If this is part of a bigger road trip through the USA, visit our United States Destination Guide for more inspiration and travel planning tips. Chasm Lake is perched in a steep-sided cirque (the Chasm, one presumes) at the base of the famous Diamond on Long's east side. This trail contours gently along the south face of Mills Moraine providing excellent views below of Peacock Pool and Columbine Falls along the Roaring Fork river. Chasm Lake (4.3 miles, 2456 feet gain) Allow 2–4 hours to reach Chasm Meadow. At just over 2.5 miles you'll reach the spur trail that leads to the Battle Mountain Backcountry Campsite (contains one group site). Your safety is more important than making it to the lake. The trail rapidly gains elevation and you will hike up and over massive boulders and stone steps. Chasm Lake – 8.6mi / 13.8km Nestled below the awe-inspiring east face of the famed Longs Peak is the gorgeous Chasm Lake. The most direct trail is from East Longs Peak Trailhead. The goal is to arrive at Chasm Lake (elev. Is there a Chasm Falls trail map? Dominating the landscape along this stretch of trail is krummholz, a German word that means twisted wood, which describes the stunted and irregular growth patterns of trees found in the transition zone between forest and tundra. From the junction the Chasm Lake Trail travels southwest along the wall of a deep gorge that offers birds-eye views of Peacock Pool and Columbine Falls as you proceed towards the lake. If you have not already spent time in Colorado adjusting to the altitude, I recommend that you spend a day or two acclimating to the higher elevation. Be prepared for all weather conditions, even snow in the summer months. It’s chilly at Chasm Lake. Distance: 8.2 miles When snow lingers, ascend and descend carefully—do not slide. It fills a deep cirque carved from the base of Mt Meeker (13,911'), Longs Peak (14,259') and Mount Lady Washington (13,281'). Hiking poles. John Wesley Powell, along with several others including William Byers, the founder of Rocky Mountain News, would make the first ascent of Longs Peak in 1868. But don’t depend on your phone to call for help, talk to friends, or send photos to friends and family. Chasm Lake Hike. Roughly one-half mile from the trailhead hikers will reach the Eugenia Mine Trail junction, and at 1.2 miles will pass the short side trail that leads to the Goblins Forest Backcountry Campground (containing six individual campsites). Kara and I definitely did the better hike. From this point 13,281-foot Mt. Chasm Lake: 448702e 4456613n; ... After a long hike spent mostly daydreaming the miles away, I arrive at camp around 9:30 and take a short nap in the tent before packing up at 10. The trail climbs steadily uphill and in the forest for the first 2.0 to 2.5 miles or so. Highest Elevation (Chasm Lake): 11,800 feet The Keyboard of the Winds is also visible from this vantage point. Chasm Lake is a Rocky Mountain National Park destination that gets lots of acclaim, but at 8.4 miles, it is deservedly called a difficult hike. The goal was to ascend the Longs Peak Trail to the intersection with the Chasm Lake – East Longs Peak Trail, pass alongside Peacock Pool and Columbine Falls, then make the final surge to Chasm Lake. for more inspiration and travel planning tips. There were a few spots in clearings or at higher elevations where we got a few bars of LTE or 3G, just enough to send a text message. ), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. Attempted 5/19/15 Apprx 8.4 miles round trip Apprx 4-5 hr hike depending on snow depth Moderate-Strenuous snowshoe trip +2,450' net gain (11,823' at lake) Snowshoes were required only after a mile or so into the hike. We started at 7:00AM and finished about 3:00PM with a lunch break at Chasm Lake. Pack a rain jacket and/or fleece and even another layer of clothing. The famous east-facing wall of Longs Peak, known as the "Diamond", rises more than 2,400 feet above this incredibly stunning and dramatic alpine lake. Meanwhile, Tim and Tyler hiked Twin Sisters and then picked us up after their hike. Trailhead: Longs Peak Trailhead, Rocky Mountain National Park Starting elevation: 9,400 feet; Highest elevation on the hike: 13,326 feet Route: East Longs Peak Trail past Chasm Junction to Chasm Lake … When we arrived in the parking lot, at about 6:30 am, every space was filled and there were many cars on the roadside. Day hikers planning to summit Longs Peak usually arrive between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. If weather conditions change and you see approaching thunderstorms, be prepared to end your hike before you reach Chasm Lake. Additional parking is available along the roadside leading up to the trailhead, but is also quite limited. Chasm Lake was a wonderful hike my group of friends did in late July of 2015. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc. Longs Peak takes its name from Major Stephen Harriman Long, an explorer and inventor who famously led an expedition over the Great Plains. Hikers that are attempting to summit Longs Peak start at the same trailhead and park in the same parking lot. To reach the trailhead from Estes Park drive 8.9 miles south on Colorado Highway 7 to the turnoff for the Longs Peak Ranger Station. You have covered most of the elevation gain by this point and what lies in front of you are some of the best views in Rocky Mountain National Park. Car camping is not permitted in this lot. Mt. I was hesitant to attempt it in its entirety with the kids, so we planned a backpacking trip with a two night stay at Goblins Forest which knocked 2.4 … Photographs 16 views along the trail to Chasm Lake. We saw numerous rock climbers on Longs Peak the day we did this. Stay left here and head up toward the ridge line. Turn right onto Chasm Lake Trail. If you are unsure where to go, follow the rock cairns. Your email address will not be published. Although they never entered Rocky Mountain National Park, three members of the expedition would later become the first to climb Pikes Peak. To the right is Lady Washington and to the left is Mt. This is the point where the hike really gets good. Darkness begins to recede as we reach the 3.5-mile mark, the junction that splits Long’s Peak climbers from the relatively few who continue southwest to Chasm Lake. How long does it take to hike the Chasm Falls Trail? Chasm Lake (Boulder - Front Range) TH: Long's Peak TH off of highway 7. We visited mid july and there was not many people, probably bacuse it's a challenging trail. Once you're out of the trees the trail opens up and enters the alpine zone. If you are new to hiking or are curious about what you should bring on a hike, check out our. Due to the popularity of the hikes from this trailhead, the length of time to reach most destinations, exposure to afternoon thunderstorms, and limited parking, you'll definitely want to arrive as early in the morning as possible, especially on weekends during the summer months. Equipment: sunblock (the reflection off the snow will burn you like… The lake shadows the base of the Diamond face of Longs Peak, which towers 2,456 feet above Chasm Lake. At roughly 2.2 miles from the trailhead, and an elevation of roughly 10,750 feet, hikers will finally emerge from the forest and enter the subalpine zone. The melting of Mills Glacier fills Chasm Lake, which feeds Columbine Falls and Roaring Fork, and ultimately fills Peacock Pond. Camera. So, Tim dropped me and Kara off, and just the two of us hiked to Chasm Lake. Beyond the junction the main trail leaves the subalpine zone and begins to ascend Mills Moraine. Chasm Lake is a great place to use the panorama feature. At about the 2-mile point, you emerge from the forest and begin hiking in the subalpine tundra. RELATED: Colorado’s Bluest Lakes! Until mid-July, a steep snowfield also covers the trail before the meadow. Lady Washington will be the dominating feature towards the west. At least 3 liters of water in the summer. Find out what we carry in our day packs and what we wear on the trails. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/the-keyhole-and-longs-peak-trail To get here, take Highway 7 and turn onto Longs Peak Road. The Chasm Lake Trail begins from the Longs Peak Trailhead at 9,405 feet, and climbs around 2,500 feet to Chasm Lake at 11,823 feet. You still have another uphill mile or more until you reach Chasm Junction. Behind you are the Twin Sisters. Starting at an elevation of roughly 9405 feet, hikers will be following the East Longs Peak Trail for much of this hike. The long distance, elevation gain, and altitude make this a tough hike. Ida, 8 Amazing Things to Do in Great Sand Dunes National Park, Best Things to do in Grand Teton National Park, Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim: Planning Guide & Checklist. To get up to Chasm Lake, you will have to climb up a rock fall. The hike starts at an elevation of 9,405 feet, reaching a top altitude of 11,823 feet at the lake. Leave No Trace. There will be a few spots where you will do some rock scrambling, using your hands and feet. Those hiking to Longs Peak will go right through the Boulder Field. Which Ones Will Be Your Favorite? After skirting along the wall of the gorge the trail eventually passes over the top of the waterfall before emerging onto a small alpine basin. The four of us had no desire to arrive by 2 am to get a space. Compared to the East Longs Peak Trail, the grade along this stretch of trail is much more moderate. At the end of this road is a parking lot that can hold approximately 20 cars. At roughly 3.4 miles, and an elevation of 11,540 feet, hikers will arrive at the Chasm Lake Trail junction. To access Chasm Lake, start from the Longs Peak Trailhead off of Highway 7. Trail junctions are well marked with signs throughout the hike. For more than half of this hike you will be exposed to the sun, with very little shade. Be prepared to turn around early. The grade is gradual and the trail well-groomed and wide. Gem Lake. In the valley to your left is Peacock Pond. If you still have the energy, plenty of time, and good weather, you'll have the option of continuing on to Battle Mountain, the Boulder Field or the Keyhole. What is the length of the Chasm Lake Trail? There’s a good chance you will hike through snow, even in the summer. In fact, there are very few flat sections or downhill sections as you hike to Chasm Lake. This section of trail requires a bit of route finding as well as some easy rock scrambling. The hike itself is strenuous and rocky making it a tough hike. Copyright From the turnoff drive another mile to the ranger station. Looking towards the south is 13,911-foot Mount Meeker. @ document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); RockyMountainHikingTrails.com. Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. A person in good physical health can hike the trail in 1 minutes in one direction and in 2 minutes in the opposite direction. Yes, and it's free! Then, enjoy the views of Chasm Lake. It’s an easy walk along Roaring Fork before the final climb to Chasm Lake. In fact, there are very few flat sections or downhill sections as you hike to Chasm Lake. Chasm Lake sits at the base of Mount Lady Washington, a 13,281 foot mountain, as well as the east-facing wall of Longs Peak, the … From the Longs Peak Ranger Station the trail begins a steep climb through a thick forest of lodgepole pine, spruce and fir. There are several trails you can take to Chasm Lake, but when you are in the main area of the park and want to follow the North Longs Peak Trail, the hike is long and arduous. The trail continues to gain elevation while feeding through open tundra filled with jagged rocks and boulders lit by the early morning sunrise. Trail Description: The hike to Chasm Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park begins from the Longs Peak Trailhead. If needed, an outhouse is located here as well. Rocky Mountain NP Itinerary: Suggestions for 1 Day to 1 Week, Top 10 Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park, 15 Great Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, Sky Pond: Sky Pond, One of the Best Hikes in RMNP, How to Hike to Nymph, Dream & Emerald Lakes, Hiking the Continental Divide Trail to Mt. Chasm Lake lies just on the opposite side of this short but steep and tiring climb. Hiking poles take the stress off of your legs and help to ease leg pain and fatigue. During the summer months, afternoon thunderstorms are common, typically occurring by 2 pm. Chasm Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park Chasm Lake. In the late spring and early summer, you may have to hike across lingering patches of snow. We spoke to a park ranger who stated that the lot can be completely full by 2 am!! This includes packing out what you bring into the park, be considerate of other hikers, stay on the trail, and do not remove anything from the park. We almost confused it with a smaller lake before you climb the last rocky section. The hike to Chasm Lake is on the way to the top of Longs Peak. The length of the trail is 0.1 miles (0.1 km) or 130 steps. Chasm Lake is a 8.4 mile round trip hike that has an elevation gain of almost 2,500 feet. Lumpy Ridge is the trailhead for this 3 and a half mile hike, with an elevation gain of 910 feet. Meeker form the backdrop of the scene. Much of the shoreline around the lake is accessible, however, some minor rock scrambling is required to reach some of the better vantage points. After 0.5 miles you reach a marked trail junction, keep left on the main trail. Goblin's Forest is located 1.1 miles from the trailhead. After a long trail uphill, it was an amazing and breathtaking experience to see the Lake. Chasm Lake Trail Junction. Rain jacket or fleece. You need to be back in the tree line by 2 pm. Start the hike early, ideally by 7 am. Earth Trekkers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising & linking to Amazon.com. Use extreme caution Once out of the trees, you get panoramic views of the mountains surrounding trail. It is down here that you truly can appreciate the beauty of Ausable Chasm and the river that runs through it as it descends through a series of small waterfalls and rapids. 3.3 miles into the hike you reach the trail junction. Ida. In the photo on the left you can see the trail as it passes above Columbine Falls before ascending the headwall. Length of Time: 4 to 6 hours. This is a tough hike. The trail to Chasm Lake follows the Longs standard route for 3.5 miles up through the trees and eventually splits off at the crest of the Mill's Moraine. The stunning scenery that surrounds the lake easily makes this one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Now, you get to enjoy a brief downhill walk and enjoy this awesome view. The highest elevation point is 11,823 feet. Required fields are marked *. All rights reserved. AT THE FEET OF THE GIANT: CHASM LAKE AND STORM PEAK: Hike date: Friday, September 2, 2005. Emerald Lake, Deer Mountain, and Gem Lake are good warm-up hikes. I made my way around MLW and got back to Chasm Junction in short time. 11,760′) as the alpenglow spreads across the famous east face of Long’s Peak known as the ‘Diamond’. Yes, and it's free! At Chasm Lake Trail Junction, grab a quick snack and soak in views of Longs 18-acre granite face known as the Diamond. If you are new to hiking or are curious about what you should bring on a hike, check out our Hiking Gear Guide. The Boulder Field and Long's Peak trail heads right and Chasm Lake heads left. Chasm Lake, which as at the bottom of the Diamond is also one of the best hikes in the park. 10 Great Hikes in Zion National Park. Chasm Lake is amazing!! When you are in the park, practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace. Find out what we carry in our day packs and what we wear on the trails. Our website uses cookies. Hiking shoes. If you are not acclimated to the altitude, this is not a good first hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Go left to continue on to Chasm Lake. After one final short and strenuous climb you will be standing at Chasm Lake. Longs Peak is on the opposite side of the lake. Meeker, Longs Peak and Mt. For most of this hike we had zero cellular service. A person in good physical health can hike the trail in 39 minutes in one direction and in 30 minutes in the opposite direction. Please read this Disclaimer / Privacy Policy before using any information on this site. Note that you will be following the East Longs Peak Trail for the most part of this trip. Continue on Longs Peak Trail for another 0.8 miles to the Chasm Lake Trail. The first 3.5-mile segment of the ascent goes from the Longs Peak Trailhead and Ranger Station to the Boulder Field on the north side of Longs Peak. The photo on the right offers a close-up view from the bottom of the draw: Chasm Lake sits in a deep cirque at the base of Mount Lady Washington towards the north, and Longs Peak towards the west. To reach the trailhead drive 2.1 miles past the Fall River Entrance Station on Highway 34 and turn right onto Endovalley Road. The hike to Chasm Lake is challenging but it rewards you for your effort. Trail Description: This hike to Chasm Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park begins from the Endovalley Picnic Area in Horseshoe Park, located just west of Estes Park. After a brief walk through the basin the trail begins to climb sharply up the headwall that forms Chasm Lake. At least the view is great, as you get closer to Longs Peak. However, the route is pretty well beat in and I felt fine crossing it in trail runners. If you have any questions about hiking to Chasm Lake, let us know in the comment section below. We probably would have gotten away with also parking on the road but didn’t want to take the chance of getting a ticket. The Chasm Lake Trail is a high alpine gem of a hike within Rocky Mountain National Park. From the trailhead, hike west up the East Longs Peak Trail. The hike to Chasm Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park begins from the Longs Peak Trailhead. Much of the shoreline around the lake is accessible, however, some minor rock scrambling is required to reach some of the better vantage points. This is one of my favorite hikes I've ever done. Trail junctions are well marked with signs throughout the hike. Difficulty: Strenuous To reach the trailhead from Estes Park drive 8.9 miles south on Colorado Highway 7 to the turnoff for the Longs Peak Ranger Station. This elevation is all the more impressive considering the lake already sits at 11,803 feet. Once the trail splits, the hike gets a little easier and you are treated to breathtaking views of Longs Peak, Columbine Falls, and Peacock Pond. For the first 2 miles you will hike through a fir and pine forest. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This hike is only eight and a half miles, but doesn’t include the same level of incline. Even a smartphone will do. Chasm Lake - 8.4 Miles Round-Trip Chasm Lake is located 4.2 miles from the Longs Peak Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. This is a tough hike. Although there are cairns that follow different routes up this section, your most efficient route will likely be towards the right, heading almost straight up the draw. Overflow parking tends to line the road as you approach the parking lot. Total Ascent: 2,700 feet Happy hiking!! This section of “trail” ascends for roughly two-tenths of a mile before reaching the top of the wall where you'll finally enjoy your first views of Chasm Lake. Chasm Lake starts from the Longs Peak trailhead about 10 miles south of Estes Park. So, we split up. The hike starts at the rangers station around 9,405 ft and crest at 11,823 ft about sea level. The Chasm Lake hike offers many of the benefits of a trek to Longs Peak, but with a little less effort required. Water and snacks. There are toilets here. 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