Abyss Lake Trail #602


Signage and interpetive information for the Abyss trailhead

The Abyss Lake Trail is a popular hiking trail, which terminates at Abyss Lake. The lake is nestled in a high glacial cirque between Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans. The rocky slopes surrounding the lake are home to bighorn sheep and mountain goats.

The Abyss trailhead provides access for the Abyss Trail (sometimes referred to as the Scott Gomer trail)  and the Burning Bear Trail within the Mount Evans Wilderness.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Although open year-round, access during the winter may be limited due to snow.
Permit Info:

There is a mandatory self-issuing permit system in the Mount Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness areas to enable us to better manage visitation. The same type of system is also in place in other Wildernesses. The intent is to use the data obtained through the permit system to more accurately assess the amounts and types of existing Wilderness use. This enables us to better preserve their natural condition for future generations, balanced against the pressures of growing populations and increased use. These permits have no quotas associated with them nor are there any fees required to obtain them. They are available free at each trailhead. As you enter the Wilderness, fill out the provided permit and deposit the stub in the slot in the lower front of the register box. Keep the permit in your possession and please follow the Wilderness regulations found on the back.

Open Season: Open year-round
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: June-October
Busiest Season: June-September
Restrictions: The following restrictions apply to Wilderness areas:
  • Only foot & horse traffic.
  • Groups size is limited to 15 persons and/or 10 pack or saddle animals in any one party.
  • Dogs must be leashed. 
  • No camping or building fire within 100 feet of lakes, streams and forest development trails.
  • Stay on designated trail. Do not cut switchbacks.
  • Pack in; pack out.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles.
Closest Towns: Grant is on the Guanella Pass Road approximately 5.5 miles south.
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Appears on the following maps:
  • USGS Quad Mt. Evans
  • Pike National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated #104 (Idaho Springs / Georgetown / Loveland Pass)
Contact the South Platte Ranger District at 303.275.5610 for more information.

General Information


From Denver, drive southwest on US 285 approximately 40 miles to Grant. Turn right (north) onto Park County 62 (towards Guanella Pass). The Abyss Trailhead is approximately 5.5 miles north on the Guanella Pass Road.

General Notes:

No camping allowed in the parking area.

Winter access: The road is plowed for the first 5 miles, meaning this trailhead is the farthest point north where the road is plowed.



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Day Hiking

The elevation gain, together with the round trip distance of 18 miles, makes this a strenuous day hike. 

Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Difficult


Connects with the Rosalie Trail.

Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Difficult

Horse Riding & Camping

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Winter Sports

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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
8.8 Miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
9,620' - 12,620'