Chinns Lake

Idaho Springs, Colorado (ClearCreek County)

Last Updated: 10/30/2021
4.3 / 5 ( 29 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 1.56 miles
Highest Elevation: 11150 feet
Duration: About 15 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Idaho Springs
Nearest Town w/ Services: Idaho Springs
Official Road Name: 174.1D
Management Agency: Arapaho National Forest
District: Clear Creek Ranger District


Highlight: Chinns Lake
Chinns Lake is a fun and easy trail with great camping on the water, hiking and fishing all within an hour or so drive of Denver, Colorado. There are two lakes to fish from along with plenty of hiking either around the lakes, or bushwhacking up through timber line. With the good camping and activities Chinns Lake makes an ideal location for a quick overnight trip. This area gets a good amount of use and litter can build up quickly. Pack out what you have packed in, plus some.


Route Information

Technical Rating


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1. Chinn Lake Trailhead ( mi)
From Rainbow Road turn up to Chinns Lake.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Denver

Take I-70 west to the Fall River Road exit 238. Follow Fall River Road approximately 6 miles to Rainbow Road at the second switchback. Turn left.



Trail Reviews (62)

Questions & Answers (14)

Q: Is there parking before the lake? (Stock Jeep Grand Cherokee)
–Brant Carter (07/28/2020)
–Todd (07/28/2020)
Q: Is there an update on if this is open yet or not? Me and my wife are taking A trip out next week, and this is one we definitely want to check out.
–Kenneth Drake Gruetze (06/15/2020)
–Todd (06/16/2020)
Q: Hi guys - any update on the status? Top of the page says "Impassable" - just wanted to confirm with someone. Cheers, Pasha
–Pasha Mostaghim (09/20/2018)
–Todd (09/20/2018)
Q: Hey there! We were considering dying this trail this weekend (early September) in our Subaru Outback, possible? Thanks so much!
–Kelsey Benny (08/29/2018)
–Todd (08/30/2018)
Q: Are camp fires allowed at the campsites?
–Lacy Lebeda (08/12/2018)
–Todd (08/12/2018)
Q: How busy are the campsites this time of year?
–Dani (07/22/2018)
–Todd (07/23/2018)
Q: Any thoughts on how a Ford Expedition with 33's would do? More curious about width than clearance.
–Kris Davis (07/13/2018)
–Todd (07/13/2018)
Q: Any new updates from the trail? Is it passable yet?
–Tony (06/21/2018)
–J Ranello (06/30/2018)
Q: I know it's early still but I was going to go for it this Wednesday, did anyone make it up this weekend? And is it descent conditions right now for camping? Thanks.
–Joshua (06/03/2018)
–Joshua Webster (06/10/2018)
–Chris (06/07/2018)
–Todd (06/06/2018)
Q: Anybody been up recently? Thinking about running it this weekend if the snow has melted enough. We had a string of hot weather and not much snow so hoping for early access this year.
–Mike (05/30/2018)
–J Ranello (05/31/2018)
Q: Anyone been up there yet this season? I was wondering if there is any snow around the lake right now?
–justin (05/21/2018)
–Todd (05/21/2018)
Q: I have a stock 2006 f-250 Diesel fx4, do I need anything special to do this trail or would it be good enough to go up there to go camping?
–Chris Knittel (02/06/2018)
–Todd (02/06/2018)
Q: I have a stock jeep commander will this be high enough for this trail? It sits about as high as a Ford Explorer.
–Anthony P Alberico (09/15/2017)
–Todd (09/16/2017)
Q: Anyone been up recently? What are the chances of a 2012 RAV-4 making it all the way up? I have off-road experience.
–L (07/06/2017)
–Lindsay (07/07/2017)

Writer Information



Todd is an avid wheeler who loves to explore new trails whenever and wherever he can. They say necessity is the mother of all invention and that holds true for Todd. His want and desire to find passable trails and new nooks and crannies of the Great American West to explore were his reasons behind starting On any given weekend you can find Todd on some obscure 4x4 trail or using his legs to hike to an alpine lake.
For individual use only, not to be shared.