Chicago Lakes Trail is a popular Colorado hike in the summer but in winter it’s quiet and absolutely gorgeous. Tucked behind Mt Evans 14er, the views of snow-capped peaks are breathtaking as you descend a narrow trail along slight cliff edges until reaching the valley floor. Soon hiking uphill in snow-laden forests until reaching the first lake and onto more spectacular hiking.


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It’s 8 am and the sun has yet to find us on the side of the mountain. But the views!! The trail is snow-packed from a previous snowfall just days before which is perfect. Much easier to hike on snow than in icy conditions.

TIP: Owning a pair of spikes makes a more enjoyable & safe hiking experience! Simply attach to the bottom of your hiking boots. I keep mine in the car all winter and spring.



It was so magical as the warmth of the sun reached us and the quiet of winter filled the air. Just the crunch of snow under our boots. I always pick a couple of days after a storm to hike when I know the sun will be with us for hours and the snow is still fresh on the trail.




When reaching the bottom of a slightly steep descent we crossed this bridge just before heading uphill towards the reservoir.






After hiking along the reservoir we found a couple of benches to hang out on and even spotted a moose lounging in the brush not too far away from us. Wonderful to witness but happy not to close! Bring a thermos with your favorite hot beverage, Ours is hot chocolate.

 What to do if you encounter wildlife > CLICK HERE



However, we hiked on to take a look at what was ahead on this amazing trail. Passing the Mt Evans Wilderness signpost and onto Chicago Lakes.




Really is beautiful up here. We are steadily going uphill and the sun is intense as we began to take layers off. I’m thinking this is one of the best winter hikes we’ve ever been on.


Appropriate winter gear and clothes make all the difference in a safe and happy hike! > CLICK HERE 



The wind was picking up and suddenly getting much colder. We continued for about 1.5 miles past Idaho Springs Reservoir and turned back. Another 1/2 mile and we would have reached the first Chicago Lake.

 I highly recommend Chicago Lakes Trail to any enthusiastic hiker! We loved it. it was a moderate hike to Idaho Springs Reservoir then gets a bit more incline as you continue on.


Hike to Idaho Springs Reservoir

4.3 miles out & back

Rated: Moderate

780″ elevation gain

Continue to Chicago Lakes

Rated: hard

Nearest Town: Idaho Springs

Dogs ok on leash


Mt. Evans Wilderness


Echo Lake Park, Mt. Evans Road, and CO-103. 



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