Hike the Resthouse/Lincoln Lake Trail

Echo Lake Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Amy Kesic

Quiet, less-traveled trail in Mount Evans Wilderness. Up to 10.6 miles round-trip. Easy to Moderate difficulty. 2,140’ total elevation gain. Accessible year-round. Alpine lake at tree line. Recovering burn area is full of wildflower meadows. Meadows attract wildlife such as mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and more.

While the Mt. Evans Wilderness never has a shortage of visitors, thanks to its proximity to Denver, it is possible to find a more private hike if you know where to look. Lincoln Lake Trail, accessible from Echo Lake year-round, is not as glamorous as its sister trail, Chicago Lakes, but is a wonderfully private and scenic trail favored by backpackers, horseback riders, snowshoers, and skiers.

Depending on how far you want to go, you can hike the 5.3 miles from Echo Lake to Lincoln Lake, or you can shorten the trip, as I did, to Vance Creek, which is 2 miles from the trailhead. This first portion of the hike is through a healthy forest, with occasional views of Mt. Evans from outcroppings or openings in the trees.

Past Vance Creek, you will come upon a large burn area from the 1960s. The standing dead wood lends an ethereal feel to the landscape. Because it has been several decades, the new growth is now coming in nicely; also, the burn resulted in large meadows rife with wildflowers in the summer. These meadows are prime feeding ground for wildlife such as mountain goats and bighorn sheep, while moose and elk prefer the willowy areas along the creek bed.

Lincoln Lake is visible from the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, 800’ above. If you get as far as the lake, you will enjoy beautiful lake views at tree line, with Mt. Evans towering above. Keep an eye out for wildlife, as well. One of my favorite things about hiking the Mount Evans Wilderness is getting there: the drive from Evergreen to Echo Lake along Hwy. 103 is breathtakingly beautiful. You will enjoy stunning vistas before you ever leave the car.

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Fitness
Survival
Camping
Fishing
Photography
Running
Skiing
Snowshoeing
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Stay Nearby

Evergreen, Colorado

Echo Lake

Idaho Springs, Colorado

West Chicago Creek

Central City, Colorado

Denver West / Central City KOA

Black Hawk, Colorado

Pickle Gulch

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Hike to Lower and Upper Chicago Lake

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Overall rating: 

Beautiful

So pretty but sketchy in the winter time. Use caution

I ran this at night during a meteor shower and it was fun. Fairly smooth trail with some great night sky views in the burn area.