Trailhead: Hell’s Hole

Activities: Hiking, Camping, Skiing, Snowshoeing

Closest City / Town: Idaho Springs, Colorado

Driving Directions:

  • From I-70, head west towards Idaho Springs.
  • Get off on Highway 103; head south.
  • Six and a half miles south of Idaho Springs on Highway 103, take the West Chicago Creek Road (located just before the first large switchback on 103) for three miles.
  • The trailhead starts where the road ends.
  • Walk through the Chicago Creek Picnic Area.

Hiking Distances: 7.0 miles (roundtrip)

Description: Hell’s Hole Trail is a great hiking opportunity and location in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area.  The trailhead is located at 9,500′; the final destination is at 11,200′.

From the trailhead, travel along West Chicago Creek for approximately one mile.  The trail quickly gains elevation as  it skirts through a large grove of aspen trees – and, yes, this is absolutely beautiful in the fall.

The second and third miles are rocky but less steep.  The trail’s terminus is at Hell’s Hole.  Hell’s Hole is an expansive cirque.  Don’t forget to bring and enjoy lunch in the expansive meadow that rests at the base of Gray Wolf Mountain.

Worth Noting: Snowshoeing this trail in the winter provides a greater sense of solitude than hiking it in the summer.  Due to the trail’s close proximity to one of the best known campgrounds in Colorado, it does receive some heavy traffic during the warmer months of the year.

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