Echo Lake Park is a park located along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway about 33.5 mi (54 km) west of Denver, Colorado. The park provides a stone shelter with picnic tables and barbecue grills on one end of the lake, and the 1926 Echo Lake Lodge (gift shop and restaurant service only) and an Arapaho National Forest campground are found at the other. Access to backpacking trails, including the Chicago Lakes trail and Lincoln Lakes trail, can be found adjacent to the lake. The park is part of the Denver Mountain Parks system.
Echo Lake is a shallow, oligotrophic lake situated at 10,600 ft (3,230 m) above sea level near Mount Evans in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It formed during the latest period of glaciation roughly 10,000 years ago. As glaciers retreated in the Chicago Creek valley, lateral moraines formed a natural dam to drainage, forming the lake. The ecosystem around the lake is dominated by Engelmann Spruce and Subalpine Fir, with some Limber Pine on exposed sites.
Echo Lake Lodge, built in 1926 by the City and County of Denver, was designed to provide accommodations to Denver Mountain Parks visitors. The initial construction was the octagon shaped part of the lodge and cost $17,674 to build. The rest of the building was added in 1927 and cost $10,432. During World War II, Echo Lake Lodge was used as a high altitude training camp for the military.
In 1965, Denver Mountain Parks leased Echo Lake Lodge to HWStewart Inc. HWStewart is a fifth generation family owned family company that still operates Echo Lake Lodge to this day. They also operated the Mount Evans Crest House from 1956 to 1979 when it burned down. After the Mount Evans Crest House burned down in 1979, the lodge became the primary stop for tourists visiting Mt. Evans. Today the building is used as gift shop and restaurant for all those visiting the Mt. Evans and Echo Lake.