Chief Mountain


Trail Stats & Info

RT length 3 miles
Elevation gain 1,010 feet
Difficulty easy-moderate
Lowest elevation 10,740 feet
Highest elevation 11,722 feet
Trail type out & back
Trails Illustrated Map™ # 104
Restrooms @ TH? no


From I-70, take exit 252 (Evergreen Parkway). Follow Evergreen Parkway (CO 74) to Squaw Pass Rd. (CO 103). Turn right on to Squaw Pass Rd. Follow this road for a little over 12 miles and once you past Echo Mountain Ski Resort, look for the trailhead sign on the left. It is very easy to miss, so slow down after passing the ski resort. There is a small turnoff at the right-side of the road where you can park. The trailhead sign states “Chief Mtn. Trail No. 58”.

If coming from west of Idaho Springs, then from I-70, take exit 240. Turn right onto Chicago Creek Rd. (CO 103). Follow this road past Echo Lake and after passing Cloudland Picnic Area, look for the trailhead sign to the right. Parking is off the road on the left side. Trailhead sign reads “Chief Mtn. Trail No. 58”.



The first attempt at this hike, there was too much snow for regular hiking, but not enough snow to use snowshoes. So, I suggest attempting this fairly easy hike either in the winter or wait till all the snow melts and hike in the summer. Finding the trailhead is a bit tricky, as it is very easy to miss it. We accidental passed it and had to turn around. By chance, we spotted a sign posted just off the road, which ended up being the trailhead. The beginning of the hike starts off pretty steep, but levels out to a gradual climb shortly. Not too long after, you’ll come to Old Squaw Pass Rd. Cross this dirt road and the trail continues up Chief Mtn. After hiking more than half way, the view opens up as you get above treeline. The trail continues on for a little bit more and the summit is in view. You can choose to stay at the base of the boulders, or you can do a bit of easy scrambling up the boulders to get to the summit. From here, you can see views of Mt. Evans, Grays and Torreys Peak, Mt. Bierstadt, Pikes Peak, and on a clear day, Longs Peak. It is a pretty short hike and a good hike if you want to get outdoors close to Denver, exert some energy, but don’t have time for a long hike. There’s interesting scenery, despite the shortness of the hike, from Bristlecone pines to vast views of a several 14ers.

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About Mar

My name is Mar (short for Maria), and I'm an avid hiker, backpacker, snowshoer, and snowboarder. There's no place I'd rather be than on a mountain! Originally from San Diego, I packed up my few belongings, and moved out to colorful Colorado so I could be immersed in the awesome Rocky Mountains! And I haven't looked back since! Any free time I have, you can find me hiking up a 14er or snowboarding in fresh powder.