Hike to Chasm Lake

9 miles 2500 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Kyle Frost

Get the classic sunrise shot on Longs Peak. A fantastic (relatively) short hike with sublime views. 9 mile roundtrip hike with 2500' elevation gain. Option to summit Longs Peak (14255') if you've got the energy.

The 4.5 mile trail climbs around 2500ft from the Longs Peak trailhead, and starts by winding through dense forest. In the morning darkness, trudging through thick trees isnā€™t the most exciting, but when you finally climb out above treeline, the massive profile of Longs and the slowly growing light on the horizon is a welcome sight.

Make sure you know your hiking speed and leave early enough to arrive at the lake for the classic 'Sunrise hitting Longs Peak' shot! If you've got energy to spare after taking in the sunrise, backtrack a little back to East Longs Peak Trail and head up to the peak through the Keyhole route. This will tack on another 5.5 miles and add an additional 2500' in elevation, so make sure you're ready!

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

about 3 years ago

Chasm lake

Hiked this on 9/30/17. We started on the trail around 8am and made it to the lake around 10:30am or so. The hike itself is gorgeous with lots of viewpoints. The last bit of the hike takes you through a path of shale... the path is good, however there is definitely ice/ light snow over parts of it. The view at the lake is gorgeous and definitely worth it. Bring layers b/c there is little protection from wind if you go on a breezy day (which we did). Enjoy the hike, it's amazing :)

šŸ„ˆ Contributor

about 3 years ago

Great Day Hike

One of the best day hikes near Boulder area. The Chasm meadow leading up to the lake is absolutely wonderful. It is really awesome to hike in the winter too when the lake is frozen over.

šŸ„‰Contributor

over 3 years ago

Still Worth It

After hearing about how amazing this hike was, I decided to see for my own eyes the wonderful view. Unfortunately, me and the weather weren't on the same page on the way there. I couldn't see anything more than a couple feet in front of me because of the fog, and it even started to rain during the third mile (luckily I brought a poncho)! However as I stopped to turn back on the last mile (there was an icy patch that wasn't safe to cross), the fog cleared up and I had the most incredible view from the mountain side. So, to anyone who is worried about the weather, just keep going and I promise it will be worth it!

šŸ„ˆ Contributor

over 4 years ago

Everyone Should Go.

Honestly, this is the only hike that I have done inside of RMNP, but it was AMAZING. It is a perfect balance of hiking through forests, alpine tundra, (we had some snowfields near the lake), and a phenomenal view of Chasm Lake at the top! Take a plunge if you are truly daring... IT'S WORTH IT.

Explorer

šŸ„‡Top Contributor

about 5 years ago

Chasm Lake Hike

This is one of my favorite hikes I've ever done. Just wanted to add that if anyone wants to shorten their morning hike there is a backcountry campsite along the Longs Peak trail. Goblin's Forest is located 1.1 miles from the trailhead. Although shaving off only a mile from the hike doesn't seem like much it was also convenient to not have to worry about driving in and finding a parking spot in the overflowing parking lot. All in all I would highly recommend this adventure!

Stay Nearby

Larimer County, Colorado

Glacier Basin Campground

Overview Glacier Basin Campground (8,500 feet) is adjacent to Estes Park in the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. From lush valleys to craggy peaks with elevations reaching ov...

Allenspark, Colorado

Olive Ridge

Overview The Olive Ridge Campground is located within the Roosevelt National Forest, situated near the southeastern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park at an elevation of 8,350 feet.Recreation O...

Estes Park, Colorado

Moraine Park Campground

Overview Moraine Park Campground (8,160 feet) is located in Colorado's awe-inspiring Rocky Mountain National Park, near the Beaver Meadows Entrance on Highway 36. It is situated on the north side o...

Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park Koa

Nearby Adventures

  • Summit Storm Peak and Mount Lady Washington

    This adventure began at the Longs Peak trailhead in southeastern Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. I followed the Longs Peak trail for 6 miles to the Boulderfield backcountry camping area. This is a fairly steep on-trail climb of 3,360 feet....

    14 miles 4500 ft gain

  • Camp at Boulder Field in Rocky Mountain National Park

    Boulder Field is a high alpine backcountry site on Longs Peak, and is a popular camp for backpackers attempting to summit Longs PeakĀ via the Keyhole route. At an impressive elevation of 12,760 feet, Boulder Field is a vast wasteland of rocks that ...

    12 miles 3360 ft gain

  • Sunrise Hike to the Peacock Pool

    The peacock pool is a cool little tarn below the outlet to Chasm Lake. Please note that this adventure is best done in the winter/spring when snow is present to prevent erosion in the sensitive area. That is how the description will be written, a...

    8 miles 2100 ft gain

  • Summit Longs Peak

    For the most part, this hike is very straightforward, so I'll essentially skip over the first 5.5 or so miles of the hike, but, in case you don't know:Start (very early so you get a parking spot) from the trailhead right next to the parking lot (t...

  • Inspire Your Fall Aspen Trip!

    Autumn days in Aspen are filled with sunshine and nights with crisp cool air. Watch the mountains and valleys turn gold with the changing Aspen trees. Take in the scenery while enjoying scenic drives, hiking through forests, road biking, and exploring our IMBA Gold Level Ride Center recognized mountain bike trails. 




    Learn More