Hike to Diamond Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness

Fourth of July Trailhead, Nederland, Colorado, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography, Running, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    5.7 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1361 Feet

Dog Friendly

A gorgeous lake with waterfall crossings and abundant wildflowers in the summer.

Diamond Lake is located in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. This is a super popular destination, so make sure you arrive early to get a parking spot (and be sure to follow all parking rules, they do give out tickets at this trailhead and others nearby). The drive to the trailhead is about 4 miles down a dirt road - this road is passable for small cars, but be patient and check the weather before you go, it would be all but impossible in the rain.

The trail starts by winding through the forest on narrow paths lined with bridges and wildflowers. It slowly starts to open up, giving you expansive views of the Wilderness. This trail crosses over a waterfall, so be sure to be wearing waterproof shoes! After 1.2 miles of steady uphill hiking, the trail comes to a junction, where heading left will take you to Diamond Lake and heading right will take you to Arapaho Pass.

From the junction, the trail begins a slow, half mile downhill section until it crosses the North Fork of Middle Boulder Creek. From here, the trail gets steeper and steeper, until finally leveling out right at treeline. The lake itself is beautiful, and there are some backcountry campsites around it (these sites require a permit from June to September). Want to keep you hike going? Hike to Upper Diamond Lake.

Set up a hammock, enjoy the views, and relax until heading back down to the parking lot!

Pack List

  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Waterproof shoes
  • Camera
  • Permits (if camping)
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Overall rating: 

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Beautiful hike up- good for a group with varied levels of fitness. Went on this hike about 2 weeks ago; the lake is pristine- and not as cold as some other alpine lakes- bring your bathing suit if you want to take a dip!

7 months ago
7 months ago

Haley Baker Explorer

Technology and Digital Collections Librarian trying to have an adventure every weekend.

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