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Colorado Trail Report

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Chicago Lakes

Contributed by ranchez

Leaving Echo Lake, the trail goes downhill for the first mile. Here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. This will be the easy part of the hike for the trail then climbs upward the remaining three miles. You will pass through an old burn area where in 1978, 400 acres burned in the Reservoir Fire. Abundant wildflowers stand out against the burned trees. Darting back into the trees, the first Chicago Lake sits at treeline. The trail to the second lake, above treeline, is difficult to follow at times and is very steep. Both lakes offer excellent views of surrounding peaks.

*Be aware of quickly advancing summer lightning storms.


At the junction of Hwy 103 and 5, the trail starts behind the Echo Lake Lodge.  There are several social trails in the area, simply choose the one that heads southwest. This trail can also be easily accessed by the Denver Mountain Parks picnic area and scenic path around Echo Lake.

Length: 4 miles  |   Rating: Difficult
Activies: Day Hiking, Backpacking

Trailhead Elevation: 10,600

Trailhead Waypoint: 39.656290 N -105.600579 W

Permit Info:  

National Weather Service Forecast

Trailhead Maps:
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Management Area(s)
Arapaho National Forest

Clear Creek County

Nearby Cities
Idaho Springs

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