Devils Thumb (#902)

Photo of the Indian Peaks Wilderness sign located in a meadow of wildflowers with snow-capped peaks

Length: Hessie Trailhead (TH) to Jasper Lake - 4.5 miles; Devil's Thumb Lake - 5.5 miles; Continental Divide - 6.5 miles. DISTANCES ARE ONE-WAY

Elevation: 9,000 feet at Hessie TH; 10,814 feet at Jasper Lake; 11,180 feet at Devil's Thumb Lake; 12,000 at High Lonesome Trail; 11,775 feet at Devil's Thumb Pass.

Trail Description: From Hessie Trailhead, cross the footbridge and take the Devils Thumb Trail, which climbs steeply for about a half-mile on an old road. The Devils Thumb Bypass turns right (north) just before the second bridge.

The bypass trail is shorter and crosses open meadows to the north of the creek, but it bypasses intersections with King Lake and Woodland Lake trails.

This trail enters into the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Diamond Lake Trail forks right (north) about a half-mile before the trail reaches Jasper Lake. Jasper Lake is surrounded on three sides with trees and a steep ridgeline to the north.

The trail continues another mile to Devils Thumb Lake, and a mile beyond that to the Continental Divide.

Click here for a trail summary.

View a trail map here.

At a Glance

Permit Info: This trail lies within the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area:
  • Camping permits required for all overnight trips between June 1 and September 15. Overnight permits cost $5 per group, per trip from June 1 through September 15.
  • Organized groups are required to have a permit for both camping and day-hiking year round. Day-hiking permits are free.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Hiking conditions are best from July through September
Restrictions: Indian Peak Wilderness restrictions apply:
  • Motorized equipment and mechanized transportation are prohibited.
  • Pets must be on a hand-held leash at all times.
  • Campfires are prohibited year round.
  • Campsites must be at least 100 feet away from water and trail.
  • Group size is limited to 12 (people and livestock combined).
  • Processed weed-free feed required for stock.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles.
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

General Information


From Nederland, head south on Colorado Highway 119 for a half-mile. 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.

Accessible for winter use from the town of Eldora.  


Lake and Pond Fishing

Day Hiking


XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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