Chilly Chicago Lakes Trail

If you know anything about me, chilly air, foggy mountains, and evergreens give me life. Fall has got to be my favorite time of the year because these nature things announce themselves all at once here in Colorado. I’ve never been into the whole van-lifestyle (more of an AirBNB kind of gal), but if I could selectively choose my duration (and the dopest van), I’d choose to park myself deep in the Rocky Mountains during this season so that I could wake up to moody mornings and speechless views. But for now, I’ll just take the day hikes and retreat to my Denver dwelling apartment when I’m done.

This weekend, Mother Nature gave me something to believe in. As I made the eerily traffic-free drive up to Echo Lake, the Rocky Mountains slowly became engulfed by the fog. I’m not for sure, but I swear I had hearts in my eyes. The yellow Aspens peeking between the evergreens and the fog dancing between it all… oh my God. Okay, I think you get it. I like Colorado Fall weather.

Getting out of my Jeep, I was smacked with 30 degrees and some wind to prove it. I bundled myself up like a marshmallow and a pack that screamed “I’LL BE GONE FOR A WHILE!” The hike from Echo Lake to Chicago Lakes Trail was filled with tourists and families. But by the time I began making my ascent to Mount Evans, not a single soul was in sight. Having a mountain to yourself is beautiful but also intimidating. Especially when it’s late in the afternoon and the sun is set to expire soon.

I told myself I had to make it to Chicago Lake no matter what. I had been once before, earlier this summer. I didn’t have my camera with me since I was doing this hike for exercise. From what I could remember, this view was spectacular and I that I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera.

Rounding a tree line, I was greeted with a sweeping view, snow-dusted mountains, and fog capped peaks. Could I live here forever? I galloped down the slope to get as close as I could to the water and set up my camera. I was happy.

Making my way back to my Jeep, it became very clear I was alone. It also didn’t help that my phone died the second I put my jacket back on. *Gulps* My surroundings turned white and I was blindly walking on the trail, barely seeing more than 10 feet in front of me. At one point, the fog was so dense and so bright, the whiteness hurt my eyes. It was as if I was starring into forever. Or I was straight up in Heaven. Either way, I put on a brave face and forged onward.

Obviously, I made it back and lived to tell the tale. Someone asked me if this trail hike with the fog was worth it. 10/10 would do again.

Chicago Lakes