Both lakes offer excellent views of surrounding peaks. Starting from the Echo Lake Trailhead, follow the west side of Echo Lake until the trail splits. 14mi total. Evans Road (SH 5) in the campground. It’s worth mentioning that you hike along a paved road with several foreboding “private property” signs for a mile and a half which is kind of odd. I climbed a steep grassy slope (.6 mile, +1200 FT) out of the Chicago Lakes basin, and down a gentle 200 feet drop to Summit Lake. It should be noted that our suggested place for parking and accessing the Chicago Lakes trail is different than that recommended by the Forest Service. From the parking lot, stay to the right of Echo Lake and you will run into the Chicago Lakes Trailhead. The best campsites are (lamentably) on the far end of the basin, just as you start to flirt with treeline. The upper lake is a great place to rest and have lunch. The Creek is dammed shortly up the trail, creating Idaho Springs Reservoir. Multiple Chicago bike community members and other Twitter users pointed out that Monday’s video is evidence that American infrastructure isn’t ready for global warming. Nice terrain and always great to be out! The trail was packed and icy in some places. Chicago Lakes is a 5 km black diamond singletrack alpine trail located near Clear Creek County Colorado. Great day trip hike. Both are small, with the Upper Lake only a short distance uphill from Lower Chicago Lake. Worth Noting: Snowshoeing this trail in the winter provides a greater sense of solitude than hiking it in the summer. First and last mile (lakes) are nice with great views. Colorado Hiking Trails: Are you looking for other places to hike? The plan was to be at the Lower Chicago Lake by sunrise; a 4 mile hike one way. From here the trail will descent in switchbacks for 300ft until it joins the Chicago Lakes Trail, which is a dirt road for the first mile until slightly past the Idaho Springs Reservoir at 10617ft. Access to the Chicago Basin is tricky and expensive. You will pass through an old burn area where in 1978, 400 acres burned in the Reservoir Fire. Took about 2 hours 15 mins to get to Upper Chicago Lake and 1.5 hrs back down. You’ll essentially skirt the southern boundary of Echo Lake. Don’t forget... what comes down must go up! Leaving Echo Lake, Chicago Lakes Trail travels downhill for the first mile, here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. I wanted to find somewhere I could feel some elevation but not go for a 14er right off the bat. However, the serenity of the lakes is well-worth the butt-busting effort. The distance between the trailhead and the plateau is 5.31 miles. The hike to Chicago Lakes is a great hike near Denver, taking you to pretty mountain lakes and into the high country of Mt. You will pass through an old burn area where in 1978, 400 acres burned in the Reservoir Fire. Directions: The trail to the Chicago Lakes starts at the Echo Lake picnic area. Parked around 1 on a Saturday, very crowded but road and parking lot have a high capacity, might be a short walk from the car to the start. Intended a quick hike to the reservoir but was in a groove and didn't realize it was a turn around point. Lower Chicago Lake sits just at treeline. Unique Cave Bar on-site located in our atrium . It’s 4.5 miles to the upper lake from the trailhead. Great views both direction, one of the close mountains then a bunch of peaks on the way back. The trail to the second lake, above treeline, is difficult to follow at times and is very steep. A beautiful drive up to Echo lake to start. Post navigation ← Drive Up Cottonwood Pass and Family Days in Evergreen. Many people on the trail, and when I got back to the parking lot, there were a lot of cars in the parking lot and on the road. Or, the Amazingness of the Colorado Wilderness. The Chicago Lakefront Trail (LFT) is a 18.5-mile-long (29.8 km) partial shared use path for walking, jogging, skateboarding, and cycling, located along the western shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois.The trail passes through and connects Chicago's four major lakefront parks along with various beaches and recreational amenities. I used micro spikes and poles throughout the hike and they helped, but saw other hikers doing fine without them. Took about 2 hours 15 mins to get to Upper Chicago Lake and 1.5 hrs back down. The AllTrails map actually leads to Summit Lake which I didn’t attempt, but the recording came to 11.3 miles / 2260 elevation gain. In the beginning, the trail descends about 300 feet (meaning you have to ascend that coming back...not ideal). 11/23/20 - Packed snow and ice on the trail. The trail begins at the Echo Lake Campground. Definitely worth the hike all the way to top. After the road leads up to Idaho Springs Reservoir, the trail winds up another two miles until the first lake. Activities: Hiking, Camping, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Closest City / Town: Idaho Springs, Colorado. Total Length 6mi; Elevation Range 10,331–12,868ft Δ 2,536ft; Manager USFS Clear Creek Ranger District; URL … The Chicago Lakes Trail #52. The Chicago Lakes themselves are accessed only on foot. For a longer hike you can continue hiking south to Summit Lake … This trail can also be easily accessed by the Denver Mountain Parks picnic area … The trail is relatively flat as it bypasses the dam. Trailhead starts at Echo Lake. Gorgeous views and good mix of different types of terrain! The overlook platform is half a mile round trip along a wheelchair friendly path. Yes, you read that right: There are indeed backpacking trails within striking distance of Chicago. This will be the easy part of the hike for the trail then climbs upward the remaining three miles. Chicago Lakes Trail #52 Map/Location. 12:45. It took about 5 hours (a little under 3 there including several breaks, about 2 back) at a moderate pace, went a little past Upper Chicago Lake until there was a "closed for restoration" sign and I couldn't really see the trail anyway. Fortunately, the fire stopped short of the lakes themselves, and it is the last mile of the trail that really makes the hike worthwhile. The Chicago Lakes are extraordinarily scenic. The trail climbs upward for the remaining 3 miles. The trail to the second lake, above treeline, is difficult to follow at times and is very steep. So, got here at 9am (Monday) and was the 4th car thank goodness! The first lake is tucked away in the back of a steep glacial valley with thousand-foot granite cliffs plunging down to its eastern shore. Dispersed camping is allowed near the Chicago Lakes Trail, and all entering the Mount Evans Wilderness need a self-issued permit available at the trailhead. Decent crowd, most wore a mask (thanks!). The route follows the Chicago Lakes trail up to the higher of the two lakes. Snow packed and icy for a lot of the hike, but beautiful and quiet. Really enjoyed this trail. Directions to the trailhead can be found Trailhead: Hells Hole Route Description The West Chicago Creek trail runs between Lake Edith and Hells Hole, which is a cirque on the north side of the Scott Gomer Creek plateau. Chicago Lakes Trail May 2016 pt1 - Duration: 12:45. TRAIL IS CLOSED AS OF 10/24 DUE TO FIRE RISK. Chicago Lakes Trail makes for a fantastic but long day hike or perfect 2-3 day backpacking trip. The next morning, we woke up, made some eggs and bacon and headed out on the Chicago Lakes Trail. Both lakes offer excellent views of surrounding peaks. Directions from Idaho Springs: Travel southwest on Highway 103 approximately 14 miles to Echo Lake Campground which is located at the intersection of Highway 103 and Highway 5 on the Mt. There was only one other vehicle in the parking lot. The trail is fairly steep after about 3/4 of a mile and leads to an unbelievable overlook. On the trail to the Chicago Lakes in Colorado. It wasn’t too crowded towards the last couple of lakes. The portion of the trail leading to Idaho Springs Reservoir is a local favorite for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. The trail starts off steep, dropping into a valley before running flat, then climbing steeply up again. So awesome. 11.19.2020 beautiful trail! The city of Chicago lies in a broad plain which, hundreds of millions of years ago, was a great interior basin covered by warm, shallow seas. This will be the easy part of the hike for the trail then climbs uphill the rest of the way. Darting back into the trees, the first Chicago Lake sits at treeline. Running between the shore of Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive, the trail passes through several notable parks with many sightseeing stops along the way. The downside of the Chicago Lakes hike is that in includes a mile of monotonous road walking followed by another mile through the scorched remains of an old forest fire. The FS has you park on the east side of the Mt. After crossing the creek, follow the sign indicating that the trail follows the dirt road and hang a left; from here, you'll reach the Idaho Springs Reservoir is a little over 1.5 miles. Trail has both smooth and rocky terrain. After refueling, you can continue the trail up the southern ridge to Summit Lake to properly finish the Chicago Lakes Trail. This is also a wonderful summer trail that’s just an hour drive from Denver. And finally, there were some places where I had to scramble quite a bit in random parts of the trail. Minimal smoke on the far horizon. Follow the switchbacks down and across Chicago Creek. If you’re looking for a butt workout – this is the trail for you. Author: Erica Zazo Updated: Jun 25, 2020 Original: Apr 20, 2018. Looking for hiking trails near Chicago? Get off on Highway 103 (exit 240) and head south. Trail Uses: hiker in all places and then horses in some….NO BIKES Description: The Chicago Lakes Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. Chicago Lakes Trail. Experience balance at Indian Lakes Hotel, located just 28 miles from downtown Chicago and 30 minutes from O’Hare International Airport (ORD), this hotel blends the comfort of hospitality with the vast landscape of the Midwest prairie. Evan’s Wilderness. Leaves are blown out so that’s kind of a bummer. Lower Chicago Lake is 3.5 miles from the trailhead at Echo Lake; the entire round-trip is 9.8 miles. Abundant wildflowers stand out against the burned trees. Be careful to stay on the correct trail when you reach the wooded area between lower and upper Chicago lake. West Chicago Creek is accessible only from Hells Hole Trailhead. The trailhead is located at 10,600′; the final destination is at 11,800′. We will be hiking to the lower of the two lakes. See all the news, and events for Chi-town hikers. Description: The Chicago Lakes Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. Started the hike, and it was initially quite windy but the wind subsided very quickly. From Idaho Springs take W. Chicago Creek trail south to Echo Lake. We started Friday (oct 16) around noon and planned to camp but bailed around 10 pm due to the crazy wind! Soaring Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture. Few individuals wore masks, but most kept a respectable distance while passing. You pass through an old burn area where 400 acres burned in the 1978 Reservoir Fire. Hence, not my favorite trail to hike on, though the view is pretty. Purgatory Flats Trailhead: Access from the northwest Purgatory Trail (#511) – approximately 4 miles, 1500 ft descent From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. Only a few small patches of snow, no need for microspikes etc., but that may change pretty soon! Receiving around 100,000 visitors per year, the basin is one of the most popular destinations in the Weminuche Wilderness. Darting back into the trees, the first Chicago Lake sits at treeline. While the views from there are spectacular, Summit Lake itself is a wonderful example of the alpine environment. Extremely foggy in the morning but it cleared up early afternoon. Beautiful views, the aspens are glowing gold right now. Tags : Arapaho National Forest, Chicago Lakes, Chicago Lakes Trail, Colorado, Mount Evans, Mount Evans Scenic Byway. Bring snacks but there are water spots for the pups. Here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. I started around 7:15 and didn’t run into many people on the way up. Chicago Lakes Trail (#52) Leaving from Echo Lake, the trail goes downhill for the first mile. You’ll essentially skirt the southern boundary of Echo Lake. From I-70, head west towards Idaho Springs. Turn right and begin following the Chicago Lakes Trail #52. Make a right (west) onto Hefferman Gulch Rd, a good dirt road. Description: The Chicago Lakes Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. Evans Scenic Byway. They are open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The trail will turn into Idaho Springs Reservoir Road, then will return to … The paved Lakefront Trail skirts the Lake Michigan shoreline, leading visitors on a walking tour of downtown Chicago. Just be aware when you reach this point so you don’t make the same mistake we made! Until May 27th, 2021 at 11pm. This will be the easy part of the hike for the trail then climbs upward the remaining three miles. That will lead you to another sign about.5 mile later directing you to the trail. This will be the easy part of the hike for the trail then climbs upward the remaining three miles. Consult guidebooks and maps and carefully plan your route before you arrive. Chicago Lakes in Mount Evans Wilderness. The Chicago Lakes are extraordinarily scenic. From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. The trail to the second lake, above treeline, is difficult to follow at times and is very steep. While the views from there are spectacular, Summit Lake itself is a wonderful example of the alpine environment. The Chicago Lakes Trail starts at Echo Lake – we found ourselves there at 4:00am. Mount Evans West Ridge via Chicago Creek is a 15.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. Follow the sign towards the Chicago Lakes Trail (west). Good hike on hazy day. Alpine lakes and stunning vista are not always locked away in the back country. The second lake rests 400 yards further south above a 300-foot wall of broken cliffs and steep grassy slopes. The trail rolls through some forest for a bit before opening up to a beautiful view of Mt … You get an appetizer of a view of the Chicago Lakes basin from the trail, just a taste of whats to come in 4 miles. Didn't get to the top lake due to running out of daylight. Also, the trail wasn’t super well maintained. With the paths in the snow we easily went the wrong way (embarrassing to admit as I’ve done this hike a handful of times before), up a rocky area and ended up in what seemed to be a mountain lion den (tracks and fresh kill). You'll essentially skirt the southern boundary of Echo Lake. It was a moderate trail along a creek that started you on an uphill climb almost immediately. 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