Devils Thumb Trail


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

From the 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 description.

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
Restrictions: Indian Peak Wilderness restrictions apply:
  • Motorized and mechanized vehicles are prohibited.
  • Pets must be on a hand-held leash at all times.
  • Campfires prohibited.
  • Campsites must be at least 100 feet away from water and trail.
  • Group size is limited to 12 (people and livestock combined).
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, Phone 303-541-2500, Fax 303-541-2515; Contact Us

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.



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Day Hiking

This trail is among the most popular trails in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. It extends from Hessie Trailhead for 6.5 miles to the Continental Divide. Along the way, it passes Jasper Lake and Devils Thumb Lake. The trail intersects Lost Lake Trail, King Lake Trail, Woodland Lake Trail, and Diamond Lake Trail.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult


Fire InformationCampfires are prohibited year-round.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Difficult

Winter Sports

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Areas & Activities

Campgrounds At-A-Glance


  Area/Length : 
Hessie Trailhead to: Jasper Lake 4.5 miles; Devils Thumb Lake - 5.5 miles; Continental Divide - 6.5

  Elevation : 
9,000' - 12,123'