A few miles past Hefferman Gulch Rd, is West Chicago Creek Rd. Looking majestic while searching for lunch. Red, yellow, green, white, pink, blue, purple — the full host of colors were on display for Beau and me. Campground Camping, or Developed Camping, describes places primarily meant for tent camping, but can include other types of camping as well. Click here to view the complete essential day hiking gear checklist. “Let’s slide down the snow on our feet like we’re skiing.”, Glissading is a little reckless — proceed at your own risk. Hiking & Backpacking Resources, Fresh glacial runoff is abundant along the Chicago Lakes Trail. If your hike goes anything like mine, you’ll witness plenty of wildlife. ... #1 - Chicago Lakes Trail. This sometimes steep and rocky trail starts at Echo Lake Park south of I-70 in the Mt. What a gorgeous sight. 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. Located just 90 minutes north of Chicago, this is the largest concentration of natural lakes in the area making it a boaters paradise. Within 100 miles of downtown, a wealth of campgrounds provide peace and quiet. 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. Here Chicago Creek is dammed to form the Idaho Springs Reservoir. Worth Noting: Snowshoeing this trail in the winter provides a greater sense of solitude than hiking it in the summer. In Chicago, the trails and marinas along Lake Michigan provide a respite from city life. To view current trail conditions, visit the Chicago Lakes Trail’s AllTrails page for reviews and updates from fellow hikers. Years ago, I found this out the hard way as I was picking wildflowers for my girlfriend when a fellow hiker stopped to scold me. If you head all the way north on Interstate 75, you’ll cross the Mackinac Bridge onto the scenic Upper Peninsula in Michigan.The U.P. While Beau and I chose only to day hike, opportunities for dispersed backcountry camping within Mount Evans Wilderness are plentiful and free. I love the layout and how you integrated such helpful information into each post. We’d been poking around a side trail, foraging (unsuccessfully) for wild mushrooms when we got lost. The trailhead is a bit tricky to find. There is nice dispersed camping at the lakes. Four campsites and an improved boat launch can be found on Chicago Lake, all clustered around its north end. I pack light and explore the globe searching for awe-inspiring hiking trails, rich cultural experiences, and ways to continue traveling indefinitely. Dispersed backcountry camping is permitted on the Beartrack Lakes Trail and within the Mt Evans Wilderness. There is nice dispersed camping at the lakes. Lake Creek Road Dispersed Camping in Sawtooth National Forest, Ketchum Idaho. 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. 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. The learning never ends in the travel blogging universe. Hey, thanks! The alpine meadows exploding with wildflowers, cascading mountain creeks, and adventures glissading down snowbanks with an old friend didn’t hurt either. Glissading: a fast, foolish, and entertaining descent. I can recommend the mushroom swiss cheese burger. All of them are on small inland lakes, which offer a … Chicago Lakes Trail makes for a fantastic but long day hike or perfect 2-3 day backpacking trip. From I-70, exit #240 and head south on HWY 103 (toward Mt Evans) for 13 miles to Echo Lake. Be the first to leave a review! The Chicago Lakes Trail is a delight from start to finish. 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. The awe-inspiring backcountry within Mount Evans Wilderness at times seemed too beautiful to be real. The rustic environment offers a wonderfully serene and peaceful setting for your next campout. 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′). Camping is in a semi-wooded area of the park, and there are 150 Class A sites. Scenes like this are supposed to play out in movies, not real life. From lakeside retreats to grassland getaways, this part of the midwest has it all. After a short time on the road, the trail enters the real backcountry, and Mount Evans Wilderness starts to reveal its natural beauty. Chain O’Lakes State Park. I almost always travel solo -- it's the best way to see the world. Camp at least 100' away from any lake, stream, trail or road. I rarely get to see the mountains and hiking has been rough in FL with the heat; we are excited to hike more now that the weather will be better (and maybe a few less poisonous snakes…sorta…ehhhh). Discover . Sprawling meadows glowing with blooming Colorado wildflowers? I’d love to go here and will be looking back at your posts for ideas! To the east was a large waterfall with grand, sweeping views of Lower Chicago Lake. I’ll tell you what to pack, how to get to there, the down-low on backcountry camping, and I’ll share some details about my journey along the most scenic trail in Mount Evans Wilderness. Once at the top parking lot, there is a short, but rewarding hike to the summit at 14,264 ft. Day Hiking Gear I Recommend 9. GPS to the camping area in these pictures: 39.360394, -105.684945. I trek into the wilderness, geek out about gear, and travel with the least amount of baggage as I can. Herman Gulch Trail – 6.5 miles | 1,657 feet of elevation gain | Arapaho National Forest, 4th of July Trail – 7.2 miles | 1,942 feet of elevation gain | Indian Peaks Wilderness, Booth Falls Trail to Booth Lake – 10 miles | 3,051 feet of elevation gain | Eagles Nest Wilderness. It then travels 14 miles to the top. Trails accessed; Ben Tyler Trail south 606. Worth Noting: Snowshoeing this trail in the winter provides a greater sense of solitude than hiking it in the summer. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Overall a very pretty, mostly covered trail with options for fishing and dispersed camping that's great for the day or a short couple day stint in the wilderness! You can also head to the summit of Mount Evans from Chicago Lakes. The lake was beautiful, but there was no trail leading to it, so we continued until we reached Upper Chicago Lake. But, as I mentioned earlier, this hike is not a walk-in-the-park. The Chicago Lakes Trail just raised the bar for all my future Colorado day hikes. Located right off of County Highway 58 across from Sand Point Road, Tannery Falls doesn't see the larger advertising that many other falls see in the area, but is a hidden gem within the town. The following restrictions apply: Your stay is limited to 16 days. 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. I guess it’s hard to complain about such challenges when the trail I was hiking lead to a crystal clear glacial lake at the base of a towering 14,000-foot mountain as a bald eagle circled the sky above. Of Chicago, Kankakee south KOA is a quiet retreat for anyone looking to relax well as Muskie. 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