Chicago Lakes Trail: Hike Colorado’s Stunning Mt. The Chicago Lakes Trail is an adventure worth taking. Be the first to leave a review! There are parking areas on both sides of the highway so even when the trail is busy you will likely find a spot. 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′). Unfortunately, we don't have up-to date pricing data for this listing, but you can check pricing through Recreation Gov. Evans Wilderness. Dispersed backcountry camping is permitted on the Beartrack Lakes Trail and within the Mt Evans Wilderness. All of them are on small inland lakes, which offer a … Don’t end up lost and engulfed in a thicket of dense bushes as Beau and I did. Hard to beat a sunny Colorado day in Mount Evans Wilderness. Booth Falls Trail to Booth Lake: Vail Day Hiking at its Finest, 4th of July Trail: Nederland's Gem (Arapaho Pass + Lake Dorothy), backpack full of quality, lightweight gear, My 8.8 lb Ultralight Backpacking Gear List, What to Bring on a Day Hike: 10 Essentials + Checklist, Budget Backpacking Gear: Affordable 10 lb Ultralight Kit, Backpacking Food: Meal Plan Tips & Ideas for Your Next Hike, Get Paid to Hike: 10 Jobs to Make Money on the Trail, Best Gifts for Hikers: Unique Hiking Gifts for Any Budget, Montbell Permafrost Light Down Parka: Women’s Jacket Review, 20,000 Steps a Day: My Exhausting 30-Day Step Challenge, Bukhansan National Park: Hiking Dobongsan’s Jaunbong Peak, Bikes, hang gliders, and motorized equipment are prohibited on the trail, Campfires are prohibited within 100 feet of lakes, streams, or trails, Camping is prohibited within 100 feet of lakes, streams, and developed trails. Chain O’Lakes State Park is one of the most popular camping destinations in Northern Illinois. If you decide to backcountry camp along the Chicago Lakes Trail or beyond, get adequately prepared ahead of time. Hiking & Backpacking Resources, Fresh glacial runoff is abundant along the Chicago Lakes Trail. While following the directions given by the AllTrails app, my friend, Beau, and I headed to the Echo Lake Campground. Here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. You also need to bring a 4-wheel drive vehicle with decent clearance because the roads around this area can get pretty steep. More 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. A few miles past Hefferman Gulch Rd, is West Chicago Creek Rd. Day Hiking Gear I Recommend 9. Base of Mount Evans- Chicago lakes route. Book this listing through our partner Recreation Gov, The Rapid River/Manistique campsites are located on inland lakes and are in a rustic forest environment with few, if any amenities. There, we found incredible views of a tranquil, glass-like lake flanked by the massive granite behemoths that are Mount Evans, Mount Warren, and Mount Spalding. Beau and his dog, Levi, went first. It’s a rather grueling commitment. What’s your favorite Colorado lake hike? Hey, I'm Noel. Going toward Idaho Springs, dispersed campsites can be found 4 miles north on Co 103 on Hefferman Gulch Rd. The air here is dry, so you need not worry about humidity add to your misery if it’s sweltering out. Chicago Lake Dispersed Campsite, Michigan - Camping & Campgrounds The Manistique/Rapid River dispersed campsites are located on inland lakes and are in a rustic forest environment with few, if any amenities. 1. We shoved our way through the bushes for a few minutes until I finally pulled out my phone to see where we were. The rustic environment offers a wonderfully serene and peaceful setting for your next campout Red, yellow, green, white, pink, blue, purple — the full host of colors were on display for Beau and me. My husband and I were just saying how we can take flights from Asheville to Colorado now. Close. See 22 traveler reviews, 53 photos and 4 blog posts Strap on your snowshoes and give it a shot during the off months, as long as the forecast looks good and you’ve adequately prepared. Worth Noting: Snowshoeing this trail in the winter provides a greater sense of solitude than hiking it in the summer. The trailhead is a bit tricky to find. Group size is limited to 15 individuals. This 9.1-mile out-and-back gains 2,142 feet of elevation at a 10% grade, which rates it as a ‘challenging to difficult’ hike. You don’t need a permit to camp. I pack light and explore the globe searching for awe-inspiring hiking trails, rich cultural experiences, and ways to continue traveling indefinitely. The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. Dispersed backcountry camping is permitted on the Resthouse Trail, Lincoln Lake Trail, and within the Mt Evans Wilderness Area. I trek into the wilderness, geek out about gear, and travel with the least amount of baggage as I can. While it may be tempting, picking wildflowers is illegal and can harm the ecosystem. But play out they did, and I was there with an old friend to watch it all unfold. There is nice dispersed camping at the lakes. Hiking the Chicago Lakes Trail     A. Wildflowers in Bloom     B. Bald Eagles and Marmots     C. Arriving at Chicago Lakes     D. Glissading Down Snowbanks     E. Off-Trail Wanderings 4. Generally, throughout the state, camping is available year round weather permitting Spring - Summer Camping (May 1 through September 30) Fall - Winter Camping (October 1 through April 30) As long as buildings, water and electrical service are available, regardless of … It has been called Illinois' best fishing lake as well as the Muskie Capital of Illinois. Willow Chicago Creek campground has 16 sites. Please camp within the posted camping area boundary. If you start feeling symptoms of altitude sickness, take a break, and analyze your options going forward. Park near the Echo Lake lodge and locate a trail which starts on the west side of the lodge parking area - 1.Follow the trail west through the forest for approx. This Lake’s dispersed camping spots are some of the closest to Denver, but that doesn’t mean it’s the easiest to get to. Haven’t touched a wildflower since. But, as I mentioned earlier, this hike is not a walk-in-the-park. September 22, 2020. Scout out potential camping destinations, research the route, study a forecast, start early, pack enough food, and bring a backpack full of quality, lightweight gear. The trail will diverge away from Echo Lake and will traverse along a scenic valley with mountain views off in the distance. What to Bring     C. Trail Maps 2. Three prominent developed recreation sites lie within Converse Basin Grove; the Boole Tree Trail, Chicago Stump Trail, and Stump Meadow. Guanella Pass Area - Geneva Creek … Your email address will not be published. 14 comments. Park your car here (not near the Echo Lake Lodge). 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. I’d love to go here and will be looking back at your posts for ideas! There is nice dispersed camping at the lakes. We were okay with that. The Chicago Lakes Trail exemplifies everything I love in a Colorado day hike, even if its high-elevation ascents had me pouring sweat and gasping for air. Turn right down the first dirt road on your right and continue.25 miles to the parking area. The learning never ends in the travel blogging universe. You can also head to the summit of Mount Evans from Chicago Lakes. The Chicago Lakes Trail just raised the bar for all my future Colorado day hikes. • 8.8 lb Ultralight Backpacking Gear List, Chicago Lakes Trail: Colorado’s Stunning Mt. While Beau and I chose only to day hike, opportunities for dispersed backcountry camping within Mount Evans Wilderness are plentiful and free. The lake was beautiful, but there was no trail leading to it, so we continued until we reached Upper Chicago Lake. For more information on leaving no trace, visit LNT.org. Pack out everything you bring with you, clean up after your pet, and do your part to leave the trail untainted for the rest of the world to enjoy. We giggled like children and hiked back up to the top for one more round. This will be the easy part of the hike for the trail then climbs upward the remaining three miles. Flowers blooming in wild profusion. Glissading: a fast, foolish, and entertaining descent. Your email address will not be published. Lesson learned. Located just 90 minutes north of Chicago, this is the largest concentration of natural lakes in the area making it a boaters paradise. The second lake is above treeline. Chicago Lake Dispersed Campsite Even though Chicago Lake (188 acres) is a busy lake you can still see and hear loons. Dogs are allowed on the trail if leashed. Rules & Regulations     A. Had a really tasty lunch at Echo Lake Lodge. To the east was a large waterfall with grand, sweeping views of Lower Chicago Lake. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Have you ever hiked the Chicago Lakes Trail? It then travels 14 miles to the top. Description If hiking or fishing is the name of your game, West Chicago Creek Campground is the perfect place to do what you love all day. The awe-inspiring backcountry within Mount Evans Wilderness at times seemed too beautiful to be real. The best months weather-wise to hike are July, August, and September when the winter snowfall has melted and uncovered the trail. Liliana Myers reviewed Chicago Lakes Trail. There is nice dispersed camping at the lakes. I parked my campervan in the where AllTrails said the trailhead would be, but we’d ended up at the Echo Lake Trailhead instead, which is an entirely different hike. To view current trail conditions, visit the Chicago Lakes Trail’s AllTrails page for reviews and updates from fellow hikers. Final Thoughts 7. So, get out on the Chicago Lakes Trail and witness the beauty for yourself. A detailed map for the entire Chicago Lakes Trail is available to download on the free smartphone app, Maps.me. A bald eagle soaring gracefully through the heavens above? Chicago Lakes Trail makes for a fantastic but long day hike or perfect 2-3 day backpacking trip. Have you ever tried glissading? Ready to embark on a hike of your own along the Chicago Lakes Trail? Within 100 miles of downtown, a wealth of campgrounds provide peace and quiet. The remainder of the hike back towards the parking lot was sunny and uneventful, the exact type of finish we needed. Worth Noting: Snowshoeing this trail in the winter provides a greater sense of solitude than hiking it in the summer. There is some rocky trail and a little bog about 1.5 miles from the trailhead, but the rest is an easy trail. You two would love hiking in the Colorado mountains! Within 15 minutes, we came across a softening snowbank that piqued Beau’s interest. We’d wandered really far off course. It's only about an hour and a half west from Denver. Camping is in a semi-wooded area of the park, and there are 150 Class A sites. I pointed us back in the right direction, and we trudged our way through the thick shrubbery as sharp branches scraped our skin and tore at our clothing. The trail begins near the scenic and touristy Echo Lake and winds its way past Idaho Springs Reservoir, and eventually up to an old, bumpy forest service road. Send me some feedback with a comment below! In the distance, the Chicago Lakes Trail snaked up steep rocky terrain towards Summit Lake, which rests at 13,002 feet. Keep your eyes open for pikas and squirrels as they scurry about the forest floor at lower elevations. I love the layout and how you integrated such helpful information into each post. Oops. Camping – Echo Lake campground has 18 sites, 11 for RV, 7 for tents. This campground has a pool… 74. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Lake Name Number of SitesMaximum number of people per site Toilets Boat AccessLake Size (acres) Chicago Lake 4 Site1 (8) Sites 2-4 (1) YesBI188 Natural FeaturesAll of these sites are nestled in hardwood trees and pines. Glassy alpine lakes reflecting a crystal-clear image of towering granite peaks in the background? Overview Set among lodgepole pines and aspens, close to rushing water and majestic Mount Evans, this campground is a popular but relaxed destination that'll soothe the weary soul. Please pack out all trash, no services available. There are also a few dispersed camping areas which people are welcome to use, please check with the Hume Lake Ranger District office. Damn. I'm a minimalist traveler and ultralight backpacker. Check out Backpacker Magazine’s article on bear safety to learn more. Stayed at West Chicago Creek campground (National Forest) for three nights. save hide report. Camp at least 100' away from any lake, stream, trail or road. Hiking. Camp at least 100' away from any lake, stream, trail or road. Mount Evans Wilderness isn’t known to have a strong bear presence, but if you’re wary, bring bear spray, wear a bear bell, odor-proof your food, or hike in groups. The byway begins by Echo Lake, south of Idaho Springs, at around 10,600′. Hey, thanks! You can also head to the summit of Mount Evans from Chicago Lakes. With a clear forecast, hiking the alpine forests up above 10,000 feet is glorious. The trail to Missouri Lakes is about 3.5 miles in so this was an easy hike in giving us plenty of time to explore the area. © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. The alpine meadows exploding with wildflowers, cascading mountain creeks, and adventures glissading down snowbanks with an old friend didn’t hurt either. The area sees heavy use in the summer due to the its close proximity to Mount Evans and numerous picnic areas. Don’t start your hike at the Echo Lake Campgrounds as AllTrails recommends. After a short time on the road, the trail enters the real backcountry, and Mount Evans Wilderness starts to reveal its natural beauty. Dispersed Camping Dispersed camping is allowed on Hiawatha National Forest lands except developed recreation and administrative sites, campgrounds and designated campsites. Chain O’Lakes State Park. This is a shor… Several Hiawatha National Forest and Grand Island National Recreation Area camping facilities offer reservations through the recreation reservation system. This route has a great trail all the way to Summit Lake and is considered the standard way to climb Evans from a lower trailhead. The campsites on the Rapid River/Manistique Ranger District are located on inland lakes and are in a rustic forest environment w... 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