King Lake Trail

Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado

Elevation Gain2,170ft
Trailhead Elevation11,669ft
Elevation Min/Max9629/11669ft
Elevation Start/End11669/11669ft

King Lake Trail

King Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Grand County and Boulder County, Colorado. It is within Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and Roosevelt National Forest. It is 4.3 miles long and begins at 11,669 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,170 feet. Near the end of the trail is an information guidepost. This trail connects with the following: Devils Thumb Trail, Spur Trail to Pond, Betty/Bob Lake Trail and High Lonesome Trail.

King Lake Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes Colorado's Indian Peaks Wilderness (Falcon Guides)
Kent Dannen
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"King Lake should be part of a loop past Woodland Lake, Skyscraper Reservoir, and Betty and Bob lakes. It is only a 0.8-mile detour after Betty Lake, and the lush tundra bordering the lake leading to a large perpetual snowbank between the Continental Divide and the lake’s western shore is worth the extra distance. The Hessie Trailhead is a quarter mile along a road/creek bed that sometimes carries water and always is paved by cobbles hard on even booted feet. The worst parts are bordered by a trail that lifts hikers above this hassle. High clearance vehicles can make it all the way to the Hessie Trailhead and less-than-abundant parking." Read more
Best Hikes with Dogs: Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Ania Savage
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"Only do this hike if you and your dog are in top-notch physical shape. This hike is a fair-weather hike because of the long stretches above timberline, and an early start is best; be at the trailhead by 8:00 AM, or camp overnight in the vicinity of the trailhead to get an early start. Also, the hike is in Indian Peaks Wilderness, so leash regulations apply. If you choose to backpack, permits are required for overnight stays, June 1 through September 15; contact the Boulder Ranger District. The hike is described clockwise because the uphill stretches are easier by way of the King Lake Trail. This hike can also be cut in two: one hike going to King Lake, with a second hike following the Devils Thumb Trail to Devils Thumb Pass or one of the lakes below it. You can also reach King Lake and the Continental Divide Trail via a much shorter route from Rollins Pass, but this alters the hiking experience completely." Read more

King Lake Trail Reviews

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Nice hike. The beginning of the trail is like a road, rocky and wide but beyond that is a nice trail with a gradual ascent mostly through an evergreen forest. There are some streams and small waterfalls as well as meadows to look at but not many vistas until above the timberline. The lake is a great destination for lunch but for sure you should do (as I did) the extra 0.3 mile hike to the Continental Divide for better views. A storm was approaching as I was there and could not spend as much time as I wanted to. It hailed on me on the way out. Saw a large group of hikers on the way up but beyond only 3-4 more people on the trail. My total hike time from and to the parking lot was about 7 hours.
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The drive up very, very slow. Took us over an hour to go 15 miles. But, it was worth it. Passed only one family on the short trail down. Hiked through some snow. Lake is absolutely gorgeous.
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Not a long hike, but beautiful scenery. Plan plenty of time just to get to Rollins Pass.
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beautiful hike! my dog loved it too! It is very steep, and I would recommend doing the loop as described in this book.

King Lake Trail Photos

Trail Information

Roosevelt National Forest
Nearby City
Indian Peaks Wilderness Area
USDA Forest Service, Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave., Boulder CO 80301; (303) 541-2500; or USDA Forest Service, Sulphur Ranger District, PO Box 10, 9 Ten Mile Dr., Granby CO 80446; (970-887-4100);
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated Indian Peaks Gold Hill, USGS East Portal, Nederland
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018