Explore the most popular birding trails in Indian Peaks Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Get there early for parking unless you feel like adding some extra steps your hike. Along the street parking in designated areas.

Definitely need some YakTracks for most of the hike as of 10/13 (especially coming down.)

Mostly uphill until you get to the lake. Bring some snacks and extra jackets for the wind. Beautiful hike!

Beautiful hike with small waterfalls along the way. Make sure to bundle up and wear spikes if you’ have them. The lake is picturesque. Pack a lunch and stay awhile...you’ll be glad you did!

$11 day use fee, there are better places in the area with no fee and less crowded. The sign said something ambiguous about there being no fee during winter, so I watched a few others drive in without paying and assumed it must be winter. Trail was icy, used yaktrax. Snow was deep past Isabelle lake. I think you can park back a couple miles from the long lake TH and walk in for free.

Microspikes are pretty much necessary as of 10/13/18. Fun trail and beautiful lake!

Great hike that really lives up to rating. Awesome views. The wind was a bit challenging near the top.

hiking
8 days ago

This trail can get crowded on weekends, but if you're able to get up here on a weekday it's easily a 5/5 hike.

This trail was incredibly beautiful and had awesome views. The wind was our antagonist for sure; very windy it blows against you going uphill which is quite the challenge. We did everything but the last scramble and it took about six hours with small breaks.

hiking
12 days ago

I was here Sept 24th and started at Brainard Lake and made my way a little passed Long lake before turning back. It was Chilly and windy at Brainard and once I got up to around Long lake it was Raining with some Snow mixed in so make sure you dress in appropriate Clothing and wear layers. It was a Monday when I was there and Only a Few Cars in the parking lot. Beautiful & short hike that I will definitely be back to do again!!!

dogs are only allowed on leash for the first 3.1 miles, before the trail cruises into Rocky Mountain Wilderness Area, where pets are not allowed at all. I was really looking forward to this hike, and thus, pretty annoyed when I arrived to the very clearly marked trailhead. the stream along the trail was completely dry in late Sept, not that surprising, but still disappointing. & there was little to no foliage along the trail that i COULD do with my pup, which I was looking forward to, but that's not the trail or AllTrails' fault that there weren't many aspens along the route. I wish I'd planned my day currently.

Keep hiking to lake Isabelle if you’ve got time!

It was a beautiful hike! Great pics. Very windy for an added chill but felt great. Fall colors starting. Would do it again.

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.

there were some good views. once I got to the lake, that was the best. the trail itself felt more like walking along a 4x4 road. very busy and parking was scarce by 0700. for a quick easy 4 mile hike it wasnt bad but I won't do it again. many better trails in Indian Peaks to go back to.

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

We entered from CR 125 and 123–the latter a dirt road with lots of ruts and rocks as we neared the trailhead sign. Be advised that there are at least two different access points and that one may be easier than the other. The trail descended steeply over rocky scree before reaching the creek which it followed through a mountain meadow. The ascent from the meadow to the lake was fairly steep. Although the signage listed the distance to the lake as 1.2 miles,it seemed longer to us.

The lake itself is lovely and remote. We discovered a party of campers who had pitched tents and brought in a kayak. Yes, some of them were swimming!

High clearance four wheel drive vehicles are strongly suggested for accessing trailhead.

Beautiful hike. Limited parking, we arrived at approx 10am and were lucky to find a spot, I recommend going early. Lots of loose rock for nearly the entire trail. Great views, short and sweet.

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!

Hiked this today on a beautiful cloud free, warm fall day. We didn't get to hike around the lake but we went to it to take a peek. We had to make it back in time for the final shuttle of the day!

Pros:
1. The trail is shaded for much of the hike which is nice on warm sunny days.
2. Didn't see any rattlesnakes (my biggest fear since moving to CO) only one smaller snake that slithered away from the trail
3. Moderately challenging steepness (for most people - im not in CO hiking shape yet!) so this was a good middle level challenging hike for me that was a good mileage.
4. A few small waterfalls (unless we missed bigger ones) which were pretty. We werent able to stop and enjoy them too long because we had limited time but they were nice. you pass a handful of creeks on this trail.
5. Busy trail - i prefer this because the more people the less snakes (i assume haha) but i like that people are hiking the trail so you know if anything happens or you get hurt someone will cross your path at some point.
6. We saw a moose!! It was on the ride back to the parking area but still, super cool that there is some good wildlife in the area.

Cons:
1. Parking! Which many people expressed. We went today on a Saturday afternoon, and we drove around for a while and wasted a lotttt of time, before deciding to take the shuttle which is about 15 min from the trailhead so we wasted an hour trying to figure out where to park and what to do with that.
2. Only two major scenic areas, from a view perspective, one open area that has a view of some mountains and a sky resort towards the middle of the hike, and the lost lake, otherwise its mostly a wooded rocky trail with not much scenic views. Still pretty, dont get me wrong, but i like mountains, and lots of em!
3. Some rock was really lose - it was tough on the way down for me so wear hiking boots (I fell going down and hit my knee because of the loose rock - and i was even wearing good hiking boots).

Good hike to get acclimated to the higher elevation. We took the shuttle from the Nederland Ride-and-Park, which worked very well to avoid the limited parking situation at the trailhead. Lovely views along the trail of mountain vistas, waterfalls, golden aspen, and clear Lost Lake. Really appreciated the shade along portions of the trail on a sunny day like today.

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!!

Beautiful day! Glad we arrived early and beat the crowds!

While at a decently high altitude, it is only moderately challenging given the gentle (but consistent) upward slope. Lots of shade, but enough sun to warrant sunscreen!
Great picnic spots by the lake. Took us one hour up and 45 mins down with breaks to give water to the pups. Loved the hike!

Good hike today- trees were changing and lake was quiet and calm. We hit the lake around 10;30 and crowd was increasing on the way down. Parked at the trailhead. Very glad we got there early.

Great hike, great scenery. Like other reviews take the very short off trail wandering to view and enjoy the multiple water falls along the way up. Saw enough wild life to keep me satisfied. Birds, squirrels, chipmunks and even a small snake! Aspen are starting to turn so plenty of yellow patches most directions you look.

Loved this hike. It was tough but well worth the views when getting to meadow mountain. ♥️

backpacking
1 month ago

So beautiful and worth it! Gets steep! Make sure to get a permit if you spending the night ( they sell them at ACE in Ned). Absolutely beautiful pass, dropped down to 30 at night

It was my first hike ever in Colorado so I have nothing to compare it to. Lol. I LOVED IT!!! Challenging but I’m way out of shape so if I can do it, I’m sure you’ll be fine!

Absolutely stunning views! Get off the trail a bit and follow the waterfall up. You will not be disappointed.

hiking
1 month ago

Short and sweet AMAZING hike! A lot of people, parking wars. You have a choice of taking the shuttle too but not sure exactly where the shuttle station is. No fee to get in, short but rough hike, so no flip flops, folks! You can walk around the lake, swim, or some people had a tent out. Amazing view, must go trail!! 80% shade by the way.

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