Lady Washington will also come into view at this point as well. To the right it heads toward Battle Mountain Backcountry Campsite and to the left toward Chasm Lake and East Long's Peak Trail. Turn right onto Chasm Lake Trail. Chasm Lake, tucked into an alpine cirque below the East Face of 14,259-foot Longs Peak, is one of Rocky Mountain National Park’s most gorgeous lakes.The lake is reached by a one-way, 4.2-mile hike up East Longs Peak Trail and Chasm Lake Trail. Hiking to Chasm Lake. 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. The Inner Sanctum Trail is one-mile long and heads through the chasm on a series of steps, paths carved out of the stone, and bridges over gaps in the rocks. The stunning scenery that surrounds the lake easily makes this one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Longs Peak takes its name from Major Stephen Harriman Long, an explorer and inventor who famously led an expedition over the Great Plains. 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 hike to Chasm Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park begins from the Longs Peak Trailhead. However, the route is pretty well beat in and I felt fine crossing it in trail runners. Chasm Lake Hike. If you have any questions about hiking to Chasm Lake, let us know in the comment section below. It is a steady, uphill hike the entire way. Equipment: sunblock (the reflection off the snow will burn you like… The long distance, elevation gain, and altitude make this a tough hike. Stay left here and head up toward the ridge line. For more than half of this hike you will be exposed to the sun, with very little shade. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc. Longs Peak is on the opposite side of the lake. 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 … Length of Time: 4 to 6 hours. Facts About the Hike There are toilets here. Longs Peak's iconic 'Diamond' rises 2456' above this striking alpine lake. Chasm Lake starts from the Longs Peak trailhead about 10 miles south of Estes Park. For the first part of the hike, you will walk the same trail as hikers on their way to Longs Peak, the highest point in the park. 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. Beyond the junction the main trail leaves the subalpine zone and begins to ascend Mills Moraine. 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 Trail Junction. When snow lingers, ascend and descend carefully—do not slide. Day hikers planning to summit Longs Peak usually arrive between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. 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. Then, enjoy the views of Chasm Lake. If you are new to hiking or are curious about what you should bring on a hike, check out our Hiking Gear Guide. The trail continues to gain elevation while feeding through open tundra filled with jagged rocks and boulders lit by the early morning sunrise. Trailhead to Chasm Lake Trail Junction . The length of the trail is 0.1 miles (0.1 km) or 130 steps. 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 14,259-foot peak is named after Major Stephen H. Long, who led an expedition across the Great Plains and along the base of the Rockies in 1820. Leave No Trace. Goblin's Forest is located 1.1 miles from the trailhead. Maps Rocky Mountain National Park map, Chasm Lake and Longs Peak topographic map. Those hiking to Longs Peak will go right through the Boulder Field. Ida. The goal is to arrive at Chasm Lake (elev. Once out of the trees, you get panoramic views of the mountains surrounding trail. The grade is gradual and the trail well-groomed and wide. The national park website provides, If you still have the energy, plenty of time, and good weather, you'll have the option of continuing on to, Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park: The Essential Guide, best hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. From the Longs Peak Ranger Station the trail begins a steep climb through a thick forest of lodgepole pine, spruce and fir. By continuing to browse this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. All rights reserved. Looking towards the south is 13,911-foot Mount Meeker. Be prepared for all weather conditions, even snow in the summer months. 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. It also makes a nice acclimatization hike if you just arrived in Colorado and want to warm up your legs and cardio system, before tackling hikes like Chasm Lake, Flattop Mountain, or Mt. 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. We almost confused it with a smaller lake before you climb the last rocky section. This is one of my favorite hikes I've ever done. This section of trail requires a bit of route finding as well as some easy rock scrambling. Chasm Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park Chasm Lake. After a brief walk through the basin the trail begins to climb sharply up the headwall that forms Chasm Lake. 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. Meeker, Longs Peak and Mt. Rain jacket or fleece. When you are in the park, practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace. Additional parking is available along the roadside leading up to the trailhead, but is also quite limited. Chasm Lake (4.3 miles, 2456 feet gain) Allow 2–4 hours to reach Chasm Meadow. The hike itself is strenuous and rocky making it a tough hike. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Please note that parking is fairly limited, and the lot fills up very early on weekends. 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. Chasm Lake is a 8.4 mile round trip hike that has an elevation gain of almost 2,500 feet. From the turnoff drive another mile to the ranger station. So, we split up. Chasm Lake is amazing!! Starting at an elevation of roughly 9405 feet, hikers will be following the East Longs Peak Trail for much of this hike. 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 … 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. Yes, and it's free! 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. To get up to Chasm Lake, you will have to climb up a rock fall. Julie Last updated: December 17, 2020 United States Leave a Comment. The hike to Chasm Lake is challenging but it rewards you for your effort. The highest elevation point is 11,823 feet. 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. The snow along the trail has mostly melted out with one exception- the very long stretch over Columbine Falls. This is the point where the hike really gets good. 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. So, Tim dropped me and Kara off, and just the two of us hiked to Chasm Lake. Do not expect your cell phone to work. This trail is a much more achievable day hike than 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. ), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. RELATED: Colorado’s Bluest Lakes! Find out what we carry in our day packs and what we wear on the trails. Overflow parking tends to line the road as you approach the parking lot. A person in good physical health can hike the trail in 39 minutes in one direction and in 30 minutes in the opposite direction. If you have plans to spend several days in Rocky Mountain National Park and you are a hiker, this is one of the best trails to put on your to-do list. 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. After 0.5 miles you reach a marked trail junction, keep left on the main trail. From the Longs Peak Ranger Station, the trail steadily climbs through a lodgepole forest, interrupted occasionally by Alpine Brook. Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. 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. We spoke to a park ranger who stated that the lot can be completely full by 2 am!! Chasm Lake, which as at the bottom of the Diamond is also one of the best hikes in the park. Highest Elevation (Chasm Lake): 11,800 feet You still have another uphill mile or more until you reach Chasm Junction. Emerald Lake, Deer Mountain, and Gem Lake are good warm-up hikes. Be prepared to turn around early. Deer Mountain is also a great hike for newbie hikers who want to summit a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. We probably would have gotten away with also parking on the road but didn’t want to take the chance of getting a ticket. To reach the trailhead drive 2.1 miles past the Fall River Entrance Station on Highway 34 and turn right onto Endovalley Road. To the right is Lady Washington and to the left is Mt. This hike took place on July 16, 2009, a beautiful day. 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. The Chasm Lake hike offers many of the benefits of a trek to Longs Peak, but with a little less effort required. This hike is only eight and a half miles, but doesn’t include the same level of incline. In the photo on the left you can see the trail as it passes above Columbine Falls before ascending the headwall. Copyright Is there a Chasm Falls trail map? There’s a good chance you will hike through snow, even in the summer. 3.3 miles into the hike you reach the trail junction. The melting of Mills Glacier fills Chasm Lake, which feeds Columbine Falls and Roaring Fork, and ultimately fills Peacock Pond. Continue on Longs Peak Trail for another 0.8 miles to the Chasm Lake Trail. What is the length of the Chasm Lake Trail? 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. 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. Meanwhile, Tim and Tyler hiked Twin Sisters and then picked us up after their hike. Note that you will be following the East Longs Peak Trail for the most part of this trip. Start the hike early, ideally by 7 am. Lady Washington will be the dominating feature towards the west. Yes, and it's free! Due to the distance of the Longs Peak hike, most hikers arrive between 3 and 5 am to start their hike. This elevation is all the more impressive considering the lake already sits at 11,803 feet. 11,760′) as the alpenglow spreads across the famous east face of Long’s Peak known as the ‘Diamond’. 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. If this is part of a bigger road trip through the USA, visit our. Much of the shoreline around the lake is accessible, however, some minor rock scrambling is required to reach some of the better vantage points. 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. Pack a rain jacket and/or fleece and even another layer of clothing. The stretch of trail from the edge of the forest to the trail junction for the Keyhole Route is one of the most strenuous of the hike. There is a parking area at the Rangers Station but it fills up quite quickly especially during the summer months and weekends. AT THE FEET OF THE GIANT: CHASM LAKE AND STORM PEAK: Hike date: Friday, September 2, 2005. To access Chasm Lake, start from the Longs Peak Trailhead off of Highway 7. It fills a deep cirque carved from the base of Mt Meeker (13,911'), Longs Peak (14,259') and Mount Lady Washington (13,281'). During the summer months, afternoon thunderstorms are common, typically occurring by 2 pm. Chasm Lake - 8.4 Miles Round-Trip Chasm Lake is located 4.2 miles from the Longs Peak Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. But don’t depend on your phone to call for help, talk to friends, or send photos to friends and family. Trail Description: The hike to Chasm Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park begins from the Longs Peak Trailhead. If you are unsure where to go, follow the rock cairns. If weather conditions change and you see approaching thunderstorms, be prepared to end your hike before you reach Chasm Lake. At least the view is great, as you get closer to Longs Peak. 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. Hiking poles. How long does it take to hike the Chasm Lake Trail? Hiking poles take the stress off of your legs and help to ease leg pain and fatigue. There will be a few spots where you will do some rock scrambling, using your hands and feet. Lumpy Ridge is the trailhead for this 3 and a half mile hike, with an elevation gain of 910 feet. A person in good physical health can hike the trail in 1 minutes in one direction and in 2 minutes in the opposite direction. I made my way around MLW and got back to Chasm Junction in short time. 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. Chasm Lake – 8.6mi / 13.8km Nestled below the awe-inspiring east face of the famed Longs Peak is the gorgeous Chasm Lake. At just over 2.5 miles you'll reach the spur trail that leads to the Battle Mountain Backcountry Campsite (contains one group site). The Keyboard of the Winds is also visible from this vantage point. It is a steady, uphill hike the entire way. Until mid-July, a steep snowfield also covers the trail before the meadow. Trail junctions are well marked with signs throughout the hike. Chasm Lake is one of the most spectacular lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park. 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