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This trail is our favorite of all time - so dynamic. From lakes to a smooth ascent over the Divide to the High Lonesome trail and the incredible reward of King Lake, it truly is awe inspiring. We wandered around a bit and ended up closer to 20.0 miles but still completed before sundown. Be sure to bring lots of water and fuel as high lonesome trail is exposed and a long stretch of the hike.

—December 17–
Went for a day long hike up Ute Creek trailhead attempting to reach bison peak. Did not see a single person at the trailhead or on the trail. First mile is a easy going walk along the river then climbs over 2000’ within a couple miles. Definitely a difficult trail and with snow/ice covered at higher altitudes. Unfortunately didn’t reach summit due to time getting late and difficult trail conditions. Great views around tree line with views of many major peaks in Colorado. Planning to go back in the future and discover more of lost park.

Awesome trail! Counter Clockwise. June 2018

We planned to sleep at Parika Lake on the first night, but ended up short at the smaller lake 0.5 mile before. After seeing both spots, not sure which one was better. We slept in the wooded area covered by trees. Parika Lake is pretty open and exposed, but the views were amazing. Fishing was a thought, but glad we chose not to.
Day two started with a couple miles of steep climbing and ridge lines. Only encountered a few patches of snow along the ridge. Parika Peak was just another quater mile, right turn upward climb and totally worth it. the views were stunning. Winds peaked to 50mph around Farview Mt. and it got pretty cold.
We planned to camp at Bowen Lake the second night, but decided to skip it. We were just too worked from the long day. the forest past the junction had a lot of down trees and thick forest. Finally found a decent flat area to camp for the night.
Last day was a easy down hill to the car. Saw a cow moose in the stream near the lot right as we were leaving.

Few things to note for this trail:
Parking lot is small
Plenty of streams to filter water
A lot of crossings, some difficult to cross
Trail starts in RMNP but a permit is NOT necessary (we wasted 20 minutes trying to get one)
Clockwise doesn't seem as enjoyable
We average 2 trips per year(experience compared)

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Gorgeous snow shoe. However, snow is about an inch or less on the first 3 miles of the trail. Might be good to bring crampons and snow shoes. Most of the rivers are frozen over.

Beautiful XC Ski!

Use caution with the map above, this expansive wilderness area is more of a web of trails as opposed to a clearly defined loop. I'd recommend an Lost Creek Wilderness map, and also to start Brookside rather than Wigwam. The last day going clockwise was ridiculous. Other than it being a difficult hike, the scenery and wildlife were second to none for this being so close to the front range.

Today, 10252018, there was extensive snow on the trail just past the switch backs after the junction with the Rosalie trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Has some really neat rocks at the top and has great views. As far as I know, there's no trail from the saddle to the summit.

off road driving
3 months ago

First half mile is the toughest, good scenery. Crystal Mountain Trail (at the end of Moody) is closed, but the Private Road back to Buckhorn gets you back without backtracking.

If you're looking for a challenging hike and some great exercise this is the hike for you! Unfortunately, when we reached the summit we had very limited visibility of the boulders - however, the hike as a whole was beautiful and there were a ton of yellow Aspens. The entire hike we only passed about 4 people total which also made this hike that much better.

off road driving
3 months ago

Exactly what we wanted. Basically a very unique dirt road with fall offs, and narrow roads. We only came in contact with 1 vehicle in the north direction and had a stock Jeep Compass behind us. Great camping spots now that we know they are there. It does take you out to the middle of nowhere, so it’s a hour to get anywhere from where it ends.

This trail is a must do. We camped at the unnamed lake below parika lake and then near the junction to Bowen lake. Would rate as strenuous, and there is a lot of exposure on the ridge lines past parika lake. We had wind gusts of probably 60 mph or so. We took our rain flies off our packs, because they were acting like parachutes and sometimes the wind was so strong you had to stop before you could move again. Definitely worth it though. Vertical drop offs on the ridge are more gradual than straight down, so not bad IMHO, and I’m not a heights fan! The views at the peak of 12300 feet or so are absolutely breathtaking.

3 months ago

10-4-18 trail is blocked by a couple big trees that have fallen down. also right after the entrance somebody shot skeet and didnt bother to pick up at least 20 to 30 bright yellow shotgun shells. classy... :(

Went yesterday & today. I camped at Lost Lake last night. About 2 miles in from where you park. Woke up this morning to about 22 degrees. And it had rained just a bit last night. Ran into a bunch of people on the trail as I was heading to set up camp who saw moose.

So I went clockwise. This was the right choice for me as the climb is more gradual (and I just got off a plane from Florida yesterday :)

Was gonna camp one more night (tonight) at Jasper Lake but....it was gonna be 20. And was only 5.3 miles to the car at that point. So I humped all 15 today w my 25lb pack.

And - I’m sitting at the noodle restaurant now haha. Yes, delicious.

If you are planning to complete the loop in a day , I would recommend start early. If you are not acclimated to the high altitude then it is a lot harder then it seems. Take plenty of breaks and drink a lot of water.

Such a nice, smooth trail up, over and along the Divide. Always love this one!

Beautiful wander through the fall woods.

Beautiful hike through the forest, 9/21 the trees are just about done changing, unfortunately we missed the golden aspen covered mountain most of the leaves were gone, but there was still a few left to enjoy! (Pictures posted) You hike 2 miles in to view the scenic mountain side, still worth the trek though because who doesn’t love walking through the forest. Parking lot and street parking were full, trail traffic was moderate.

fantastic 2 night backpacking trip. lots of beautiful campsites along the way. amazing granite crumbling peaks. GORGEOUS

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful fall hike! Like others said, you have to hike maybe 2-3 miles in before you start to get views of the really spectacular solid sheets of aspens covering the hills. After Helms Lake you don't see aspen, and the trail is a little hard to follow through the bushes (willows?), but they add some nice yellow color to the beautiful mountain views. My phone and FitBit both measured 18.9 miles round trip to Abyss Lake, quite a bit longer than the 15 miles All Trails lists.

Absolutely stunning in the fall! The aspens are perfect shades of yellow right now, 9/17, and in order to see them blanket the mountainside, you need to hike about 3 miles in. Totally worth it. And it's nice and shaded all the way until it opens up...you walk through a few aspens in the trail, but holy moly, that mountainside. There's a beautiful stream, too. I've shared some pictures :)

We only hiked about 4.5 miles of this trail since we got on the road a little later than expected. Still a beautiful hike, is mostly a steep incline for the first couple miles so I would recommend being prepared for that. There’s a really pretty waterfall around mile 2(ish) off to the side. Would definitely like to go back and go backpacking!

backpacking
4 months ago

Unique trip! My fiancé, dog, and I backpacked to the open space near the summit and camped there. We hiked through the night and arrived around 12 AM. Finished the remaining mile in the morning before heading back down. Definitely worth spending a few hours up top exploring all of the boulders. Bring water, the stream is only available for the first 2 miles or so.

Finally did this hike last weekend as a solo day-hike. Started the hike around 11 a.m. and and passed maybe 20 people on their way down. Had the lake all to myself once I got to the top! Abyss Lake itself is nothing overly special, but it was pretty cool to see the backside of the Sawtooth between Bierstadt and Evans. Very steady elevation gain. This is an amazing hike to do in the fall to see the foliage! The leaves were just about at peak last weekend, so I imagine this week to go if you want to see them in their prime!

Amazing fall colors today!!! Love this hike!

off road driving
4 months ago

it was fun until the road got to steep. I tried to do this in a can am 850 outlander but didn't make it to the end. ended up rolling the atv. it was still fun.

4 months ago

Started at Kenosha Pass and hiked toward Long Gulch going out 3.5 miles and then back to the parking lot. The view at 3.5 miles is absolutely panoramic. A gorgeous day and peak color on the aspens. Beautiful views of Southpark. Love this segment of the trail.

Great trail with scenic views! We hiked counterclockwise and camped one night at Devils Thumb Lake. You have to have a permit durning the summer months up until Sept 15th. We camped on 9/7 and the temperature at night got down to around 30 - 31 degrees so make sure you have the correct gear even in early September. The first part of the trail going counter clockwise with a 35lb - 40lb pack can be difficult on some of the climbs in elevation, take breaks and drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine. There are plenty of water opportunities on the trail, so accessing water isn’t an issue for the most part. The ascend up from Devils Thumb Lake to the High Lonesome Trail has some great views you climb about 1,000 feet over approx a 1/2 - 3/4 mile. The rest of the trail after you come down off the High Lonesome Trail by King Lake you’ll be going down in elevation the remainder of the time. The overall trail is marked “ok” but recommend having a map or gps as back up, I would not rely on the trail markers only when hiking this trail. Great 15 + mile trail with beautiful views......go get some!!

Spectacular Lakes! I have hiked the world's mountain ranges- easy for the distance. What a pay-off!

Spectacular!

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