Directions: The trailhead is located on Squaw Pass Road (103) across from a small parking area (on the shoulder of the road) and near the Echo Mountain Ski Area. From Idaho Springs, go south on 103 to mile marker 18. From Evergreen head west on 103 towards Mount Evans to mile marker 18. The trailhead is small and easy to miss but look for the small Forest Service road sign and a wood sign that says "Chief Mt. Trail"
This is a great beginners summit hike. It is reasonably steep, you gain 1,000 ft in just 1.5 miles, but the trail is easy to follow, breaks tree line, and leads right to a rocky alpine summit. From the summit the views are endless. You can see all the front range Fourteeners (Pikes is just visible if the sky is really clear) but Mount Evans is the main attraction. Looking back to the east you get an up close view of Squaw Mountain.
The trail starts through the forest and switchbacks up until you reach Old Squaw Pass Road. Cross the road and continue uphill, do not turn. Before too long the trees get shorter and you breaks out above treeline. The switchbacks continue all the way up to the summit. The quality of the hike and the view vastly outweigh the effort, enjoy!
A word of caution, this hike is very popular on summer weekends. It is best to hike in the early morning or on weekdays.
Photos from previous hikes:
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
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- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Arapaho National Forest
Date Hiked: June 17, 2017
Distance: 3 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 1,000ft
Elevation Min/Max: 10,723 to 11,709 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long:39.682439º N; 105.521141º W
Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service