Chinns Lake

4.4/5 (78 reviews)
Idaho Springs, Colorado (ClearCreek County)
Last Updated: 07/11/2022
Zoom in to see trails...

Trail Information

Highlights

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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.4/5 (78 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/10/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

I took my friends up this trail for an easy camping experience with mild offroading. We made it just fine. One Ram 1500 on 34" tires, two stock 4Runners, a stock Tacoma, and me in a '08 Trailblazer with 3" lift and 32" tires. There was a stock Trailblazer ahead of us that had to be careful with line choice and got high-centered entering a campsite. The trail had deep ruts in places. It probably should have the "optional" portion of this difficulty rating increased, as the trail was wide enough to go around these. We left the campsite cleaner than we found it and definitely plan to come back. The lake is beautiful. Definitely drink extra water. 11,000 feet of elevation is no joke.
mac
100
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/04/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

One of the most exciting trails I’ve done so far in CO. Compared to other level 3 trails, this felt more difficult. The road is rocky, and there were a couple sections where careful tire placement was necessary. Tagged my skid plates 2 or 3 times. I was incredibly surprised to see a couple Subarus and other crossover SUVs at the lakes. Awesome area at the end of the trail, plenty of room for camping, but crowded due to Labor Day. Vehicle: 2021 4Runner SR5P, stock size KO2s, no lift.
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/03/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Fun trail. Lake levels are down this time of year. Still very scenic views make it worth the trip. It's pretty rocky and worth your time airing down. A couple spots on this trail are closer to a 4 than a 3. Since it's Labor Day weekend most of the camping sites were occupied.
Trail Review: Chinns Lake - Roger Parker
Trail Review: Chinns Lake - Roger Parker
View More Images
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/15/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

One spot in particular on this trail may be closer to a 4 than a 3 and does require careful tire placement going up and down (stay right), but other than that it is a solid 3. Even though the trail is short, it is pretty rough and worth airing down.
Joel
1000
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/14/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We had a nice day of sightseeing combining Chinn's Lake, Fall River Reservoir and Loch Lomond. You can easily hit all three of these trails and enjoy some off roading, scenery and hiking. Chinn's lake is definitely the most difficult of the three and has a couple spots that require proper tire placement, or you will scrape bottom in a stock vehicle. There is also section of trail without room for passing.

From the Community

Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Go All-Access