Explore Colorado Trip - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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trail running
16 days ago

I will be honest...this is basically like Rocky Mountain National Park with less people. It was not heavily trafficked at all. I saw a few people at the beginning, but near kings lake I only saw 2 people backpacking. This trail is for sure over 12 miles and I thought it was 8. This is not an easy trail...but I also did it alone and started at 3:45pm and didn’t take many breaks. Do not recommend doing that unless you trail run or are a seasoned hiker  jogging the joggable parts had me back just before 8pm.

I didn’t have the right shoes...the terrain is incredibly rocky (not big ones you can easily step on, medium round ones that suck to walk on) near the start so make sure you have hiking or trail running shoes with arch support and impact protection. I was able to job a good portion of it...having cross country spikes for 3 miles of the way back was a really good choice. Even for the way up, having shoes with treads was important.

Beautiful trail, will be back with better shoes, poles, and will park near the bridge. Next time I might do 4th of July trail. If you go alone be sure to bring pepper spray and a knife...I saw large animal jump across the trail ahead of me and I’m not sure if it was a mountain lion or elk. My friend also saw a bobcat on a trail near boulder. Be sure to check behind and ahead of you to make sure you aren’t being stalked by a mountain lion. They are more active at dusk and evening...

hiking
1 month ago

June 23, 2018 Trip Report: Absolute beautiful weather for this hike. Trail to King Lake is easy to moderate in my opinion. Depends on your fitness level I guess. There was no snow left on the ground until right around 3 miles in from the King Lake trail split off (or 4 miles from trailhead), and then only small patches here and there. The snow was of no consequence once I did encounter it, so no trouble getting to King Lake. Once at the lake, there was a small amount of ice still on the lake. The trail up was wet and soggy in some places, as to be expected this time of year, so if you are worried about getting your hiking boots muddy, stay home! I went on from King Lake and did the loop over and down via the Continental Divide/High Lonesome Trail to Devil’s Thumb Lake. I’ll write about that over on the loop trail link. Get outside in nature and feed the soul!

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike on June 9th 2018, very good long hike. Only complaint is that trails are still snowy at the top and navigation was a pain. The trail gets lost in the snow many places. Would do again later in the season. Final like destination was frozen over but just as spectacular. Total trip was around 15 miles after getting lost a few times.

5 months ago

awesome

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike for solitude - but because it’s not frequented trails are pretty powdery. I recommend micro spikes for the first half and then snow shoes the rest of the way.

hiking
8 months ago

Really fun hike; I loved the solitude and the single-file trails in and out of forest and meadows. I swear we heard moose! The tracks stopped 0.5 miles from the lake, which was really disappointing. Doing little research prior to the trek, we weren't sure which way to go for the final destination. Look up the trail description before heading out since we later read that it's really snowy even in June! Will be back this spring or summer to complete.

hiking
10 months ago

Amazing hike. Saw no one on way up and only 10 people on the way down. Great look at fall colors.

super rewarding hike

hiking
Saturday, August 12, 2017

Just down from this hike today. Went to 12000' overlooking the lake. Quite a lot of hikers and runners. Gorgeous day!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Loved this hike! I was on a solo hike for most of the way, and I ran across maybe 10 people. The last bit up to the lake is the hardest part, but well worth the climb.

hiking
Friday, June 30, 2017

We camped at Lost Lake and then hiked to King Lake as a difficult day trip. From lost lake my GPS marked us at 10.4 miles round trip. The hike has some gorgeous views, a few water crossings, and the lake at the end is GORGEOUS. It will be windy at the top. Worth it but pretty difficult.

hiking
Monday, June 05, 2017

Amazing walk with stunning scenery and a gushing river. At this time of the year the river is extremely high and fast flowing, with all the run off melting snow. Unfortunately this means the trail itself is pretty much a stream from about 9000ft, and from about 10,000ft the trail is gone under the snow. GPS 100% needed from that point. After slugging through the snow for a few miles, I made it to 11,000ft, then had to concede the snow on the final ascent would win (1/2 mile from King Lake). At that point I hadn't seen anyone for about 2 hours. I turned back. Might have to try again in 1-2 months.

hiking
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This hike was well worth the trip. I started at 6:15 am and made it to the lake around 830-9ish. Once you get past the initial rocky beginning the trail does get a whole lot better. Extremely lush, full of wildflowers and streams, and overall beautiful. I do recommend bug spray, as the mosquitoes and flies were rampant as well as shoes with good traction to get by the rocky beginning. It's a lot like loose gravel and pretty dry. Overall great hike and workout towards the top!

hiking
Saturday, July 09, 2016

Good hike with loads of options for shorter distances (lost lake and a nice little waterfall) and long (King or Woodland Lakes). Creek is running strong. We had the wee people, ages 8 and 6, and made it through the valley and right up the last portion of approach to the lake. 8 miles RT for us today. Path is 95% dry, lots of loose rock, though. Arrived 7:15am and had to park quarter mile down the road. Make sure to arrive very early if you want to avoid parking in Eldora.

hiking
Saturday, June 11, 2016

I did this hike on 6/4/16 and the trail was still covered in snow. We eventually had to turn around because we couldn't see any more tracks in the snow and kept sinking in the snow. Maybe it would be more doable with snowshoes? Can't wait to come back once the snow has melted! The incline wasn't too bad. Only the beginning climb until you reach the turn off for Lost Lake is a bit steep but it definitely mellows out. I can't speak for the last mile of the hike though (I'll update once I complete next time!).

Sunday, August 23, 2015

It was a great hike, even though we didn't finish. We were probably 1.5miles from the lake when we had to turn back because of loss of daylight. It was a beautiful but tough hike and very quiet. The majority of the hike is uphill and strenuous. That 2700ish ft gain was a hoot.

Will be back to conquer!

Monday, August 10, 2015

If you start the hike on Hessie trailhead, it's primarily loose rock and is pretty annoying, but don't let it make you shy away from what is to come. The trail is filled with wild flowers and Colomines. The water is absolutely beautiful, rather you hike the 10ish miles or take the road up and park near by

Friday, June 12, 2015

Beautiful trek into the wilderness, went June 11th 2015, still too much snow to reach the lake. I ended up losing the trail and getting almost lost. I will definitely be back in a couple months time to see them lakes!

hiking
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lots of snow still in June. Didn't make it to lake ,lost trail on top because of to much snow. Still a great hike.2006-June,11

hiking
Sunday, November 09, 2014

Really wish I could give this trail a better rating... unfortunately we just picked the wrong day to do it. Despite sunny and clear conditions at the trailhead, by the time we got about halfway some storms had rolled in, leading to windy, rainy, and foggy conditions the rest of the way. Hoping that it would clear up, we soldiered on, reaching the lake, but unfortunately the clouds were so low and dense at the top that we could barely even see the edge of the lake. With a trail this length you never know what to expect.
Definitely going to return and conquer this trail next summer.

hiking
Saturday, July 05, 2014

Hiked on 7/4/14. Nice quiet hike. Crowds may be present at Hessie Trailhead, but once you are on King Lake Trail, traffic is very light. If you aren't able to get to the Hessie Trailhead via the 4WD road (through deep water), you end up clocking in about ~ 12miles. Only bummer is that most of trail is in valley under trees, until the last 3/4 of a mile, where trail steepens in final approach to lake. Once at the Lake, views are great. For more images of this hike, check out www.ohnophoto.com/king-lake/

camping
Friday, August 10, 2012

Long trail that follows a valley with a very steep incline right at the lake. Gets techinical in places. The only downside is the large number of people at hesse trailhead. Very crowded there, but the later portion of the trail and the end are well worth the sacrifice.

hiking
Wednesday, August 08, 2012

10.8 Miles (RT)
Strenuous
Almost 2,500 ft elevation gain
Tough workout through a long (seemingly never ending) valley. But the destination is well worth the effort.

hiking
10 days ago

on King Lake Trail

hiking
11 days ago

on King Lake Trail

mountain biking
25 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

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