Front Range Fun
(Tour de Warren and Rogers)

30 Jun 2007 - by T Colorado

This is a great trip for those wanting a short day with nice views. We left Denver and drove to the Mt. Evans exit in Idaho Springs. After passing Echo Lake, we parked at an area in between the parking for the walk-in camping and the lodge. The trail for us started near the lodge at the Chicago Lakes trail. We followed this path along the side of Echo Lake and then meandered through the woods before losing 400 feet of elevation on switchbacks down to Chicago Creek and the junction with a dirt road (take a left on the road). The trail follows the dirt road for about a mile, past Idaho Springs reservoir and a couple of cabins before coming to the trailhead and permit sign-in area. We signed in, attached the permit to my pack, and off we were up the trail. Eventually, we came to the lower Chicago Lake ... actually, the trail is above this, but there is a junction to descend to your left down to it. Then, the trail does an amazing job of weaving through some very large rocks, and some boggy areas, to ascend to the upper Chicago Lake. What a beautiful area! We will definitely come back and camp here (we like camping above treeline) and do some fishing. There were several guys fishing and we overheard them speaking of the large size of the fish.

The trail continues on past the upper lake and does a wonderful job of ascending to the saddle (actually just above) between Warren and Mt. Spalding. Once at the saddle, the views of Evans and Summit Lake were great. It was a very busy day on the Mt. Evans road with cars, motorcycles and bicycles everywhere. Many people were starting their climbs from Summit Lake (coming up to the saddle we were above) ... I'm sure some were climbing Spalding and Grey Wolf, but I bet others were doing Evans.

We headed northeast up the ridge on tundra and irregularly shaped large rocks to Mt. Warren. After a brief stop for water, we continued northeast down the ridge and on up Rogers Peak up, over and around very fun irregularly shaped large rocks. The high point of Rogers is a large rock with a crack in it which takes a quick three second scramble. One person per time on top (haha). We took a lengthy break here and had our lunch before continuing north (past Lincoln Lake) watching the throngs in their vehicles down below. We crossed the road just before Goliath Peak and made a descending traverse of its west side before crossing the road again. This time, we stayed with the road until the first turn past mile marker 4, at which point you can see Echo Lake below. We then descended through the trees, back down to the lake and back to the parking lot. All in all a good day ... 7 hours roundtrip ... about 11 miles roundtrip. Happy trails!

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