Chasm Lake Trail

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 80517

Elevation Gain669ft
Trailhead Elevation11,539ft
Elevation Min/Max11515/11806ft
Elevation Start/End11539/11539ft

Chasm Lake Trail

Chasm Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Larimer County and Boulder County, Colorado. It is within Rocky Mountain National Park. It is 0.8 miles long and begins at 11,539 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 669 feet. Near the end of the trail is an information guidepost. This trail connects with the following: Longs Peak Trail.

Chasm Lake Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park (Falcon Guides)
Kent Dannen
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"The journey to Chasm Lake can be a life-changing experience, infecting national park visitors with a perpetual passion for hiking." Read more
Hiking Colorado's Front Range (Falcon Guides)
Bob D Antonio
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"Chasm Lake lies nestled in a rocky alpine cirque below the towering summits of Longs Peak (14,255 feet) and Mount Meeker (13,911 feet), the two highest summits in Rocky Mountain National Park. The cirque is absolutely stunning and is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Colorado. Do this hike! This hike starts at the very popular Longs Peak Trailhead. The trailhead is extremely busy during the summer months, and it is difficult to secure a parking spot during this time. Having hiked this trail at least fifteen times for climbing trips to the east face of Longs Peak, I recommend that you arrive early or do the hike during the week to increase your chances of getting a parking spot. The hike follows the Longs Peak Trail up through a dense coniferous forest on a well-maintained trail." Read more
Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park (Wilderness Press)
Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh
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"Once you are above treeline you enjoy 360-degree views that include Longs Peak and Mount Meeker as well as Twin Sisters. The lake is in a magnificent setting with the heights of the Loft between Meeker and Longs soaring above. Hiking this early in the season before Longs Peak is accessible to climbers means far fewer crowds." Read more
The Best Fort Collins Hikes (Colorado Mountain Club Press)
John Gascoyne (And the Colorado Mountain Club)
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"The Chasm Lake Trail provides a classic above-treeline adventure.You will enjoy alternating views of Longs Peak, Mount Meeker,Mount Lady Washington, Twin Sisters, and Estes Cone. The trail begins below treeline as it winds through a spruce forest, then opens into an alpine meadow.Next, it traverses through an alpine wetland, complete with waterfalls, to finally summit at the tarn known as Chasm Lake. Hikers are treated to the comical antics of the marmot population, while ground squirrels, pikas, ptarmigans, and various songbirds are almost-guaranteed wildlife sightings. On occasion, you may share the trail with a pair of llamas, as the park rangers use these sturdy pack animals to restock." Read more
Best Hikes Near Denver and Boulder (Falcon Guides)
Sandy Heise and Maryann Gaug
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"“Wow!!” comes to mind as a ?tting description for this popular hike! The trail winds up through lodgepole pine forest, then climbs through limber pines and krummholz to the alpine tundra. On clear days, you can see for miles across the eastern plains. Longs Peak, Mount Meeker, and Mount Lady Washington loom to the southwest. Along the shelf trail, Peacock Pool, Columbine Falls, and colorful wild?owers captivate your eyes. Chasm Lake, snuggled beneath the shear East Face of Longs Peak, can’t be beat for scenic beauty. Glaciers quarried and sculpted this gorgeous land through which you hike." Read more

Chasm Lake Trail Reviews

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This is a super popular Rocky Mountain NP trail, and it is popular for a great reason. It is fantastic. Just be prepared to battle crowds and parking. Otherwise, the views, wildflowers, cooler temps are all so worth it.
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One of the most popular hikes near RMNP. We started early, leaving the trail head at 7am so that we could avoid crowds. It's a beautiful hike, and we were down back in the car by noon.
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A great half day hike, beginning under cover of pine trees and ascending into the alpine tundra. I would call the difficulty level easy to moderate due to the nice switchbacks and well defined rocky steps. If you come from sea level like me, and you feel like you can't breathe after the first 500 feet, take it easy and keep going, that rocky mountain high will carry you the rest of the way!
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We tried this route yesterday (June 9); not too arduous and some beautiful views, not only west toward the "Diamond" and Long's peak but also to the North and back Eastward to view the Estes Cone and Twin Sisters formations.
There are still a few snowfields along the way and hiking poles are useful. When you get almost to the lake there is a large and treacherous snowfield which almost no one wanted to attempt as it was quite slippery and one could slide all the way down the the waterfall going to Peacock pool. This is the largest we have ever seen this snowfield at this time of year and it could be a few weeks yet before it is safe to cross here.
At a very modest pace it took us just over 4 hours round trip.

Chasm Lake Trail Photos

Trail Information

Rocky Mountain National Park
Nearby City
Rocky Mountain National Park
Additional Use
Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Office, 1000 US 36, Estes Park 80517; (970) 586-1242;
Local Contacts
USGS Longs Peak; Trails Illustrated Longs Peak
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018