Woodland Lake (#811)

Snow surrounds Woodland Lake in mid-June

Length: From Hessie Trailhead (TH) to Woodland Lake - 4.3 miles; to Skyscraper Reservoir - 4.8 miles. DISTANCES ARE ONE WAY.

Elevation: 9,000 feet at the TH; 10,972 feet at Woodland; 11,221 feet at Skyscraper Reservoir.

Trail Description: This photo was taken by an IPWA volunteer on June 12, 2016. This trail as with most of the lake destination hikes inside the Indian Peaks and James Peaks Wilderness Areas are best hiked in July and August.

From the 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 and enters into the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. The bypass trail is slightly shorter, crossing open meadows to the north of the creek, but it bypasses intersections with King Lake and Woodland Lake trails. Hike past the turnoffs signed for Lost Lake and King Lake. About two and a half miles up from the trailhead, follow Woodland Lake Trail as it veers left from Devils Thumb Trail. Woodland Lake Trail climbs a moderate slope for the next two miles, leveling out just before it reaches Woodland Lake. Another half-mile of trail continues west from Woodland Lake to Skyscraper Reservoir.

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 late 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 is 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 .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 .75 miles to the fork in the road. The left fork goes to Hessie Trailhead.


Accesible for winter use from the town of Eldora.


Lake and Pond Fishing

River and Stream Fishing

Day Hiking


Horse Riding

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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