike by enjoying a slice of Barbara Day’s famous pie at Echo Lake Lodge
- Photo: We would like to express our gratitude to Shea Oliver for sharing such an amazing photograph of this hike.
Map & Driving Directions
Click for Driving Directions