Hike the Resthouse/Lincoln Lake Trail
Colorado › Echo Lake Trailhead
Added by Amy Kesic
Quiet, less-traveled trail in Mount Evans WildernessUp to 10.6 miles round-tripEasy to Moderate difficulty2,140’ total elevation gainAccessible year-roundAlpine lake at tree lineRecovering burn area is full of wildflower meadowsMeadows 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.
In winter, snowshoe or ski gear
- Sturdy hiking boots or trail shoes
- Weather appropriate, layered clothing
- Day pack with plenty of food and water (Vance Creek and Lincoln Lake are the only sources of water)
- Dry pair of socks
- Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Fishing, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Survival
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
Added by Amy Kesic
A mom who decided to get fit a few years ago, I took up running and hiking to keep myself moving. Since moving to the Front Range foothills a year ago, I've spent my free time discovering all the trails I possibly can. I'm in love with Colorado and the Rocky Mountains; I also like to take pictures, and I share my adventures here on The Outbound and on Instagram at @run2themountains.Follow
More Adventures Nearby
Hike the Evergreen Mountain Loop
Colorado / Alderfer/Three Sisters Park Parking Lot
The way up Evergreen Mountain is actually a few different trails stitched together throughout Alderfer/Three Sisters Park.
Camp at Silver Queen Campground
Colorado / Silver Queen Campground
To start it off, head out from Aspen on Maroon Creek Road.