I tried to get to the Chicago Lakes Trail today, but was unable to do so. Mount Evans road was closed which left me about 12 miles from the trailhead. When I got to the turn into that road, I was met with a sign that announced the closure dates. The website I was using for directions did list the road as closed, but it wasn’t very obvious until after I got back and was looking for the information. I ended up parked at the base of Mt Evans road, at Echo Lake campground which was also unmaintained this time of year.
I decided to hike in regardless and had a pretty good time. The snow varied between an inch or two deep to over my knees on the road. I went about 3 miles up the road to where there was some kind of rest area with a structure for the Mt Goliath Natural Area that likely houses some kind of information/tourist info site during the summer. Once I got there the snow started falling quite heavily. I stopped only long enough to eat a cliff bar and then made my way back down.
I saw hardly any people on the trail and while I was disappointed I wasn’t able to scout out the actual trail for fishing, I had a pretty good time hiking up the road. I’d bring snowshoes next time as there’s not a heavily packed trail and the walking was either deep or uneven snow most of the way. X-Country skis would also be fun as the road isn’t too steep.
One interesting thing to note: on the way there, I noticed what seemed to be an abandoned mine shaft on the side of the road. There didn’t appear to be much parking around if any but it would be interesting to take a quick look at it sometime, unfortunately I didn’t get coordinates as I was passing the mine so I’d have to go hunting for it again.