Arapaho National Forest – Idaho Springs, Colorado – Chief Mountain Trail

Arapaho National Forest - Idaho Springs, Colorado - Chief Mountain Trail-view from summit

This is a 2.8 mile out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, CO. The peak has amazing 360 views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains including Pikes Peak.

We got to the trailhead at 7am the Sunday before Labor Day and there were only a few cars on the side of the road when we arrived. The road was packed when we came down so get there early because this is a popular trail. The trailhead is located directly off the side of the road. It is marked and is easy to find.

Arapaho National Forest - Idaho Springs, Colorado - Chief Mountain Trail-picture of parking area and picture of the trailhead off the side of the road

The beginning of the trail is fairly rocky and root covered with a decent grade. After the first quarter mile you will come Old Squaw Pass Rd, which is an ATV trail that will lead you over to Squaw Mountain Lookout trail.

Arapaho National Forest - Idaho Springs, Colorado - Chief Mountain Trail-picture of parking area and picture of the trailhead off the side of the road- photo collage of first part of trail leading to old squaw pass rd
Arapaho National Forest - Idaho Springs, Colorado - Chief Mountain Trail-picture of the sign on squaw pass rd

The next portion of trail will lead you through gorgeous evergreens as you make your way up to the tree-line. There are awesome views on the way up as well.

Arapaho National Forest - Idaho Springs, Colorado - Chief Mountain Trail- photo collage of trail below tree line

As you make your way above tree line there be prepared for the wind as always! The trail is a little hard to follow as you make your way up to the summit but not too bad.

Arapaho National Forest - Idaho Springs, Colorado - Chief Mountain Trail- photo collage of trail above main tree line

The summit of Chief Mountain rewards you with amazing 360 views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains! We spent a good 20 minutes at the summit and only saw a couple of people.

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