Lost Lake (#813)

Lost Lake in June with snow and views of high mountain peaks (photo courtesy of Nick Turner)

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.

Trail Description: From the Hessie Trailhead, cross the footbridge and take the Devil's Thumb Trail (#902), which climbs steeply for about a 1/2 mile on an old road. Do not take the Devil's thumb Bypass, which turns right (north) in 0.9 miles, just before the bridge. 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 1/2 mile on a good trail.

Important Information:

  • Hessie Trailhead is extremely busy during summer months. Parking is limited and strictly enforced. On the weekends and holidays, the free shuttle runs from the Nederland High School.

Click here for a trail summary.

View a trail map here.

At a Glance

Permit Info: No permit required.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Hiking conditions are best from July through September.
  • Lost Lake is located outside of the Indian Peaks Wilderness area. Therefore, wilderness regulations do not apply. Permits are not required for camping.
  • Camping at Lost Lake is restricted to eight designated campsites around the lake and is first come, first serve. Permits are not required.
  • Use a bear canister and keep it 200 feet from campsite.
  • 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.
  • Practice Leave No Trace prinicples.
Fishing and hunting is permitted in accordance with regulations established by Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Closest Towns: Nederland
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 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.


Accessible for winter use from Eldora.


Dispersed Camping

Lake and Pond Fishing

Day Hiking


Horse Riding

Know Before You Go

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

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