Kings Lake Trail is a 12.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, CO that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.
From the intersection of 4th of July Rd and Hessie Rd to the High Lonesome Trail Junction above the lake is about 12 miles and definitely worth it. The trail has scenic water crossings and a lot of shade for the first four miles. Once you emerge above tree line expect wildflowers and marmots. I hit Hessie Trailhead at 6:30 and made the lake by 9:00. Even on Labor Day Weekend the lake was deserted. Climb another quarter of a mile to the High Lonesome Trail Junction (you can see the signs from the lake) for a great view of the lake, the Continental Divide and Winter Park. On the way back down I met a few dozen people climbing to Lost Lake, and as discussed, all parking between Hessie and Eldora was taken.
Great hike! It's pretty difficult as it's uphill almost the whole way and coming down is tough on the knees. We were beat by the time we made it back to the trail head.
If you are hiking on the weekend - take the shuttle. Parking is crazy up there. Dogs are allowed on the shuttle too.
There was a little snow on the trail as you get closer to the lake. We also ran into a pretty big stream that was difficult to cross - but we were able to get across. We had our dog and that was the trickiest part. The lake was windy and cold but was still a nice spot to stop for a picnic.
It is pretty busy from the Nessie Trail Head until you go past Lost Lake. The trail is pretty quiet after that. We hiked for several hours without seeing anyone and we hiked this over the 4th of July weekend.
Tons of great views and the wildflowers are just starting to pop. Bring lots of water, food for energy and be sure to be bear prepared. The couple right behind us on the trail ran into a female bear.
Overall, awesome hike - can't wait to see it in the fall!
This is by far my favorite hike. I came here two years ago with a Meetup group and couldn't get it out of my mind. So I decided to bring the dog to explore it on my own. Gorgeous! I have to admit, the first time I came I found the climb a bit challenging. But I had just moved here from the midwest so I wasn't acclimated to the altitude yet. This time was a breeze. Be sure to bring plenty of water!
It was 12 miles out and back. Believe them when they say trailhead parking is at a minimum. You might be wise to skip the search and just go straight to the Nederland P&R for the shuttle. I got lucky this time, probably because it was fall and the weather in Denver was overcast.
As I said, I love this hike so I'm amazed I'm the first to rate it.