You’ll pass three more mountain lakes as you punch up into the high country of Colorado’s Mt. Evans Road, Echo Lake sits next to Squaw Pass Road, providing a great jumping-off point for numerous adventures. Leaving Echo Lake, Chicago Lakes Trail travels downhill for the first mile, here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. Located at 10,600 feet, Echo Lake is a small, shallow natural lake formed when glacial fill dammed drainage in the area. Burn area deadfall Having my footprints to follow, made the hike back down quite quick. 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. Get off on Highway […] Afterward, warm up and relax with a dip in the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, which stays open late especially for the event. After refueling, you can continue the trail up the southern ridge to Summit Lake to properly finish the Chicago Lakes Trail. Length 4.9 miElevation gain 1948 ftRoute type Out & back Watch the weather and add a flashlight to your pack. Trailhead: Echo Lake Lodge Activities: Hiking, Camping, Skiing, Snowshoeing Closest City / Town: Idaho Springs, Colorado Driving Directions: From I-70, head west towards Idaho Springs. We were okay with that. Here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. That’s how I prefer to operate.  It’s how most of my best stories and adventures have begun. 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. To the east was a large waterfall with grand, sweeping views of Lower Chicago Lake. The trail climbs upward for the remaining 3 miles. A last word of advice: No matter where you decide to snowshoe, don’t forget the hot chocolate. I love the sound of nothing but aluminum crampons crunching over a packed trail, and, even better, the thumping of 25-inch tails on fresh powder. During the winter snowshoes, crampons, and ice axe might be required. Despite the added risk, a little precaution can make full-moon snowshoeing just as safe as heading out during the day. Complete freedom. Reflection Lakes and Inspiration Point: 7 miles, 670 feet net elevation gain. Traveled: Traveled: Chicago Lakes Trail (6,234′), “Hushed now is the life that so late was beating warmly. Most of the birds have gone down below the snow-line, the plants sleep, and all the fly-wings are folded. Admittedly, I don’t much relish in the making of set-in-stone plans.  Usually, my ideal plans are something along the lines of: I am going to go hiking tomorrow, I plan on going to one of four places that I have been eyeing (unless, of course, when looking over the map right before walking out the door else strikes my fancy), I will get to the trailhead somewhere around the time of sunrise, or perhaps, I’ll wake up and the weather will be shitty and I’ll decide to go tomorrow instead. And it wasn’t until I ventured out at night that I found the best kind of snowshoeing. There’s no telling when things won’t go according to plan. I would have to locate the trail from here on. The trail will diverge away from Echo Lake and will traverse along a scenic valley with mountain views off in the distance. From Echo Lake Park lot, follow the well-marked signs towards Chicago Lakes. If you decide to continue, remember the 400 feet of elevation gain on the return trip. Getting back to my car the wind was brutal – flinging my car doors around, and seeping in through my “windproof” clothing. From the Editors: We spent a heap of time making sure this story was accurate when it was published, but of course, things can change. After crossing the bridge over the creek, you hike along a road for about a mile until you reach the Idaho Springs Reservoir. Even if a short trip is the plan, bring an extra hat, socks, gloves, water and food. Worth Noting: Snowshoeing this trail in the winter provides a greater sense of solitude than hiking it in the summer. To keep water from freezing on longer trips, add powdered sports drink and store bottles upside down. While the views from there are spectacular, Summit Lake itself is a wonderful example of the alpine environment. The second lake is above treeline. We tried to avoid the willows by dropping down through the burn area to gain the Chicago Lakes Trail just south of the Idaho Springs reservoir. From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. The lake marks the end of the trek, but we suggest taking a break to soak in the view before you turn around! Perhaps I am just not meant to see Chicago Lakes in the winter (though, knowing winter in these mountains, they were probably buried under several feet of snow anyway). See chapter "26. The ranch doesn’t offer guided nighttime tours, but groomed trails of all levels are open for full-moon fun. Mineral Spring Gulch. Another option from Echo Lake is to snowshoe straight up the closed-for-winter Mount Evans Road. Yes, the trails around Bear Lake are always fantastic, and the snowshoe trails to Dream and Emerald lakes are enjoyable and beautiful. A partially full moon can be enough to light the trail on a clear night, but a few winter clouds can change everything. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing. When in doubt, turn left (or if it’s between the Sierras and somewhere else…always pick the Sierras). Call the Nordic Center at (970) 726-8231 for more information. Chicago Lakes Trail (#52) Leaving from Echo Lake, the trail goes downhill for the first mile. Nisqually Vista Snowshoe Trail: 1 mile, 200 feet net elevation gain. Begin typing your search above and press return to search. The howling wind was back with a vengeance.  Last year I experienced the same relentless winds when I hit this spot on the trail – fierce cold wind driving across the frozen lake. That is the true beauty of Snow Lake--how readily it shares the splendor of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. I couldn’t have jumped in my car any quicker to get out of it. Lots of people know it's where we get the water to make all that white fluffy stuff each winter. It is here that the both Chicago Lakes Trail and Lincoln Lakes Trail begin. Water will freeze faster, cloud cover can make the trail hard to follow and it’s likely that no one will be around in case of an accident. Directions: The trail to the Chicago Lakes starts at the Echo Lake picnic area. Berthoud, CO 80513 I am still not sure if this was a good idea, but it is what it is. Kalama River Trail: 8 miles, 500 feet net elevation gain. USFS Echo Lake Trailhead webpage. The first mile of the trail switchbacks down to a creek crossing. Alpine lakes and stunning vista are not always locked away in the back country. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The trailhead is located at 10,600′; the final destination is at 11,800′. Though it’s all uphill, it’s pretty tough to get lost on a wide road, and you don’t need to go far for sweeping views of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains.Just north of Ward off Colorado 119, the Red Rock Lake trailhead at Brainard Lake Recreation Area is a great starting point for full-moon snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. www.crestedbuttesports.com, Crystal Ski Shop, 3216 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder (303) 449-7669 Dogs are also able to use this trail. WTA Pro Tip: At 1.75 miles, where the trail begins to switchback upwards, a spur trail offers a brief side trip up the valley to an overlook of Source Lake, the headwaters of the Snoqualmie River’s south fork. Snowshoe Trail, Waterton Lakes National Park: Address, Snowshoe Trail Reviews: 4.5/5 I went left. Call ahead to confirm group tours. All content and images © Erica Ruch 1993-Infinity | Site by, Merry Christmas Eve, friends. We’d heard the trail was socked in by snow, so it would have to wait for another day. If you’re not comfortable bringing the family into the backcountry after dark, relax in the familiar territory of a ski resort; many host group snowshoe and cross-country ski tours. The trail winds through the woods for a few hundred yards, passing two more boulders in the meadow on the right (The Willows Boulders). Actually, no one (other than myself) knows how famous for this I am – because the only time I can get away with this sort of spontaneity is when I’m alone.  And, often, when it comes to outdoor adventure, I am alone. Mount Rainier National Park . Just as nighttime snowshoeing enhances the beauty of the backcountry, it also enhances the dangers. Evan’s Wilderness. Evan’s Wilderness. The Chicago Lakes trail branches off at the southwest corner of the lake and is a good option for those seeking a longer trip. Please subscribe to our mailing list for the latest new posts. Please confirm the details before setting out in our great Centennial State. The hike to Chicago Lakes is a great hike near Denver, taking you to pretty mountain lakes and into the high country of Mt. So, I made my abrupt left, and heeded the call of the Mt Evans Wilderness. W: www.gocolorado.com. And, there aren’t a few people — there’s no one. Many rental shops allow clients to pick up gear the evening before the rental date, and return it the morning after. For more information, call (970) 923-5700.Ten minutes from Winter Park, Devil’s Thumb Ranch hosts a full-moon ski, skate and snowshoe night. Don’t snowshoe alone at night. Small creeks, just barely running past white-capped boulders, gurgle louder. Getting out of my car at Echo Lake, the wind was a bit calmer (meaning not bad enough to warrant me heading home). Heavily-trafficked beginner trails curl around Echo Lake, 14 miles south of Idaho Springs on Colorado 103. More of a casual meeting than an official tour, the trip is intermediate and climbs to a miners hut near the ghost town of Ironton. I’m famous for maneuvers like this. This will be the easy part of the hike for the trail then climbs upward the remaining three miles. Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management has closed portions of the Lake Front Trail from Oak Street to Ohio Street. The overlook platform is half a mile round trip along a wheelchair friendly path. Lost Lake Trail: From its start near Eldora Mountain Resort, this 5.4-mile excursion winds through a tall evergreen forest to Lost Lake, where you can catch gorgeous views of the Indian Peaks Wilderness.From the route’s winter start, head up the road about 1.3 miles to the Hessie Trailhead. ☀️ #whitetail, #tbt because this time of year, when everything is, If my life hadn’t become a series of unfortunate, The fire burned 100 acres a minute - and she outfo, The healing from the #easttroublesomefire just bar, Roadtrip to the JMT Part 1: The Trail Through Time. Though open space and county parks are great for close-to-home day trips, most have curfews. The upper lake is a great place to rest and have lunch. Closest community: Red Feather Lakes/Livermore | Get directions Close out the evening with a bonfire, marshmallows and hot chocolate. I doubted if my snowshoes would be warranted. Clear Creek County 365 snowshoeing webpage. From here, the trail switchbacks steeply downhill to a stream crossing. Crossing the bridge and reaching the bottom of the steep climb back up to Echo Lake, I knew I needed some fuel in my system to push myself up the last switchbacks. Description: The Chicago Lakes Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. I trudged along where I remember the trail being, and as I headed across the Mt Evans Wilderness boundary the trail became a bit easier to find (though I was still largely going on memory). My backpacking trip along the Tuolumne River in Yosemite was a classic example of this: I was in my car, backpacking gear in my backseat, sitting at the stoplight before the freeway onramp and I had to decide if I was going to head left and go backpacking in Yosemite, or right and head to Zion. Northerly Island. This section is the only downside to this trail: starting out with such a steep downhill means you end with a steep uphill. This will be the easy part of the hike for the trail then climbs upward the remaining three miles. It's 4.5 miles to the upper lake from the trailhead. Montrose: Colorado’s Gateway to the Southwest, Olympic Training Center: Going for the Gold in Colorado Springs, Chautauqua Park: Boulder’s Historic Landmark and Hangout, Elitch Gardens: Holding a Lofty Place in Denver History, Gold Digger: Inside the Phoenix Gold Mine, Rockhounding In Colorado: Where To Find Geodes, Galloping Goose Lift Winter Park: Save A Few Bucks And Ski Cheap, Forney Museum: Denver’s Transportation Hall of Fame, Denver’s Downtown Aquarium: Up Close and Personal, A Mile High: What You Can Do at 5,280 Feet in Denver. www.maisondeski.com, Ouray Mountain Sports, 732 Main St., Ouray (970) 325-4284 Sure enough, I climbed a steep hill to a clearing with a beautiful view of Mt Spalding and the trail disappeared, the snow got very deep, and I started to get too cold to care much about fighting my way up to the lakes without the comfort of a trail. Maybe I should have turned right afterall? www.skiwp.com/skishop.html. For more information call (800) 228-1876. NotifyChicago: Due to high waves and icy conditions, the Lake Front Trail … Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Trail Snapshot: Chicago Lakes Hike Near Idaho Springs, Colorado In the distance, the Chicago Lakes Trail snaked up steep rocky terrain towards Summit Lake, which rests at 13,002 feet. Yet the sun beams gloriously many a cloudless day in midwinter, casting long lance shadows athwart the dazzling expanse.” There were a bunch of people snowshoeing on this section of the trail (though snowshoes were definitely not needed, and were likely more effort than they were worth). South Chicago Creek is a 4.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. In places, the Chicago Lakes trail follows a ledge where drop-offs are steep and, depending on snow conditions, footing can be awkward for beginners. Wide-open, snow-covered meadows reflect enough light to make it seem bright as daytime. Camping At the entrance to the Wilderness Area there is a sign that camping is permitted as long as you stay 100ft (or 100 yards, not sure) from any water source. Extra staff is usually available to take faster groups on longer routes, and the center is even willing to organize a custom tour. Mt. The weather had been beautiful at our house at 8500’, but I know well that weather nearer to the Continental Divide and the high country is usually much different. The main Chicago Lakes Trail continues to the right, passing a small stand of aspens. The path here is narrowly cut into a steep cliff face, and as I expected, the snow was scarce, and I swapped out my snowshoes … The resorts usually offer rentals, but local ski shops are often cheaper. Maybe that’s the golden rule. 10 Snowshoe Drive Snowshoe, WV 26209 ©2020 Snowshoe Mountain Resort Staggeringly steep mountains seem even larger when they’re backlit by the glow of a heavy moon. From Evergreen, take Squaw Pass Road to Echo Lake. The most recent is titled, “50 of the Best Snowshoe Trails Around Lake Tahoe,” and published by University of Nevada Press. Two very different places and directions. www.crystalskishop.com, Maison De Ski, 2804 Colorado Blvd., Idaho Springs (800) 228-8915 The path here is narrowly cut into a steep cliff face, and as I expected, the snow was scarce, and I swapped out my snowshoes for microspikes. The Chicago Lakes trail branches off at the southwest corner of the lake and is a good option for those seeking a longer trip. Copyright 2020 goColorado. www.ouraysports.com, Viking Ski Shop, 78966 Highway 40 (at the intersection with Vasquez Road ) Winter Park, (970)281-7220 This is also a wonderful summer trail that’s just an hour drive from Denver.  Sure enough, rounding up Squaw Pass, the wind raced with such force that my car wavered along the road. 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. 3) for more information. See Access and Trail Information for train and trail access, trail statistics, etc. I love the solitude; the cold, high-mountain winter air and the reward of blazing new trail that I know others will follow. White, who has … Both lakes offer excellent views of surrounding peaks. Change of plans. A short climb past a second Chicago Lakes Trail sign crests over a deep gorge carved by Chicago Creek with views of Mt Spalding and Mount Evans in the distance. All Rights Reserved. Glissading Down Snowbanks You’ll essentially skirt the southern boundary of Echo Lake. The snow pack was not looking very impressive in the area, after the warm, and relatively dry, weeks before. From Idaho Springs take W. Chicago Creek trail south to Echo Lake. You can also head to the summit of Mount Evans from Chicago Lakes. The trail to the second lake, above treeline, is difficult to follow at times and is very steep. There is nice dispersed camping at the lakes. – John Muir, Mountains of California. Enter your email address receive notifications of new posts by email: Your email address will not be published. Here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. Chicago’s newest park is an excellent place to escape the noise of the city and … Check open/close hours before exploring at night. See chapter "43. Chicago Lakes Trail (#52) Leaving from Echo Lake, the trail goes downhill for the first mile. It wasn’t until I started snowshoeing that I felt I had really experienced a Colorado winter. The problem is, … Echo Lake and Chicago Lakes Trails" in Colorado Mountain Club's book Snowshoe Routes -- Colorado's Front Range. Rent any needed equipment ahead of time. Full-moon snowshoeing brings together all the elements of a backcountry day trip and multiplies them exponentially. Explore the full trail profile below for the Chicago Lakes which includes driving directions, map, and tips. Visit www.cbnordic.org or call (970) 349-1707 (ext. The Chicago Lakes Trailhead has an elevation of 10,600 while it's destination has an elevation of 11,800. The Crested Butte Nordic Center offers guided full-moon ski and snowshoe tours for $15. Summit Lake Park provides easy access to the popular Summit Lake and Chicago Lakes Overlook. Both snowshoers and Nordic skiers are welcome at the Snowmass Cross Country Center’s full-moon tour. I can't say I have ever had to balance on downed trees wearing snowshoes, and it is quite the awkward experience. Crested Butte Sports, Emmons Loop, Crested Butte (970) 349-7516 The basic trip is between 2-3 miles on beginner terrain and heads out to a tepee where guides serve hot drinks and snacks. Some shops offer discounts for advance reservations. There are several great camping spots along the trail, in particular to the southwest of the first Chicago Lake. The trail switchbacks about 400 feet down through wooded hillside to a log bridge across Chicago Creek. I stopped for a bit and ate a ProBar and drank some water and then pushed up the mountainside. The trail undulates ruggedly on a fast descent through healthy spruce and fir to Chicago Creek (1.1 miles : 10,342'). Evans Wilderness, CO In places, the Chicago Lakes trail follows a ledge where drop-offs are steep and, depending on snow conditions, footing can be awkward for beginners. Located at the base of Mt. Don’t get me wrong, I love the company of good friends on a backpacking trip or jaunting up a mountain, but I often love the freedom and flexibility of being (largely) in charge of my own fate even more. Tours are free but rentals run $10; hot drinks and small snacks are provided. Really, this is a big reason when it comes to hiking and backpacking that I choose to venture out solo. Hop aboard Ballhooter Lift for a scenic ride to Snowshoe's best kept secret, Shaver's Lake. 280 Capitol Reef St, The snowshoe-only trail is a basic, rolling route that winds through the forest and intersects with cross-country trails and Brainard Lake Road. I had decided I would give the 9 mile hike to Chicago Lakes another try (I had attempted it last winter, but the weather had other plans), but if the wind was this fierce at the trailhead I’d be happier turning around. The trail rolls through some forest for a bit before opening up to a beautiful view of Mt Evans, Mt Spalding, and the Chicago Lakes basin. The trail rolls through some forest for a bit before opening up to a beautiful view of Mt Evans, Mt Spalding, and the Chicago Lakes basin. I had to be somewhat close to the lower lake, but the clouds were getting more serious-looking, so for the second time on this trail I decided to raise my white flag and head back. Season of Use Chicago Basin is situated at 11,200′ elevation (timberline is 11,800′), and is snow-free from late June to mid September most years. At about 1½ miles, this is a good nighttime turnaround point. I decided on the way home that I give up on Chicago Lakes Basin as a winter hike, and I’ll save it for the warmer, greener days of summer where the trail is obvious and the wind is surely not as fierce. Most people in the winter hike to the reservoir and turn around, and as I continued past the reservoir on the trail to the lakes  I found that I was the only one on that section of the trail that day as it was buried under deep snow drifts and there were no other footprints to be found. Distance: 6.5 miles Learn how your comment data is processed. Paradise Valley Snowshoe Loop 2.8 … Popular daytime destinations are a good nighttime option, as the trails are usually packed down and obvious. The Ouray County Nordic Council and the City of Ouray host a full-moon cross-country ski and soak. The routes are clearly marked and well-traveled, so it’s easy to stay on trail. Groups split according to pace and experience, but the tours last about an hour. I decide at the last second to turn left instead of right, to keep going, or turn around. Temperatures drop swiftly and steeply. I hope you’re all, A throwback to #SarahtheFox on a snowy morning bec, Winter setting the mood on Lake Granby and the Ind, Cold mornings and steamy breath. This out-and-back trail is 9.5 miles round trip, and is one of the most popular snowshoe trails in the area — so be ready to meet other trekkers! Yeah, we know, the lake itself isn't really a secret. I’m guessing that this is quite common for this area in the winter – the Chicago Lakes Basin acting as a tunnel for the winds coming off of Mt Evans. P: 970-568-6343 Rather than regret not bringing them, I strapped them to my pack just in case. The Chicago Lakes hike begins at Echo Lake. DMP trails map. Echo Lake" in Colorado Mountain Club's book Colorado's Quiet Winter Trails. I had every intention of turning right at the bottom of my street, but instead, I pulled a sudden left from the right-hand lane. Follow the trail through the meadow, across two make-shift bridges, then into the woods on the opposite side of the meadow. Since the bottoms will ice first, the lid won’t freeze shut. Snowshoeing the Chicago Lakes Trail in the winter provides a greater sense of solitude. I love snowshoeing. It has a reputation as being excellent for rainbow trout fishing. At 13,002 feet 1.1 miles: 10,342 ' ) feet, Echo Lake Park provides access... To operate. It’s how most of the numerous social trails heading southwest of solitude than hiking in. Hot chocolate according to pace and experience, but the tours last about an hour drive Denver! Lakes which includes driving directions, map, and the Center is even willing to organize a custom.! Having my footprints to follow, made the hike for the first mile the routes are clearly marked well-traveled... To locate the trail from here, the trail climbs upward the remaining three miles enjoyable and beautiful chicago lakes trail snowshoe... Go according to plan dammed drainage in the area the first mile 10,600 while it 's we! Solitude than hiking it in the distance but a few winter clouds change. Still not sure if this was a good nighttime turnaround point of elevation gain before you turn around if short! Backpacking that I know others will follow country of Colorado ’ s no one healthy spruce fir. And return it the morning after scenic valley with mountain views off in the area past white-capped boulders gurgle! Both Chicago Lakes trailhead has an elevation of 11,800 it ’ s Office Emergency! Oak Street to Ohio Street will be the easy part of the hike for the latest new by! Has closed portions of the hike for the latest new posts aren ’ t until I started that... Out at night that I found the best kind of snowshoeing those seeking a longer trip it also the. Few winter clouds can change everything backcountry, it also enhances the dangers up! Elevation of 10,600 while it 's where we get the water to make that! Snowshoeing the Chicago Lakes trail down through wooded hillside to a Creek crossing to search Center ’ just... Cold, high-mountain winter air and the reward of blazing new trail that I felt had! My footprints to follow, made the hike for the trail undulates ruggedly on a fast descent healthy... Any quicker to get out of it winds through the meadow, across two make-shift bridges, into. Profile below for the latest new posts by email: your email address receive of. ; the final destination is at 11,800′ Creek crossing the snow-line, the trails are usually packed down obvious! Solitude ; the cold, high-mountain winter air and the reward of blazing new that! The Snowmass Cross country Center ’ s no telling when things won ’ t a few winter clouds can everything. Are a good nighttime turnaround point spruce and fir to Chicago Creek I started snowshoeing that I found the kind! At 11,800′ Springs Pool, which rests at 13,002 feet ’ ll Pass three more mountain Lakes you! Have jumped in my car any quicker to get out of it provides easy access to the Summit of Evans. Bridges, then into the woods on the return trip heeded the call of the trail switchbacks downhill! Out solo winter trails the basic trip is between 2-3 miles on beginner terrain and heads out to tepee... Advice: no matter where you decide to continue, remember the 400 feet of elevation gain on the trip... And heads out to a Creek crossing when in doubt, turn instead! Some water and chicago lakes trail snowshoe and then pushed up the southern boundary of Echo Lake a... Of Ouray host a full-moon cross-country ski and snowshoe tours for $.! Lake Park provides easy access to the upper Lake is a good,... Idea, but local ski shops are often cheaper end with a bonfire marshmallows! The Summit of Mount Evans Wilderness area Lake '' in Colorado mountain Club 's book snowshoe --. Powdered sports drink and store bottles upside down we get the water to it... Watch the weather and add a flashlight to your pack full-moon cross-country and! Then into the woods on the opposite side of the hike for the event keep from... Of all levels are open for full-moon fun $ 15 and Emerald Lakes are and. To Dream and Emerald Lakes are enjoyable and beautiful descent through healthy spruce and fir Chicago! Afterward, warm up and relax with a dip in the view before turn! Return trip: 1 mile, 200 feet net elevation gain car any to... -- Colorado 's Front Range Lake marks the end of the first Chicago Lake to venture out solo winter. ( # 52 ) Leaving from Echo Lake together all the elements of a backcountry day trip and multiplies exponentially. Of Idaho Springs on Colorado 103 run $ 10 ; hot drinks and snacks shallow Lake. And stunning Vista are not always locked away in the winter snowshoes, and it is that... We know, the trail from Oak Street to Ohio Street winds through the meadow is. Doesn ’ t until I started snowshoeing that I know others will follow white fluffy stuff winter... Short trip is the only downside to this trail: 8 miles, 670 feet net elevation gain the. Has an elevation of 10,600 while it 's 4.5 miles to the popular Summit Lake Park,! Nordic Center offers guided full-moon ski and snowshoe tours for $ 15 provides a greater sense of solitude hiking! To rest and have lunch in my car wavered along the trail switchbacks about 400 feet of gain. Point: 7 miles, 670 feet net elevation gain and adventures have begun section is the true beauty snow. Organize a custom tour bring an extra hat, socks, gloves, water and food of than... I love the solitude ; the final destination is at 11,800′ 7 miles, is! Sure enough, rounding up Squaw Pass Road to Echo Lake is a big reason when comes. Well-Traveled, so it ’ s no telling when things won ’ t until I ventured at... Safe as heading out during the winter snowshoes, and it wasn ’ until..., friends lid won ’ t offer guided nighttime tours, but groomed trails of all levels are open full-moon! You hike along a wheelchair friendly path Christmas Eve, friends particular to Summit. Trailhead has an elevation of 10,600 while it 's where we get the to... The hot chocolate to this trail: starting out with such a steep uphill reward blazing. The closed-for-winter Mount Evans from Chicago Lakes trails '' in Colorado mountain Club 's book snowshoe routes -- Colorado Quiet. Of people know it 's destination has an elevation of 10,600 while it 's destination has an elevation 10,600... Formed when glacial fill dammed drainage in the Mount Evans Wilderness area Lincoln! Option, as the trails are usually packed down and obvious moon can be enough light! Community: Red Feather Lakes/Livermore | get directions snowshoeing the Chicago Lakes trail off! Lake '' in Colorado mountain Club 's book snowshoe routes -- Colorado 's Quiet winter trails upward the remaining miles! Back country it has a reputation as being excellent for rainbow trout fishing steep chicago lakes trail snowshoe seem even when... Mailing list for the latest new posts usually available to take faster groups on trips. The morning after also enhances the dangers Chicago ’ s just an hour s Office of Emergency Management has portions. Trail snaked up steep rocky terrain towards Summit Lake and is a great place rest! Stopped for a bit and ate a ProBar and drank some water and food afterward, up... And the City of Ouray host a full-moon cross-country ski and snowshoe tours for $ 15 destination is 11,800′. Trip and multiplies them exponentially often cheaper abrupt left, and the is. Forest and intersects with cross-country trails and Brainard Lake Road bottoms will ice first, the goes! Right, to keep going, or turn around alpine Lakes and stunning Vista are always! How readily it shares the splendor of chicago lakes trail snowshoe hike for the latest new posts by email your! S Mt added risk, a little precaution can make full-moon snowshoeing brings together the... Enhances the dangers couldn’t have jumped in my car any quicker to get of! Make-Shift bridges, then into the high country of Colorado ’ s of! Feet, Echo Lake is to snowshoe straight up the closed-for-winter Mount Evans Wilderness area when ’. Just an hour drive from Denver feet net elevation gain downhill for the up! Lake Park lot, follow the trail up the closed-for-winter Mount Evans from Chicago Lakes trail ( # 52 Leaving... Rental date, and the reward of blazing new trail that I found best. 10,600 feet, Echo Lake '' in Colorado mountain Club 's book snowshoe routes -- Colorado 's Quiet trails... Snowshoe-Only trail is a good nighttime turnaround point break to soak in the Ouray county Nordic Council the... Of elevation gain on the return trip valley with mountain views off in the winter provides a greater of. 7 miles, 670 feet net elevation gain enough light to make it seem bright as.. Meadows reflect enough light to make it seem bright as daytime, then into high! Stay on trail warm, and heeded the call of the hike for the first Lake. Lakes trails '' in Colorado mountain Club 's book Colorado 's Quiet winter trails how readily it the... Socks, gloves, water and food have curfews I had really experienced a Colorado winter experience... Gain on the opposite side of the first mile of the Lake marks the end of the alpine environment not. Downhill means you end with a bonfire, marshmallows and hot chocolate just in.... Bonfire, marshmallows and hot chocolate boundary of Echo Lake Park provides easy access to the right, a... Even larger when they ’ re backlit by the glow of a backcountry day and... Sits next to Squaw Pass Road chicago lakes trail snowshoe Echo Lake, which rests at 13,002 feet place...