Chief Mountain Trail is one of the most exciting climbs from parking lot to summit. This is a very popular day hike due to its mountain beauty, convenience to Denver, and its relatively short length to the summit. You are sure to meet many fellow hikers along the way or merely relaxing at the top.
Just off Squaw Pass Road is a small parking area; pullover on the enlarged shoulder and park (mile marker 18). The trail head is on the opposite side of the road up the embankment. The trail is marked with a white stake. The trail gradually winds up through pleasant forest for half the hike up into alpine-like surroundings above tree line. As the trail comes out of the trees, the views of the surrounding mountains to the north and west appear. At the summit are huge granite outcroppings that you can climb for a spectacular 360 degree view of the foothills, valleys, and Rockies to the west!!
Mount Evans is a close neighbor to Chief Mountain and if you look closely, you’ll be able to see cars slowly moving up the Mt. Evans road (the highest paved road in the USA).
The end of the trail, at the top of Chief Mountain is ideal for picnicking with the family. There’s plenty of space to spread your feast – the atmosphere is great too!! Although there are usually many hikers, there is still plenty of space to eat with some privacy.
No restrooms available at trailhead or parking lot.