Peak:  Mt. Evans (14er)
 Route:  West Ridge via Mt. Spalding
 Range:  Front
 Posted By:  Rascal
 Date of Info:  05/04/2012
 Date Posted:  05/06/2012

I was planning to try the Chicago Lake trail to judge the difficulty for me to summit Mt. Evans in the future.

There are some snow banks around Echo Lake and along the Chicago Lakes trail. I just had to be careful I didn‘t all of a sudden sink in snow.

Since this is my first time on Chicago Lakes trail I had great difficulty finding the trail and making good distance. There are many fallen trees across the trail. They were not easy for me to go around or climb over/under. I was meandering a number of times trying to find my way back to the trail when trying to get around fallen trees. The worst part is before you cross the creek over the log bridge.

After passing Idaho Springs Reservoir, most of the trail is easy, not much snow, but still some fallen trees that I had to navigate around.

Not being familiar with the trail, I followed a fork to the right (up) thinking this would take me to the lower Chicago Lake. I eventually made it between two large boulders but lost the trail in a snow bank. I could not find a way around in the shrubs.

Below is an example picture of fallen trees blocking the trail. Second picture is near where I ended walking through large boulders (facing the return direction to Echo Lake). The last picture is where I ended. If anyone is familiar with this location, let me know if I was in the correct location, of if I somehow ended up on some other trail.

I plan to try this again later this summer.

I did run into several other folks on my return trip that did not enjoy navigating around the fallen trees. I hope they made better time and found their destination. My first disappointment in hiking (not reaching my destination).

Are these fallen trees common after winter? How long until the trail is more accessible?

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3

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