The Chasm Lake Spur
If you missed a part of the journey up Longs Peak click the links below to get caught up before taking the Chasm Lake spur:
- Longs Peak Guide – Part 1
- Hiking Longs Peak – Part 2
- Climbing Longs Peak – Part 3
- Camping in the Boulder Field – Part 4
We returned to the junction for the Chasm Lake spur and made the turn towards the lake. The 0.9-mile spur hike (one-way) to the Chasm Lake is relatively easy. The path leads away from the junction along a cliff path that is a very wide and well-manicured path. If you keep your eyes on the trail there is no danger of a fall. The views of Peacock Pool below and the waterfalls along the Roaring Fork creek flowing from the unseen Chasm Lake is stunning. These gorgeous landscapes do make it difficult to keep your eyes on the trail.
Roaring Fork Creek Falls
The trail passes over the Roaring Fork creek above the lower waterfall into a small alpine basin. The trail ahead is flat and the picturesque upper falls reveal themselves on the right. After traversing the small basin the trail climbs steeply up loose rocky terrain. There are cairns in this area, but the path is varied and hard to distinguish amongst all the other loose rubble. While steep, this section is brief. It is less than a 1/4 of a mile before we reached the top of the ledge and the lake was revealed.
Chasm Lake is a very cool alpine lake. There is no foliage in sight. The lake sits in a bowl with sheer cliffs rising straight up out of the waters on three sides. To the west is Longs Peak towering high above. For most of our time at the lake the peak was shrouded in the clouds, but for about 5 minutes the clouds rolled back and we had some amazing views.
We stopped here for lunch and an inquisitive marmot decided to join us. He mostly just stared us down as we rudely ate in front of him and offered him none. Seriously, do not feed the wildlife people. Human food isn’t good for them.
Return to the Trailhead
After lunch, we headed back down the path towards the Longs Peak parking lot. On our way down we caught a glimpse of a moose far off in the distance. We decided to forego our extra night in the wilderness at the Goblins Forest camping spot and instead headed on to YOLOM (our home wheels) and our comfy memory foam mattress.