Hells Hole Trail (#53)


A visitor information sign at beginning of Hells Hole Trail. Beginning of trail is in the background

Length: 4 miles ONE-WAY

Elevation: 9,650 feet - 11,522 feet

Trail Description: Begin at the Hell's Hole Trailhead. Traveling along the West Chicago Creek for about a mile, the trail cimbs at a steady pace through a large grove of aspen trees. The second and third miles are rocky but less steep. When the trail ends at Hell's Hole, the area opens to a meadow where alpine willows grow at the base of Gray Wolf Mountain.

View a COTREX trail map here.

At a Glance

Permit Info: A mandatory free self-issuing permit is required for the Mount Evans Wilderness. Free permits are available at each trailhead or entry point into the wilderness.
Usage: Light
Best Season: Hiking conditions are best from July through September.
  Wilderness regulations apply in the Mount Evans Wilderness.
  • Dogs must be on a hand held leash.
  • No motorized or mechanized equipment.
  • Camps, campfires and stock, where allowed, at least 100 feet from water and trails.
  • Group size limited to 15 people and/or 10 pack/stock animals per party.
  • Certified weed-free hay is required for stock.
Unless seasonal restrictions are in effect, campfires must be attended at all times and cold to the touch with the bare hand before being abandoned. Collection of dead and down wood is allowed; do not break branches from standing trees for firewood.  
Closest Towns: Idaho Springs
Water: Streams; treat water for drinking.
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles.
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Clear Creek Ranger District Visitor Services and Idaho Springs Visitor Center; 303-567-4382; Contact Us

General Information


6.5 miles south of Idaho Springs on Highway 103, take the West Chicago Creek Road for three miles. The trailhead starts where the road ends. Walk through the Chicago Creek Picnic Area.



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