Chicago Lakes - 9.eight Miles Spherical-Journey
The Chicago Lakes are accessed from Echo Lake, 13.25 miles south of I-70 (Idaho Springs) within the Mt Evans Wilderness Space. They lie .65 miles and 313' aside in a broad valley beneath Mt Evans (14,265'), Mt Spalding (13,842') and Mount Warren (13,307'). Guests will take pleasure in beautiful alpine landscapes and wildlife that features moose, elk, bighorn sheep and mountain goat:
Path Map | Photograph Gallery
From the car parking zone, comply with the quick grime path to Echo Lake and proceed south to the Chicago Lakes Path cut up (.12 miles : 10,597'). A brief climb previous a second Chicago Lakes Path signal crests over a deep gorge carved by Chicago Creek with views of Mt Spalding and Mount Evans within the distance.
The path undulates ruggedly on a quick descent by wholesome spruce and fir to Chicago Creek (1.1 miles : 10,342'). Cross the creek and emerge a number of steps additional on a dust street (1.15 miles : 11,367').
An unofficial-looking signal appropriately factors up this street on a gradual climb to Idaho Springs Reservoir (1.65 miles : 10,617'). It continues to the Mount Evans Wilderness Space Boundary (2.05 miles : 10,652'), the place it moderates on a rocky path up the valley's west facet. Ridge traces connecting Rogers Peak (13,391') and Mount Warren (13,307') type the east valley wall.
The path enters an space touched by the 1978 Idaho Springs Reservoir Fireplace, which burned over 400 acres, totally on the valley's higher west facet. Regardless of its skeletal look, the forest is in a pure state of restoration.
Grasses and wildflowers fill the hillsides, whereas younger aspen have emerged in replenished soils. In time, spruce and fir will overtake them and return the forest to its ecological climax.
The path is intermittently rocky and steep heading up the valley with a full view of Mt Spalding, and a partial take a look at Mt Evans.
It ranges throughout a serious tributary by treeline (3.2 miles : 11,321') to a marked spur for decrease Chicago Lake (3.95 miles : 11,545'). Observe bristlecone and limber pine on this space, excessive altitude species tailored to excessive circumstances.
The lake spur is evident at first, however entangled by willows that require some power to interrupt by and attain the shore (4.1 miles : 11,420'). As soon as down, a clearer path results in the open outlet space and northeast shore the place you'll discover ideally suited morning gentle.
Afternoon arrivals - or those that merely don't want to combat the willows - will discover simpler entry additional up the primary path, although a steep knoll have to be scaled to achieve them (.35 miles forward).
From the marked spur, the primary path continues above Chicago Lake up and down a rugged knoll and final thick patch of forest to the lake's far facet.
It steepens significantly up the rock face separating the 2 lakes, a strenuous climb with a commanding view over Chicago Lake #1 and the valley under. It crests a ridge in open tundra overlooking higher Chicago Lake, from which the shore is definitely reached (4.9 miles : 11,733').
Circle the lake, or proceed over its outlet on the path main as much as Summit Lake (12,830'), which gives panoramas over the basin, and again down the whole Chicago Creek drainage.