Lost Lake Trail

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Lost Lake Trail #813

Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Use: Moderate to Heavy
Length: From Hessie Trailhead (TH) to Lost Lake – 1.4 miles. DISTANCE IS ONE WAY.
Elevation: 9,000 feet at Hessie TH; 9,800 feet at Lost Lake.
From Hessie Trailhead, cross the footbridge following Devils Thumb Trail #902 which climbs steeply for about a half-mile on an old road.


Camping is allowed only at designated campsites.

Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: The Lost Lake Trail is located outside the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Wilderness regulations do not apply. Camping at Lost Lake is restricted to eight designated campsites around the lake. Permits are not required, camping is first-come, first-served. Fishing and hunting: permitted in accordance with regulations established by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Closest Towns: Nederland, Colorado
Water: Lakes and streams; treat water for drinking.
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301


From Nederland, head south on Colorado Highway 119 for 0.6 miles. Turn west onto County Road 130, signed for Eldora. Follow the paved road through the valley to the Town of Eldora, where the pavement ends. Continue beyond the end of the pavement for 0.75 miles to the fork in the road. The left fork goes to Hessie Trailhead.

Lake and Pond Fishing

Day Hiking and Backpacking

This is a short, steep trail. It splits from Devils Thumb Trail about one mile out of Hessie Trailhead, then climbs for another 1/2 mile, ending at Lost Lake. It offers distant views of the Continental Divide.

Fire Information  Unless seasonal restrictions are in effect, campfires must be attended at all times and cold to the touch with the bare hand before being abandoned. Collection of dead and down wood is allowed; do not break branches from standing trees for firewood.
Elevation desc This trail gains 800 feet over 1.5 miles
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
  • From Nederland, head south on Colorado Highway 119 for ½ mile. Turn west onto County Road 130 (Eldora Ski Resort sign). Stay on the main road through the town of Eldora.
  • Once the pavement ends, continue for another mile. Look for a sign and vehicles parked above a side road heading sharply down and to the left. This side road leads to Hessie TH and is a cobblestone creek bed that carries water year round. Vehicles without high clearance should park at this junction. From here, it is a ¼-mile walk to the trailhead.
  • This trailhead sees high use, especially on weekends, and parking is limited.
Trail Highlights
  • From the trailhead, cross the footbridge and take the Devil’s Thumb Trail #902, which climbs steeply for about a ½-mile on an old road.
  • Do not take the Devil’s Thumb Bypass, which turns right (north) in 0.8 miles, just before the bridge. This trail does not pass the Lost Lake Trail junction. Instead, cross the bridge and stay on the main Devil’s Thumb Trail.
  • It is 1.1 miles from the trailhead to the Lost Lake Trail junction. Turn left (south) following signs for Lost Lake Trail #813. The lake is up another ½-mile on a good trail.
  • Camping is allowed at one of the eight first-come, first-served campsites around the lake.
Important Information
  • Lost Lake is located outside of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. Therefore, wilderness regulations do not apply: permits are not required for camping and campfires are allowed.
  • If you are planning to build a campfire during the summer months, it is advisable to contact the Boulder Ranger District (303-541-2500) before your trip in regards to possible fire bans.
  • The Hessie Trailhead may not be accessible by vehicle during the winter months.


  • Trail Measurement: 1.4 Miles
  • Compass Latitude: 395700N
  • Compass Longitude: 1053653W
  • Numeric Latitude: 39.949987
  • Numeric Longitude: -105.6147238
  • Elevation in Meters: 2,743 to 2,987
  • Elevation in Feet: 9,000 to 9,800

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