Both lakes offer excellent views of surrounding peaks. The rest of the trail is mediocre with lots of deadfall. The trail to the second lake, above treeline, is difficult to follow at times and is very steep. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Boat Taxi. Gorgeous views and few hikers on a Saturday, compared to the number of people I’ve seen on this trail in the summer. The Chicago Lakes Trail is located 9.6 miles from Idaho Springs, Colorado (CO) in Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest. This trail is more difficult than I expected and should probably be considered a "Hard" trail to do in winter. Until May 27th, 2021 at 11pm. Highest Elevation: 11,740 ( Lower lake at 11,420ft. Starting Elevation: 10,650 ( Lowest point of the hike 10,320). The trailhead is located at 10,600′; the final destination is at 11,800′. Purgatory Flats Trailhead: Access from the northwest Purgatory Trail (#511) – approximately 4 miles, 1500 ft descent Go south for approx. Chicago Lakes in Mount Evans Wilderness. Echo Lake is really pretty, and the hike to the Chicago Lakes is alright. And finally, there were some places where I had to scramble quite a bit in random parts of the trail. Here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. Summit Lake Park provides easy access to the popular Summit Lake and Chicago Lakes Overlook. From Idaho Springs take W. Chicago Creek trail south to Echo Lake. 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). 12-05-2020: This is one of my favorite hikes in the area and this was my first time hiking it in winter. You’ll essentially skirt the southern boundary of Echo Lake. Chicago Lakes Trail makes for a fantastic but long day hike or perfect 2-3 day backpacking trip. South Boulder Creek Trail. Extremely foggy in the morning but it cleared up early afternoon. 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. After the road leads up to Idaho Springs Reservoir, the trail winds up another two miles until the first lake. Chicago Lakes is a 5 km black diamond singletrack alpine trail located near Clear Creek County Colorado. The scenery is mountains and trees, and the lakes were quite pretty with the mountains in the backdrop. 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. 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 Chicago Lakes Trail #52. The upper lake is a great place to rest and have lunch. Soaring Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture. The trail continues to the upper lake, above treeline. The trail climbs upward for the remaining 3 miles. I used micro spikes and poles throughout the hike and they helped, but saw other hikers doing fine without them. The Chalet has lodging, a store, a marina, a deli, and post office. How to Get to Algonquin Lakes Trailhead Flights to Algonquin • O'Hare Intl. The weather didn’t seem to be particularly cold, but it was snowing a little when we set off. The portion of the trail leading to Idaho Springs Reservoir is a local favorite for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Description: The Chicago Lakes Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. The first mile of the trail switchbacks down to a creek crossing.
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  • . Pick a spot with a gorgeous view of the stars, but please respect the “no camping beyond this point” sign you’ll find on the way up to Twin Lakes. 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 Few individuals wore masks, but most kept a respectable distance while passing. They are open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Description: The Chicago Lakes Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. Abundant wildflowers stand out against the burned trees. From the trailhead, pick up one of the numerous social trails heading southwest. If you’re looking for a butt workout – this is the trail for you. Great views both direction, one of the close mountains then a bunch of peaks on the way back. 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. You’ll essentially skirt the southern boundary of Echo Lake. The Creek is dammed shortly up the trail, creating Idaho Springs Reservoir. Evan’s Wilderness. Took about 2 hours 15 mins to get to Upper Chicago Lake and 1.5 hrs back down. Summit Lake Park provides easy access to the popular Summit Lake and Chicago Lakes Overlook. The best campsites are (lamentably) on the far end of the basin, just as you start to flirt with treeline. You will pass through an old burn area where in 1978, 400 acres burned in the Reservoir Fire. Lower Chicago Lake sits just at treeline. Snow packed and icy for a lot of the hike, but beautiful and quiet. The entrance to Chicago Basin is obvious after six miles, but don’t stop there. While the views from there are spectacular, Summit Lake itself is a wonderful example of the alpine environment. 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