Hike to Lower and Upper Chicago Lake
Colorado › Chicago Lake Trailhead
Added by Ryan Mckinney
Amazing views of Mount Evans Wilderness. You'll see moose, mountain goats, elk, and big horn sheep.
From the parking lot, stay to the right of Echo Lake and you will run into the Chicago Lakes Trailhead. Follow the switchbacks down and across Chicago Creek. 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. Continue past the reservoir and past the cabins to reach the Mount Evans Wilderness Area Boundary, and shortly after you will pass through the reservoir fire area that burned more than 400 acres in 1978.
You'll reach Lower Chicago Lake in just 3.95 miles. To get to the Upper Chicago Lake, head back to the Chicago Lakes Trail and continue another mile. This is a popular breeding area for big horn sheep and mountain goats in the late spring and early summer, so keep an eye out for them on the valley walls.
The weather in the Mount Evans Wilderness can change rapidly; be prepared for high winds, snow, rain, hail, and intense sunlight. Make sure you get an early start to avoid storms (and the crowds).
- Hiking gear (backpack, first aid, compass, and map)
- Water (or a water filter)
- 10 Stop Filter (for long exposures during the day)
- Shell jacket
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, Hiking, Photography
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Great hike with lots of beautiful places to camp near both Lower and Upper Chicago Lakes. Upper Chicago Lake is above treeline, and can get very windy. There is tree cover just below Upper Chicago Lake with good views over Lower Chicago Lake. Great as a day hike, or relaxed overnight trip.
More Adventures Nearby
Snowshoe Jim Creek Trail
Colorado / Jim Creek Trailhead
Starting at 9,220 feet of elevation, this 5 mile out-and-back snowshoe begins its 965 foot elevation gain meandering through a quiet forest.
Run the Challenge Hill
Colorado / Challenge Hill Parking
The Basics: The Challenge Hill, or as I like to call it, the Mini-Incline, is a shrunken version of its big brother to the south in Manitou.