Hike/Snowshoe/Ski/Backpack to Lost Lake via Hessie Trailhead

Nederland, Colorado



5 miles

Elevation Gain

1300 ft

Route Type



Added by Johnna Foster

This hike is close enough to the front range that it can be a nice day hike, finished out with a yummy dinner in Nederland. You can also make your adventure as long or short as you desire, going past Lost Lake if that is what you would like to do. The best part is that you can access this area anytime of the year.

Parking can be difficult, especially on a nice day, and even more so in the summer.  Be careful not to park in a "no parking" areas, those areas are strictly enforced.  Drive towards the town of Eldora and you will begin to see signs for the Hessie and Fourth of July Trailheads.  Park along the road and begin the hike up! From the Hessie Trailhead you can access the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Devil's Thumb, Lost Lake, King Lake, Woodland Lake, and Diamond Lake trails. For this adventure we will cover the Lost Lake hike which is a pretty short and easy hike.  The hardest part is the elevation gain, which is minimal, but if you aren't acclimated to the area take it slow and drink lots of water. The distance can vary depending on where you parked along the road.  At most it will be a little under five miles for a round trip.  You will start at around 9000 ft. in elevation and gain just shy of 1300 ft. in your journey up. Most of your hike will be through an coniferous forest, and a few small meadows in the beginning of your journey.  Keep an eye out on the way up, there are old buildings to check out along the way, along with smaller trails where you can find historical buildings and even a cave!  You follow a small creek part of the way up before breaking off and hiking up to the lake.  The trail is well signed and only splits off once.  But if you dip off trail just be aware of your surroundings and direction of travel. Once you make it up to the lake, the winds can be pretty treacherous, especially in the winter, so be prepared! The ice is also usually thick enough to support a human, but please be careful.  You can still hike around the lake.  There are some campsites up there but you must obtain a backcountry permit from the National Forest Service before spending the night up there.  The hike down is easy and fun on cross country skis.  If you bring your dog please be a good dog owner and know the rules, there is a leash requirement and you must bag\hike out your poop.  All of these laws are enforced by the rangers.  Please be respectful and keep the area nice!

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Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area


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Leave No Trace

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