Lost Lake Trail

Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado 80308

Distance0.7mi
Elevation Gain501ft
Trailhead Elevation9,620ft
Top9,987ft
Elevation Min/Max9620/9987ft
Elevation Start/End9620/9620ft

Lost Lake Trail

Lost Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Boulder County, Colorado. It is within Roosevelt National Forest. It is 0.7 miles long and begins at 9,620 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 501 feet. The 2, 5, 4, 1, 9, and 3 camp sites can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Devils Thumb Trail.

Lost Lake Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The Rocky Mountains are home to several lakes named “Lost Lake.” This one, west of Nederland, is hardly lost, but it makes a great wildflowering destination. Though this Lost Lake is fairly low in altitude, it has a more subalpine than montane feeling to it. The trail is a bit steep in its last half mile, but is otherwise fairly easy-going. It takes the hiker to a serene lake nestled in a scenic mountain setting. About six dozen wildflower species color the way. Even the drive on the Eldora Road to the trailhead may feature a blanket of blooming flowers in midsummer.

Some of the restored log cabins in the old mining town of Eldora have whimsical flowerbeds in their front yards. Nearing the approach road to the trailhead, check the water level before you descend to the creek. The “road” runs right up the creekbed for much of the way to the Hessie trailhead. Nonetheless, this is a wonderfully floristic hike once you solve the parking quandary. Wildflower alert: Dogwood-related bunchberry poses on the lake’s northeast shore."

"This is a short, sweet hike up to small, lovely Lost Lake, located just outside the boundary of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and 1.5 miles from the old town site of Hessie. Fishing, wildflowers, waterfalls, and a beautiful mountain stream are just a few of the highlights of this hike.

This is a great snowshoe or backcountry ski tour in the winter months. However, note that the road is closed during the winter beyond the west end of Eldora, adding an extra 3.5 miles to the total distance. Trail conditions: The trail up to Lost Lake is very popular and well maintained."

"Popular because of its proximity to Denver and Boulder, this area is laced with trails. The tour to Lost Lake is a fun outing for any level skier or snowshoer who wants to enjoy the
beauty of a high-elevation mountain lake.

Well tracked, not too long, and with manageable elevation gains, this tour is ideal for beginners who want to discover the sport of cross-country skiing, or for snowshoers who want to take a pleasant walk without losing their breath."

"Lakes get lost in Colorado, and this one is a sparkling gem just outside the Indian Peaks
Wilderness Area. It features a pleasing view of the soaring Jasper–Neva Peak massif in the distance and is surrounded by backcountry campsites nestled among the conifers. This highly scenic lake route is a popular short journey from Hessie, so expect lots of company—people and dogs. Weekdays or early starts are a good idea."

"It is puzzling that so many lakes carry the name “Lost.” (There is another, for instance, at the end of Lost Lake Trail a short way north in Rocky Mountain National Park.) How does a lake get lost? It is in the same place today as it was yesterday.

Admittedly, lakes are geologically ephemeral features. But, they require millennia to fill with dirt and disappear. Perhaps lakes are lost due to lack of trail guide authors. Or maybe namers of the lakes admire alliteration, which seems poetic, like most lakes."

"Popular for its alpine lakes, wildflowers and aspen, by Week 43 this place should be thankfully uncrowded. The easy hike to Lost Lake passes numerous cascades and waterfalls to reach a quiet lake with a backdrop of beautiful peaks to the west. Several connecting trails lead west to other lakes.

The area is known for its quiet alpine lakes, fall aspen and summer wildflowers; a killer combination that ensures that the Hessie Trailhead can be very congested on the weekends. But Week 43 is the end of season and the trail should be thankfully uncrowded. Hessie was founded in 1898 and briefly rivaled nearby Eldora. It was named by founder Captain J. H. Davis for his wife. Within a few years though it faded, while Eldora hung on to become the laid-back, summer-cottage community it is today."

Lost Lake Trail Reviews

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7/18/2018
This is a lovely hike up to the pretty Lost Lake. It's kind of long but easy, and the lake is absolutely gorgeous. There are lots of sweet forested areas, but great mountain views, as well. The mosquitoes are full force so bring bug spray for sure!!!
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8/17/2014
This is an awesome hike. The trail follows a river for the most part, and has a few bridges that cross over the quickly flowing water. There's even a great spot to get down and close to a 20ft-ish water fall. Not to mention the trail ends at a very peaceful lake. I saw mentions of the trail being crowded and we went late afternoon (3ish) and while there were people coming down there was plenty of alone time. This isn't a city of boulder hike, but its not alone in the back woods either. Also FYI, parking might be an issue if you come mid day or late morning. There's a shuttle waaay early on that you can take, or you can take your luck looking for a spot. Basically you'll park at the beginning of the 4x4 road and walk to the trail head. You can try driving up to the tail head but you'll run into hikers and possible water and large rocks, but looks like a fun drive (but space at the trail head is VERY limited, say 10 cars-ish. Overall very worth giving this trail a try.
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7/30/2011
This was a relatively easy hike! We went in the afternoon and it's about 3 miles up, 3 miles down but without switchbacks so fairly easy. Elevation gain is about 900 ft. *HUGE TIP - For the best view of the lake, wind around the lake past the campsites and then continue hiking up the only way the trail leads... it's a bit steeper, but you'll soon come to a small waterfall and limestone looking hill that's fairly easy to climb. You can then look down on the lake/valley and it's a breathtaking view, and you can actually see almost the entire path you just walked up down in the valley. There were no signs for this, but it's WELL worth it (extra 10 minutes). See picture of my wife and the view of the lake. Lots and lots of dogs, leashed and unleashed.
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10/2/2009
I took a group of about 18 people from all over the world on a annual hike. A spectacular Colorado Mountain experience. Its a moderate but short hike, perfect for first timers from sea level. Lots of scenery allowing for short breaks and photo opportunities. I did the same hike two weeks earlier (mid September) to test it out. At that time, the Aspen were in their famous golden colors. By the time we took the group up, unfortunately, the Aspen has lost their leaves or turned brown. It was a beautiful day anyway, full sun, areas with snow covered grounds and ice build up on the logs near the lake. We had to take it easy, hence 1 hour to get to the lake and little less than an hour to get down. With a lunch break at the lake, it made for a great half day hike trip. On a final note, Nederland is a cute little town, convenient for a bathroom break before/after hitting the trail. Also, bring a rod - the trout fishing is nice at the lake.
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9/1/2009
This was an easy hike and great campsites! BUT "easy" is all relative. For my sister who is an active 17 year old but not used to hiking and camping it was just enough. We were there during the week so it was very quiet. For a simple camping trip this is PERFECT! There are 9 campsites... all very special.
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8/30/2009
This was a beautiful hike, but a busy trail. It didn't help that we were there on Labor day weekend, of course. A couple of recommendations: if you have a 4WD, veer to the left at the fork nearing the trailhead. It seemed that few knew you could continue up the road through a stream bed, and there was ample parking past the congested area. Also, keep in mind the leash rules in regard to dogs. There were several groups with dogs off leash, so I followed suit. When we approached the second bridge we were reprimanded by a ranger. Third, BE COURTEOUS! There probably 15-20 people around what would have been a very serene setting at the lake, but one couple in particular who was fishing could be heard throughout the entire valley. They had three not-very-well-behaved dogs, and thus were constantly shouting at them- as they were fishing! Wonder they didn't catch anything!? Overall, though, close enough to town to make it a very nice way to spend an afternoon. I'd like to take a pack and continue into the wilderness at some point.
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8/16/2009
Beautiful. would have started trail earlier to be able to spend more time at lake.
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8/30/2008
Busy but beautiful trail. if you want to camp go early, the sites fill quick. plan on spending a bit of time at the top, lots to explore!
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7/19/2008
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1/19/2008
Excellent trail for novice backcountry skiers and snowshoers. Wide trail that is mostly well packed in places. Several wind blown sections in the beginning where you might need to walk a bit since the snow gets very sparse but once you are past this some beautiful snow in a well sheltered trail. Great views and several options for longer and shorter routes make this a good day for all levels and abilities.
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Lost Lake Trail Photos

Trail Information

Roosevelt National Forest
Nearby City
Roosevelt National Forest
Parks
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Snowmobiling, Skiing
Additional Use
USDA Forest Service, Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave., Boulder CO 80301; (303) 541-2500; fs.usda.gov/arp
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated Indian Peaks Gold Hill, USGS Nederland
Local Maps