Hike Lost Man Pass via Independence Lake

Colorado Independence Pass Summit Parking

Added by Eric Schuette

  • Hike to Lost Man's Pass in the Hunter Fryingpan Wilderness
  • Enjoy the views at Independence Lake (and Lost Man Lake if you decide to make a loop)
  • In the summer the area has a wonderful wildflower display
  • To Lost Man's Pass and back is 4.5 miles with ~1200 feet of gain.
  • If you make a loop including Lost Man's lake to the lower trailhead is about 11.5 miles.
  • From the pass there are several 13ers that can also be climbed and stay at class 2/3. However, class 4 options are available in the area

Park at the pull out just west of independence pass. From there, begin on the Linkin's Lake Trail. The trail is generally easy to follow (although it can be muddy as it is a wet area) and climbs 900 feet in the 1.8 miles to independence lake. From Independence lake it is about 0.5 miles and 400 feet of incline to the pass. The trail stays to the west of the lake although there is a use trail that encircles the lake.

If you continue down to lost man's lake and down to the lower trailhead it is an additional 6 miles to the trailhead across from lost man's campground on Highway 82.

To access the 13er's in the area there are no official trails but in some places climbers trails will lad through the scree and talus. You can access the mountains of the cirque in any direction. Just be careful as the summer sees many storms above treeline.

Pack List

Standard day hiking gear:
  • Hiking Boots
  • Compass
  • Map
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Camera
Standard camping gear if camping:
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Cookware

Be aware some of the area is wilderness and additional regulations apply.

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Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



4.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1200 Feet



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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How to Get There

about 2 months ago

Breathtaking Valley

This is one of my favorite hikes. Easy to access and not very crowded, a gentle climb through willow and alpine tundra. Vistas that change as you curve and climb up the valley. Many options for scrambling from the area around Independence Lake.

about 2 months ago

9 months ago

Do the Loop!

If you have the time and the energy, definitely make this hike into a "loop" and go down to Lost Man Lake and reservoir. Independence lake is probably the best part of this hike, but the trail on the other side down to Lost Man trailhead is very beautiful and serene. If you decide to do the "loop" however, you'll need to set up a car at the other end or hitch hike since the Lost Man Lake trail ends 4 miles down the Independence Pass road from where the Independence lake trailhead starts.

9 months ago

Added by Eric Schuette

I love adventure and exploring. Currently spending time hiking, climbing, fishing, and celebrating with a good beer in Colorado. On Instagram @ericschuettephotography Cheers!!!

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