Chihuahua Gulch Trail to Ruby Gulch

Summit County, Colorado

Distance3.3mi
Elevation Gain1,767ft
Trailhead Elevation10,461ft
Top12,094ft
Elevation Min/Max10461/12094ft
Elevation Start/End10461/10461ft

Chihuahua Gulch Trail to Ruby Gulch

Chihuahua Gulch Trail to Ruby Gulch is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Summit County, Colorado. It is within White River National Forest. It is 3.3 miles long and begins at 10,461 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 6.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,767 feet.

Chihuahua Gulch Trail to Ruby Gulch Professional Reviews and Guides

"But with a name like Chihuahua Gulch, how can a dog lover not hike it or a dog not explore it? Begin hiking on the old mining road that climbs steeply as it passes through groves of aspen.

At a fork, bear left, enter a meadow, and make the first creek ford, then follow the road and the creek through a large meadow that has two more stream crossings. Several small ponds are on the right (east). You may want to stop here to rest or for lunch. From here, the old mining road begins to climb in earnest."

"The hike to spectacular Chihuahua Lake (an unnamed lake on topo maps) travels first along a four-wheel-drive road through a beautiful and serene high alpine valley. Two 14,000-foot peaks, Torreys and Grays, guard the valley’s eastern flank. At road’s end, a single-track trail continues toward the Continental Divide and wanders above treeline. The lake is tucked in a high bowl at 12, 400 feet above a cliff band, which the trail breaks through via a steep slippery section. Wildflowers and willows line the trail, which makes umpteen creek crossings along its route.

The short-lived town of Chihuahua once boasted a population of 200 people. As with other towns in the area, some confusion reigns as to the origin of its name. Some people claim it was named for the Mexican state, but others state it came from an old Indian chief called Shu-wa-wa. In September 1879 five men created the first settlement, which prospered just downstream from the trailhead. The town was incorporated in 1880. Situated in one of the richest mining districts in the state, Chihuahua became a top mining camp."

Chihuahua Gulch Trail to Ruby Gulch Reviews

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8/2/2018
A bit of a scramble if you hike up to Chihuahua Lake, but totally worth the extra effort. Spectacular mountain views and lots of wildflowers. My dog enjoys this trail, too, but she's a strong hiker. Because of some of the rougher areas on the trail, it might not be a good trail for all dogs.
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8/1/2010
Ended up being rainy and VERY cold, but a good hike. Little bit of traffic, but secluded enough to be a good hike for dog to be off-leash. Lots of puddles and a few creek crossings--easiest to plan for getting wet feet!
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7/30/2010
This hike results in a beautiful view of a glacial valley and alpine lake. The first 2/3 of the trail is an old mine road and isn't all that exciting. There are 3 or 4 serious stream crossings that were still a little harry, even in late july. We were able to get across all of them by rock hopping and stayed dry though. Once you get off the mine road and on to the actual trail you gain altitude very quickly. It feels like more than 3 miles each way! The view is worth it in the end though. We camped about at tree line for the night and enjoyed the view it gave us. Water is everywhere so you can pack light. We didn't really see many people on the trail Friday, but on Saturday it was pretty crowded.
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6/10/2010
Great hike, can be long if the gate is closed at Peru Creek. And in the spring get ready to get wet and cold, but again well worth it.
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8/12/2009
Great hike, the dogs loved the many creek crossings!!
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9/10/2007
A great hike! There are a few really steep sections and the last rock scramble to get to the lake is challenging! The views are beautiful!
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Chihuahua Gulch Trail to Ruby Gulch Photos

Trail Information

Summit County
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
White River National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Grays Peak,Montezuma; Trails Illustrated:#104, Idaho Springs and Loveland Pass
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018