Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
6.6 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
286 m
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Directions to Trailhead

Head out into the wilderness and reconnect with nature as you travel the Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail. This excursion will guide hikers through pine forests, along granite outcroppings and through vast alpine meadows. Every step of the way you will be rewarded with incomparable Front Range vistas on the Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail.

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Route Description for Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail

Enjoy views of the mountain ranges, alpine lakes, verdant woodlands, and running rivers from the Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail. This trek may be one of the most scenic hikes in the Pike National Forest. Be sure to pack your fishing gear and permit because the Cheesman Lake and the South Platte River are renowned fishing destinations in Colorado! Try your hand at some trout as you adventure through the wilderness. This path is heavily trafficked, but we find weekday adventures are significantly less busy.

When you’ve got your fishing gear all packed up and your hiking shoes laced, head out on the Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail. The initial segment of this excursion is steep, carefully navigate the tightly wound switchbacks through the dense woodlands. Ascend the forested path, and the trail will eventually plateau. As you climb the route, the tree coverage will become more sparse as you are guided through rock outcroppings. Hike past the immense boulders and into the meadowlands. From the meadows, the path will descend to Cheesman Lake. Enjoy the striking views of the shimmering lake and encompassing mountains as you descend the route.

Soon the trail will deliver you to the mouth of the South Platte River and the crystalline lake. Enjoy the scenic wilderness and notice the dozens of anglers that dot the shoreline. Revel in the beautiful sights, and when you are ready, retrace your steps back along the trail.

Getting to the Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail Trailhead

The Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail is accessed via the Wigwam Creek Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Dispersed backcountry camping, restrictions apply.

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail Elevation Graph

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Upper Cheesman Canyon Trail Reviews

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