Last trip: 08/16/15
Trail Difficulty Rating: 2-3 (What is this?)
County: Clear Creek
Arapaho National Forest, CC Ranger District
Total Trail miles: 6.8 In and back out.
Time: Allow 1 hour to travel one way
Trail Elevation: Low 9,576 High 11,138.45
Trail Type: Out and Back (What is this?)
Near By trails: Fall River Reservoir
Near by Towns: Idaho Springs, Alice
Trailhead GPS coordinates: 39.8042N, 105.6420W
Chinns Lake is a Colorado standard. It is not a particularly difficult trail, but it is a lot of fun and ends at a fantastic camping area, where hiking and fishing abound.
As you start up the trail it is private property on both sides of the road, please be respectful of these areas, they are not open for camping despite what others may be doing.... I wouldn't want to be the one on someone's property when those crazy mountain folk show up.
Two miles up the trail is where the first and only Y presents itself. Stay left on the Y to continue up to Chinns Lake.
2.6 miles from the trailhead at Fall River road is the crux of the trail, it has the largest rocks, though with careful navigation, slow and steady pace and perhaps a spotter for some extra eyes, most stock SUV's can manage this section.
2.9 miles in and you're almost to the top there is an optional obstacle that has large whoops and can really test your suspension's flexibility.
The trail is close to Denver and a popular fishing, camping, and hiking spot so you may encounter other vehicles, there is room for passing on most of the trail. Use caution when going through the puddles there are often rocks that you can not see.
Head up Fall River Rd. off I-70 go 10.3 miles to the Rainbow Rd (RD 274) sign, it is directly at the base of the second set of switchbacks. Stay Left at the Y 2.0 miles up and enjoy!