South Chicago Creek Trail

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Trail Distance: 1.8 miles
Time Estimate: 1 hr 40 min+
Elevation Gain: 1328 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Hard
Parking: Free
Route Type: Out-and-back
Restroom: No
Description
When you head out to hike on the South Chicago Creek Trail, you'll be pretty far from the urban city of Chicago. In the Mount Evans Wlderness, you will find this hike along the South Chicago Creek. This little trail is actually named after the creek that runs right next to the trail, the South Chicago Creek, which creates a small gulch along the trail. The trail itself is natural and is only marked by compacted soil and crushed stone in other places. Bring all necessary supplies, including clean up bags and water for your journey.


To access the trail, head down Hefferman Road to find the parking area, which is a gravel lot off the end of the dirt road and is best driven by a four-wheel drive car as it can get muddy during the spring and summer months. The entrance of the trail is 1.5 miles down the dirt road, and once on it, a canopy of alpine and aspens cover the trail from shade. The creek brings in a cool breeze, rustling the trees around you.

It won't take long before the trail comes close to the creek, with access points leading to the creek to dip your feet in the cool water and to fish. Continuing along the trail will take you uphill on the ridge, with the highest point of elevation along the trail at over 11,000 feet above sea level. At this point, the ridge begins to open up to a grassy area, making way for the gorgeous views of thick forests, grasslands extending out over the land, and granite peaks on the other side of the gulch. The mountain ridges surrounding this point are usually covered in snow, and at the end of the trail, you'll be at the base of Grey Wolf Mountain. 

The decent down the trail is much easier, although it could be slippery in the winter months. Just keep hold of your pup as you and Fido head back down the ridge and you'll make it back to the parking area in no time. 

Trail Features
Ice, Muddy, Rocky, Steep Inclines, Beach, Forest, River, Diverse Landscape, Mountains, Grassland
Abundant Wildlife, Wildflowers, Waterfall, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
There is a mandatory, but free self-issuing permit required, provided at a kiosk before the beginning of the trail. The trail can become heavy with snow and ice during the colder months of the year, so watch out for slippery slopes.
Address
Hefferman Gulch Road
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset
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Address
Hefferman Gulch Road
Idaho Springs, CO 80452
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset