Hike to the Lost Lakes via the Hessie Trail

4 Miles Round Trip - 1000 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Hessie Road - Search Nearby - Added by Brittany Engle

With 1,000 feet of elevation in less than 2 miles, this hike is an extraordinary mixture of beautiful pine trees, rushing water and an emerald lake. An absolute must-do - especially since its only an hour from Denver.

Accessed by Hessie Trailhead, Lost Lake is a relatively moderate 4 mile round-trip hike with about 1,000 feet of elevation. The core of the hike is uphill and on a gravel path, 2/3rds of the hike runs parallel to a rushing waterfall. 

After parking your car, head towards the Hessie Trailhead. You'll choose the small path on your right which leads you through a small forest to an open clearing where you'll see the Hessie Trail sign. 

Once you reach the trailhead, you'll pass over the first bridge and quickly come to a sign denoting the forth coming trails - Lost Lake, King Lake, and Devil's Thumb. As you continue up the very gravely path, you'll reach another junction. You can go either left, straight or right. The left and right trails have giant logs "blocking" your path. Do not take these trails, they do are not marked. Take the marked trail, which is the middle path. Continue for another mile or so and you'll reach the lake! Toss up your hammock, take a nap, picnic, and enjoy. There are also campsites available. 

Parking: Park at the beginning of the trail at the junctions between Hessie and 4th of July. Bring a high-clearance vehicle if possible. You can also take the Park and Ride (free) shuttle from Nederland if you do not get there early enough. This is a highly trafficked trail so get there before 9am. The only restrooms are port-a-potties that are located right near the parking lot.

This is a dog friendly hike! 


Dog Friendly
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole


4 Miles
1000 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

Stay Nearby

Central City, Colorado

Denver West / Central City KOA

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder A-Lodge Camping

From $40/night

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder A-Lodge Hotel

From $99/night

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder A-Lodge Hostel

From $39/night

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