Now the real fun started. The paved Lakefront Trail skirts the Lake Michigan shoreline, leading visitors on a walking tour of downtown Chicago. The trail will turn into Idaho Springs Reservoir Road, then will return to … Parked around 1 on a Saturday, very crowded but road and parking lot have a high capacity, might be a short walk from the car to the start. From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. Looking for hiking trails near Chicago? Total Length 6mi; Elevation Range 10,331–12,868ft Δ 2,536ft; Manager USFS Clear Creek Ranger District; URL … Tags : Arapaho National Forest, Chicago Lakes, Chicago Lakes Trail, Colorado, Mount Evans, Mount Evans Scenic Byway. 12:45. Description: The Chicago Lakes Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. The second lake rests 400 yards further south above a 300-foot wall of broken cliffs and steep grassy slopes. The first lake is tucked away in the back of a steep glacial valley with thousand-foot granite cliffs plunging down to its eastern shore. Consult guidebooks and maps and carefully plan your route before you arrive. Post-holed a bit on the push to the upper lake, but was worth it. This will be the easy part of the hike for the trail then climbs upward the remaining three miles. Many people on the trail, and when I got back to the parking lot, there were a lot of cars in the parking lot and on the road. While the views from there are spectacular, Summit Lake itself is a wonderful example of the alpine environment. From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. From here the trail will descent in switchbacks for 300ft until it joins the Chicago Lakes Trail, which is a dirt road for the first mile until slightly past the Idaho Springs Reservoir at 10617ft. The trailhead is located at 10,600'; the final destination is at 11,800'. What's more, they're downright wonderful. Description: The Chicago Lakes Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. This will be the easy part of the hike for the trail then climbs uphill the rest of the way. The trail itself was hard to follow at times. It is all part of the Chicago Lakefront Trail, an 18.5-mile-long path located along the western shore of Lake Michigan that is used for walking, jogging, cycling, scootering and skateboarding. The lakes sit in a classic glacier-carved valley and offer excellent views of surrounding peaks. South Boulder Creek Trail. Traveled: Traveled: Chicago Lakes Trail (6,234′) “Hushed now is the life that so late was beating warmly. The portion of the trail leading to Idaho Springs Reservoir is a local favorite for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Multiple Chicago bike community members and other Twitter users pointed out that Monday’s video is evidence that American infrastructure isn’t ready for global warming. You get an appetizer of a view of the Chicago Lakes basin from the trail, just a taste of whats to come in 4 miles. That will lead you to another sign about.5 mile later directing you to the trail. The second lake is above treeline. Holy crap. How to Get to Algonquin Lakes Trailhead Flights to Algonquin • O'Hare Intl. You’ll essentially skirt the southern boundary of Echo Lake. Extremely foggy in the morning but it cleared up early afternoon. Turn right down the first dirt road on your right and continue.25 miles to the parking area. Fortunately, the fire stopped short of the lakes themselves, and it is the last mile of the trail that really makes the hike worthwhile. This route description is for the Chicago Creek trail up to Summit Lake (5.7 miles 1 way, 14 miles round trip to the summit of Evans). Activities: Hiking, Camping, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Closest City / Town: Idaho Springs, Colorado. You’ll essentially skirt the southern boundary of Echo Lake. Summit Lake Park provides easy access to the popular Summit Lake and Chicago Lakes Overlook. Cons: I found the actual trail frustrating. You pass through an old burn area where 400 acres burned in the 1978 Reservoir Fire. I used micro spikes and poles throughout the hike and they helped, but saw other hikers doing fine without them. I ended up scrambling up the ridge to Mt Warren, avoid the horny goats along the way. Easy peasy. Some of these routes have already been described on this page. From I-70, head west towards Idaho Springs. It was a moderate trail along a creek that started you on an uphill climb almost immediately. Starting Elevation: 10,650 ( Lowest point of the hike 10,320). Access to the Chicago Basin is tricky and expensive. Starting from the Echo Lake Trailhead, follow the west side of Echo Lake until the trail splits. The overlook platform is half a mile round trip along a wheelchair friendly path. Gorgeous views and few hikers on a Saturday, compared to the number of people I’ve seen on this trail in the summer. You will pass through an old burn area where in 1978, 400 acres burned in the Reservoir Fire. The hike is steep (very steep) and a mix of rocky areas and loose scree, but it is fun, short, and spectacular. Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO. Here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. Trailhead starts at Echo Lake. Chicago Lakes Trail May 2016 pt1 - Duration: 12:45. Darting back into the trees, the first Chicago Lake sits at treeline. The trail continues to the upper lake, above treeline. This is also a wonderful summer trail that’s just an hour drive from Denver. Restrooms are available nearby. Awesome hike! Then I walked back down Mt Evans Rd. The scenery is mountains and trees, and the lakes were quite pretty with the mountains in the backdrop. We started Friday (oct 16) around noon and planned to camp but bailed around 10 pm due to the crazy wind! Chicago Basin can be reached by trails from several directions. Also, the trail wasn’t super well maintained. Head lamps were a must for much of the hike to the first lake. Pros: trail was relatively quiet for a Saturday morning. Origin. After leaving the southwest edge of Echo Lake, the trial drops precipitously for about a mile until it hits Chicago Creek. Dogs are allowed on the trail if leashed. Trailhead GPS Coordinates › N 39° 39' 33.23", W 105° 36' 22.76" USGS Quadrangle › Idaho Springs. Total elevation gain approximately 2000ft) Trail Length: Officially I saw everything from 9-10 miles, my fitbit said we went 11 miles but we did walk around the upper lake a lot. Chicago Lakes Trail (#52) Leaving from Echo Lake, the trail goes downhill for the first mile. The Chicago Lakes Trail begins at Echo Lake (west side), 13.25 miles south of I-70 on HWY 103. Really enjoyed this trail. Soaring Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture. From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. Gorgeous views and good mix of different types of terrain! The weather didn’t seem to be particularly cold, but it was snowing a little when we set off. The route follows the Chicago Lakes trail up to the higher of the two lakes. Bring snacks but there are water spots for the pups. From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. I walked across frozen Echo Lake towards the Chicago Lakes trailhead, and was surprised to find the snow deeper than I expected and needed to stop and put on my snowshoes. The downside of the Chicago Lakes hike is that in includes a mile of monotonous road walking followed by another mile through the scorched remains of an old forest fire. Lake Chicago was a prehistoric proglacial lake that is the ancestor of what is now known as Lake Michigan, one of North America's five Great Lakes. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from April until October. Chicago Lakes Trail is a 18.2 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Georgetown, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. 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. Go south for approx. I climbed a steep grassy slope (.6 mile, +1200 FT) out of the Chicago Lakes basin, and down a gentle 200 feet drop to Summit Lake. The Chicago Lakefront Trail (LFT) is a 18.5-mile-long (29.8 km) partial shared use path for walking, jogging, skateboarding, and cycling, located along the western shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois.The trail passes through and connects Chicago's four major lakefront parks along with various beaches and recreational amenities. The FS has you park on the east side of the Mt. Lower Chicago Lake is 3.5 miles from the trailhead at Echo Lake; the entire round-trip is 9.8 miles. Dispersed camping is allowed near the Chicago Lakes Trail, and all entering the Mount Evans Wilderness need a self-issued permit available at the trailhead. Abundant wildflowers stand out against the burned trees. It should be noted that our suggested place for parking and accessing the Chicago Lakes trail is different than that recommended by the Forest Service. They are open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Not much smoke at all, you start at Echo lake to the Chicago TH - stop at Idaho Springs Res, then follow the trail up to Chicago lakes. Only a few small patches of snow, no need for microspikes etc., but that may change pretty soon! 12 mile to the junction of Hwy 103 and 5, the trail starts behind the Echo Lake Lodge. However, the serenity of the lakes is well-worth the butt-busting effort. From the parking lot, stay to the right of Echo Lake and you will run into the Chicago Lakes Trailhead. In the beginning, the trail descends about 300 feet (meaning you have to ascend that coming back...not ideal). This will be the easy part of the hike for the trail then climbs upward the remaining three miles. It wasn’t too crowded towards the last couple of lakes. The views of the surrounding peaks – Mount Evans, Mount Warren, and Mount Spalding – from the trail are outstanding. This sometimes steep and rocky trail starts at Echo Lake Park south of I-70 in the Mt. Didn’t see too many people. 14mi total. Two Years Alone in the Wilderness | Escape the City to Build Off Grid Log Cabin - Duration: 1:31:40. The upper lake is a great place to rest and have lunch. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. The trail starts off steep, dropping into a valley before running flat, then climbing steeply up again. Worth Noting: Snowshoeing this trail in the winter provides a greater sense of solitude than hiking it in the summer. They also noted that the relatively narrow, low-lying, frequently swamped Lakefront Trail, juxtaposed with eight-lane Lake Shore Drive several feet above it, is a metaphor for our national transportation priorities. I wanted to find somewhere I could feel some elevation but not go for a 14er right off the bat. Summit Lake Park provides easy access to the popular Summit Lake and Chicago Lakes Overlook. I rate this trail a 4 for several reasons. → 6 thoughts on “ Mount Evans Scenic Drive and a Hike to the Chicago Lakes ” thegriefreality on June 27, 2020 at 7:34 … Just be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get back up. You will pass through an old burn area where in 1978, 400 acres burned in the Reservoir Fire. Trailhead Lat/Long: 39.665430 N; 105.631540 W Managing Agency" U.S. Forest Service Fee: None S. Chicago Creek Trail Map (Google Maps) Directions: From Idaho Springs, take Chicago Creek Road south towards Mt. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. This will be the easy part of the hike for the trail then climbs upward the remaining three miles. From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. 11.19.2020 beautiful trail! Evans Wilderness Area and ascends to a pair of high alpine lakes below Mt Evans (14,265′), Mt Spalding (13,842′), and Mount Warren (13,307′). See all the news, and events for Chi-town hikers. The next morning, we woke up, made some eggs and bacon and headed out on the Chicago Lakes Trail. On the trail to the Chicago Lakes in Colorado. The Chicago Lakes are extraordinarily scenic. The FS has you park on the east side of the Mt. The trailhead is located at 10,600′; the final destination is at 11,800′. The Chicago Lakes Trail is a delight from start to finish. Both lakes offer excellent views of surrounding peaks. Didn't get to the top lake due to running out of daylight. Directions from Idaho Springs: Travel southwest on Highway 103 approximately 14 miles to Echo Lake Campground which is located at the intersection of Highway 103 and Highway 5 on the Mt. This trail can also be easily accessed by the Denver Mountain Parks picnic area … From the picnic area parking on the west side of Echo Lake, walk south along the lake-shore path to the SW corner of the lake and keep going south to intersect Trail #52. The hike to Chicago Lakes is a great hike near Denver, taking you to pretty mountain lakes and into the high country of Mt. There was only one other vehicle in the parking lot. Running between the shore of Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive, the trail passes through several notable parks with many sightseeing stops along the way. Chicago Lakes Trail makes for a fantastic but long day hike or perfect 2-3 day backpacking trip. The best campsites are (lamentably) on the far end of the basin, just as you start to flirt with treeline. The entrance to Chicago Basin is obvious after six miles, but don’t stop there. It’s worth mentioning that you hike along a paved road with several foreboding “private property” signs for a mile and a half which is kind of odd. Gorgeous views, good mix of different types of terrain, I will definitely be recommending this hike to everyone! From Idaho Springs take W. Chicago Creek trail south to Echo Lake. Leaving Echo Lake, Chicago Lakes Trail travels downhill for the first mile, here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. Description: The Chicago Lakes Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. Leaves are blown out so that’s kind of a bummer. Description: The Chicago Lakes Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. On any given day activity along the trails includes people commuting to work, training for marathons, caregivers with children in strollers, tourists on rental bikes, and people taking a leisurely stroll. You’ll essentially skirt the southern boundary of Echo Lake. 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. The trail will diverge away from Echo Lake and will traverse along a scenic valley with mountain views off in the distance. There are several social trails in the area, simply choose the one that heads southwest. Gorgeous views and great water features! Evans. Chicago Lakes Trail is a 11.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Georgetown, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The Great Lakes, on Chicago's doorstep boasts beautiful beaches, tranquil state parks like Sleeping Bear Dunes in Wisconsin and charmingly quaint towns such as Mackinac Island in Michigan. Darting back into the trees, the first Chicago Lake sits at treeline. The trailhead is located at 10,600′; the final destination is at 11,800′. Took about 2 hours 15 mins to get to Upper Chicago Lake and 1.5 hrs back down. Abundant wildflowers stand out against the burned trees. Great views both direction, one of the close mountains then a bunch of peaks on the way back. Follow the switchbacks down and across Chicago Creek. 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. The trail was packed and icy in some places. went on Friday aand started maybe 1130 at echo lake it was crowded, but there was parkingfairly shady but also sunny spots! Echo Lake is really pretty, and the hike to the Chicago Lakes is alright. The Chicago Lakes are extraordinarily scenic. The first mile of the trail switchbacks down to a creek crossing. Beautiful views, the aspens are glowing gold right now. Yes, you read that right: There are indeed backpacking trails within striking distance of Chicago. Visit Nomad Colorado’s complete list of Colorado hiking trails for hundreds of great hiking options in the Centennial State! The trail to the second lake, above treeline, is difficult to follow at times and is very steep. Good hike on hazy day. Unique Cave Bar on-site located in our atrium . The trail climbs upward for the remaining 3 miles. Most of the birds have gone down below the snow-line, the plants sleep, and all the fly-wings are folded. The trail begins at the Echo Lake Campground. Chicago’s Lakefront Trails welcome residents and visitors from around the City. Chicago’s scenic Lakefront Trail is an 18-mile paved path that follows the Lake Michigan shoreline on the city’s eastern edge. Boat Taxi. The snowfall caused me to lose the trail a few times especially toward the upper lakes. The Chicago Lakes Trail is located 9.6 miles from Idaho Springs, Colorado (CO) in Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest. The trail is fairly steep after about 3/4 of a mile and leads to an unbelievable overlook. The Chicago Lakes Trailhead has an elevation of 10,600 while it's destination has an elevation of 11,800. Many people on the trail, and when I got back to the parking lot, there were a lot of cars in the parking lot and on the road. Follow the switchbacks down and across Chicago Creek. The distance between the trailhead and the plateau is 5.31 miles. Snow packed and icy for a lot of the hike, but beautiful and quiet. First and last mile (lakes) are nice with great views. The trail is relatively flat as it bypasses the dam. I took it easy for the first 5 miles, and reached the upper Chicago lake after 2 hours.
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  • . It’s 4.5 miles to the upper lake from the trailhead. Once you get to the southern edge of the dam, the trail climbs the remaining three miles to Chicago Lakes. Here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. The lakes and several smaller ponds form the headwaters of Chicago Creek. The trailhead is located at 10,600′; the final destination is at 11,800′. The Chicago Lakes Trailhead and Trail: Park at the Echo Lake lot, where you’ll find the sign for Chicago Lakes Trail 52 on the west side of the lake. Here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. Chicago Lakes in Mount Evans Wilderness. The plan was to be at the Lower Chicago Lake by sunrise; a 4 mile hike one way. Directions: The trail to the Chicago Lakes starts at the Echo Lake picnic area. The AllTrails map actually leads to Summit Lake which I didn’t attempt, but the recording came to 11.3 miles / 2260 elevation gain. On my first weekend in Denver, we broke in the hiking legs. You will pass through an old burn area where in 1978, 400 acres burned in the Reservoir Fire. BigDirty 901 views. Post navigation ← Drive Up Cottonwood Pass and Family Days in Evergreen. Mount Evans West Ridge via Chicago Creek is a 15.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. On your way, you’ll go through a 400-acre burn area that caught fire in 1978. Make a right (west) onto Hefferman Gulch Rd, a good dirt road. The upper lake is a great place to rest and have lunch. TRAIL IS CLOSED AS OF 10/24 DUE TO FIRE RISK. Accidentally hiked this, and it was fantastic. You can get to the lakes from Summit Lake Park by following the Chicago Lakes Overlook Trail 1/4 mi from the parking area and climbing down the Chicago Lakes Trail down to Upper Chicago Lake. The city of Chicago lies in a broad plain which, hundreds of millions of years ago, was a great interior basin covered by warm, shallow seas. The area sees heavy use in the summer due to the its close proximity to Mount Evans and numerous picnic areas. You’ll essentially skirt the southern boundary of Echo Lake. Until May 27th, 2021 at 11pm. Description: The Chicago Lakes Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. Evans Road (SH 5) in the campground. As a heads up, when you cross the bridge at the bottom & come to the dirt/gravel rd - make a left and you’re walking on a dirt rd for your last mile to the Res. The views are amazing and the trail itself is quite rocky, well maintained. 12-05-2020: This is one of my favorite hikes in the area and this was my first time hiking it in winter. Author: Erica Zazo Updated: Jun 25, 2020 Original: Apr 20, 2018. Highest Elevation: 11,740 ( Lower lake at 11,420ft. Snowshoeing the Chicago Lakes Trail in the winter provides a greater sense of solitude. Chicago Lakes is a popular hiking trail in the Mount Evans Wilderness that has two magnificent lakes with stellar views towards the foothills and of Mount Evans. This Midwestern mecca is bordered by forest preserves, the beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan Trails, and plenty of urban and rural opportunities to hike, bike, and cross country ski throughout the year. Great day trip hike. Hence, not my favorite trail to hike on, though the view is pretty. The trailhead is located at 10,600′; the final destination is at 11,800′. While the views from there are spectacular, Summit Lake itself is a wonderful example of the alpine environment. I started around 7:15 and didn’t run into many people on the way up. Definitely worth the hike all the way to top. Intended a quick hike to the reservoir but was in a groove and didn't realize it was a turn around point. Trail has both smooth and rocky terrain. The trailhead is located at 10,600′; the final destination is at 11,800′. Few individuals wore masks, but most kept a respectable distance while passing. It took about 5 hours (a little under 3 there including several breaks, about 2 back) at a moderate pace, went a little past Upper Chicago Lake until there was a "closed for restoration" sign and I couldn't really see the trail anyway. Decent crowd, most wore a mask (thanks!). Yet the sun beams gloriously many a cloudless day in midwinter, casting long lance shadows athwart the dazzling expanse.” – John Muir, Mountains of California. After the road leads up to Idaho Springs Reservoir, the trail winds up another two miles until the first lake. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. This trail is more difficult than I expected and should probably be considered a "Hard" trail to do in winter. Take this road to the end and you'll find the trailhead. The views were absolutely spectacular!! Several water options accessible for filtering. I appreciated a quiet hike on a weekend. A beautiful drive up to Echo lake to start. The Chicago Lakes Trail #52. The rest of the trail is mediocre with lots of deadfall. Airport (ORD), 24.4 mi (39.3 km) from central Algonquin • Chicago, IL (DPA-Dupage), 18 mi (28.9 km) from central Algonquin • Chicago, IL (PWK-Chicago Executive), 21.2 mi (34.2 km) from central Algonquin Evans Road (SH 5) in the campground. You won’t be alone as this popular and conveniently located trail attracts many residents and visitors year-round. Don’t forget... what comes down must go up! Follow the sign towards the Chicago Lakes Trail (west). For the next hour and a half, the four of us trekked up switchbacks that rarely leveled out. Coming in by trail will lengthen your trip by one or two days each way. Awesome trail with all types of terrain and wonderful views. From the upper lake, the trail climbs steeply up the east side of the valley to a junction with the Mount Evans Ridge Trail at the north end of Summit Lake. Chicago Lakes Trail #52 Map/Location. Experience balance at Indian Lakes Hotel, located just 28 miles from downtown Chicago and 30 minutes from O’Hare International Airport (ORD), this hotel blends the comfort of hospitality with the vast landscape of the Midwest prairie. For a longer hike you can continue hiking south to Summit Lake … Started the hike, and it was initially quite windy but the wind subsided very quickly. The backroads have private property signs, so stay on the designated route and follow signs to Chicago Lakes. Toward the end, there’s a fallen tree across the trail and you have to do some guesswork to figure out how to get around and back on the trail. Darting back into the trees, the first Chicago Lake sits at treeline. From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. 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