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I consider this trail to be strenuous, and I typically only seek out strenous trail. 2nd time to Parika Lake on a day hike, and since I had my head lamp with decided to do the whole trail instead of walk the same trail. Past Parika Lake is some pretty heavy exposure to me. Your essentially hiking a narrow ridge with dramatic vertical dropoffs and the wind along those ridges is steady and huge. Glad I made it down safely because I didn't expect the trail to keep climbing like that. Like another hiker said two continental divide crossing past Parika Lake. Cake walk down hill after that. My legs were just noodles. I wouldn't want to hike it clockwise, because I feel going downhill,on those exposed areas would be shady. I rate it strenuous.

Beautiful views: mountain-backed lakes, harsh ridge lines, and wildflowers. Well-marked trail.

We hiked clockwise, three days, two nights -camped at Bettie Lake and Devil’s Thumb Lake, felt alone at both. Jasper Lake looked like a popular camping spot, and there was a site by the stream right before the off-shoot to Bob and Bettie Lakes if you don’t want to leave the loop. We were skinny-dipping at Devil’s Thumb and realized there was a lone fisherman across the lake getting a great show, haha, but otherwise, camping was very peaceful.

I was thankful for layers because it was really hot during the day, but surprisingly cold as soon as the sun dipped. We made Nalgene hot water bottles to supplement our 20* sleeping bags.

We hiked mid-week (Aug 8-10) and saw more hikers and trail-runners than backpackers. Some people struggling, but then also an older couple of women crushing it, and a Dad with two young kids. I’m a beginner with a heavy pack and ended each day smiling.

Brought my 35lb pup - she wore off her front pads chasing marmot in the rocks... which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had kept her on leash. She loved it. Didn’t see many (any?) dogs out towards the peak, but lots at the trailhead. Leash definitely required for the first bit.

Elevation is no joke, but plenty of places to refill water, so keep drinking!!

Side note: we stopped in Ned on the way home and ate at the Thai restaurant - killer $10 lunch deal!

Arrived at 5:15 am on Saturday and there were a lot of cars parked on the side of the road but still plenty of space. People can't seem to agree on which way to go- I decided to go counterclockwise and I'm very glad I did.

I have been up to Jasper Lake a couple of times but this is the first time I tried the loop. In my opinion the north side of the loop is more scenic. It's best to do it in the morning when the lighting is better and you still have energy. Also I like steep inclines more than steep declines as they're more exciting and less stressful on the knees. Saw a bull moose about halfway up to Jasper Lake. That was pretty terrifying as he was only 25 yards or so off of the trail hidden behind some trees. I snapped a quick picture and got out of there.

The trail is pretty easy. The distance is the hard part. I was feeling pretty haggard on the last 3-4 miles. Got back to the parking lot a little before 3PM. I probably could of finished at 2 if I hadn't of taken so many pictures.

Overall an awesome hike! My favorite one so far

I usually love this hike but the lake was about half drained, almost no water.

Gorgeous trail!! It was lawn hike but 100% worth it!

As others have mentioned, this is a beautiful trail. We started at 10am and thought that to be a late start, parking lot was about half full, and we were between several groups. On our return at 1pm (we only went 3 mi in/out), there was a gaggle of humans parading onto the trail. Lots of fly fishers trying their luck on the adjacent river, which really was kind of pathetic - as the trout were no bigger than 6" and should've been left undisturbed.

Pro-tip: start *early*, i.e. 8am anytime between June and Labor Day.

on Jasper Lake Trail

11 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike with varied terrain. I arrived about 9am on Saturday and the trailhead was busy. Parking is very limited so I would suggest starting between 7 and 8am if you can. I noticed a shuttle taking people up to the trailhead but I'm not sure how often it runs or where the pick up/drop off location is. The bypass trail to Jasper lake was fairly dry. Not much snow until you got closer to the lake. Sometimes you find yourself maneuvering muddy sections or walking through a shallow stream. My feet stayed dry for the most part, wearing water resistant shoes. Highlight of the hike was sighting two moose. I can't wait to come back and do more exploring. Would highly recommend!

hiking
11 days ago

Hiked Saturday, 8/4- got there at 12 and there were a few open parking spots. Fairly strenuous, mostly uphill. I clocked it at closer to a little over 9 miles total. The lake is crystal clear and huge. Very cool to see the sand too. I give this 3 stars because, for me, it didn’t compare to many other hikes I’ve done in this area (especially for the effort). Glad I did it but don’t necessarily feel the need to repeat this one.

hiking
11 days ago

I haven't been on many hikes in Colorado yet, but this one is my favorite so far. Hiking all the way up to the lake is well worth it. There's a good mix of forest and meadows with lots of wildflowers. The elevation gain is gradual and not difficult at all. I've been able to do this hike a couple times already in tennis shoes. I highly recommend checking this one out if you haven't already!

My latest trip was on a Friday and I had no trouble finding parking along the side of the road at 7:30 AM...weekends and holidays are a different story. When in doubt, take the shuttle from Nederland (holidays and weekends in the summer I believe). I took the shuttle on the 4th of July and it was an excellent experience. It's FREE!

hiking
11 days ago

Everyone below is spot on, it’s very gravely in the beginning. Lots of family’s at the beginning too. Once you get up about a mile, it splits into a bunch of different directions. That’s when it gets good. I was very surprised how wet the trails was, so be warned. I had hiking boots, so I was good, my friend not so much! It’s gorgeous. It’s very green and worth it!

backpacking
13 days ago

Trail has a lot of loose rocks makes it hard to keep footing up and down. Very steep in places. Moose, deer, bear all in the area. Wild flowers, amazing! Don't even bother with trying to park at Hessie trailhead on the weekends. The shuttle from Nederland is quick, comfortable and very convenient and best of all FREE.

A 4 outta 5. The lake and Bridal Falls made it worth it. The back part of the loop is indeed hot but it's a little ridiculous to complain about it!

I got a late start with my 19 month old daughter - left the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead at 830am on a Monday (7/30/18) and did the loop counter clockwise. I ended around 330pm. I gotta be honest, it was tough sledging on the last ascent on the backside of the loop. Mostly because I was carrying my daughter in a pack which weighed ~47 pounds and I was getting worn down.

A few things:

-Per GAIA GPS: 13.08 miles, 2,790' ascent, 7:18 hours (1:36 of stoppage time - lunch at the falls, water filtration, diaper changes).
-I was surprised at the lack of people. Saw ~8 people between TH and Gem Lake. Probably ~5 between Gem Lake and Bridal Falls area. ~12 around the Falls. ~10 from Falls, around back part of loop, and TH (mostly within a mile of TH).
-Water is pretty much everywhere. I refilled near the Falls.

Super beautiful, takes about 3hours to get there from the creek at hessie trail. Make sure to have pups on leashes

hiking
15 days ago

Nice wooded, shady trail with a beautiful lake at the end! Arrived at about 7:45 on Tuesday morning and there wasn’t much parking available because people go up and camp overnight. 4.5 miles to the lake wasn’t bad, and a lot of it was fairly flat. Lots of ripe blueberries along the top half of the trail! Lake was mostly quiet when I arrived around 9:30, but started to get busy by 10:30. Many nice campsites and pretty area to explore around the lake. Would do again!

Great backpacking trail. Amazing views on the divide, and some of the best wildflowers I’ve ever seen (columbines, Indian paintbrush in vivid reds and pinks, elephants head, shooting stars, daisies, sunflowers, etc). We actually camped by a small lake before reaching Parika Lake, which I think was more in the trees and less in the wind. Saw a moose leaving Bowen Lake, and lost of moose prints wherever we went. We were a little misled on the mileage for each day (based on other sites’ descriptions), for example the last day is closer to 7 miles than the 4 we thought it would be, although it is almost all downhill. Going up to Bowen Lake does have some decent uphill, so be ready for that. Also the signage could have been better leaving Bowen Lake to return to the trailhead, as after meeting back up with the trail there were two forks without signs that we needed to consult maps to figure out which way to go. Overall a great hike that I highly recommend!

Lots of loose gravel.. trail splits into king lake and devils thumb

hiking
20 days ago

We did this hike spur of the moment. everywhere else rates this hike 12.5 to 13 miles round trip. it's a pretty easy grade the whole way. once you get there you are glad you did. its stunningly beautiful. I wish now I would of scheduled camping and stayed a day or two. definitely reccomend, just make sure you are prepared for a good 4-6 hours round trip. That's if you are moving at a good rate without breaks.

Absolutely amazing trail. We backpacked in to Slickrock campground. This was approximately 6.5 miles in. It took us 30 minutes to hike to Lake Verna the next morning. We swam in the river along the trail, in Lone Pine lake, and in Lake Verna. Do yourself a favor and jump right on in to the glacier water. It is well worth your time :). We even saw a moose!

backpacking
23 days ago

Such a beautiful lake! More and more wild flowers the higher you hike.
Campers need a permit.
Parking is limited.

hiking
24 days ago

Excellent hike. I would put this on the more moderate side. The incline is pretty gradual a lot of the time, with only a few steeper sections. Great views of Wild Basin along the way, as well as the usual suspects (Longs, Meeker, Copland, etc.). We did this as our Plan B hike on a rainy day, as it's all under tree cover. Highly recommend for a rainy or sunny day!

hiking
24 days ago

You will see a lot of lists with "the best hikes in RMNP" and their are a ton of them. This one goes on the list. Steady climb for four and half miles with a few steep spots. A few good views of the Wild Basin along the way. The lake and surrounding area is spectacular. Next time I will plan to spend a lot more time on the sandy beach. Although the parking lots was very full we did not see a ton of people on the trail. Get there early if you want to park in the lot close to the trailhead. Another great RMNP hike to add to your list.

I love running this trail. I prefer to do it clockwise. I did it Sat July 21st and started at 6AM. Once I passed the split I didn’t see another person until after the pass - it was a beautiful and peaceful 7 miles until I hit all the people coming up the other way.

Very popular trails with good reason. Plan to get there early or take the shuttle. I went twice this weekend and there are a surprising number of cars there by 6:30am. Lots of overnighters.
I ran the trail in each direction and would recommend going counterclockwise. Devils Thumb Pass is the high point, so the run along the ridge is more favorable if you tackle that first. The climb to the pass is steep, but makes a better climb than descent.
Beautiful flowers and birds are all around and the views and lakes are well worth the effort.

Great day hike. Didn’t have the map with. Could have used more markings for how far you where from the lake

Great loop with lots of vertical. One night at bowen lake was plenty for the entire loop.

Tough trail. The backside of the loop has little shade so gets hot this time of year, but there are tons of wildflowers right now.

A lot of moose. both lakes were very crowded, for a reason. it is beautiful.

Many of these reviews suggest going a clockwise route and I would whole-heartedly agree. Look up King Lake Trail to Devil's Thumb Trail Loop reviews to read why.

This route is not dog friendly. It starts inside the national Park, there are signs everywhere Prohibiting you to take your dog past the gate. I’m sure it’s a nice hike, but I spent two hours getting here and now can’t take my dog and I don’t trust the app.

okay just got this app but I hike very often and want to warn people of this crazy deee that wonders around and scared me and some friends while sleeping and would follow us around. so FYI. it was two years ago but he is getting more famous or she idk

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