Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Roosevelt National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We had a blast. I think it is more along the lines of moderate with the last half mile difficult. there are several down trees along the trail. there is a stack of rocks where you make your final right turn to head up to the lake. the sign is there but not very well marked. the lake is beautiful and cold. the fish weren't biteing for us but we saw others catching some. moose were spotted at the lake and on the trail.

hiking
1 day ago

Very rocky trail, too many people and a drained lake. It should be called a reservoir not a lake. People should be TOLD when getting a permit that the lake has been drained. Huge disappointment. (see pic of Jasper pond)

beautiful, moderate hike, very crowded on the weekends. recommend arriving at trailhead before 730am. diamond lake has plenty of space for the masses but is busy by 930am. recommended!

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike! Definitely not too difficult... fairly trafficked on the weekend as of you approach the Lake. Lots of fun waterfalls and little features along the way.... If you’re doing this on a weekend definitely make it to the trail head by 7-7:15AM or you’ll be in a jam to find parking! We made it at 8 and parked about a half mile down!

Great hike, a few steeper spots but generally easy. We saw almost no people on the trail which is increasingly difficult in the front range.

The entire elevation gain is the 3ish miles closest to the lake, where the incline hits you like a wall! We found ourselves scrambling quite a few times up and around rock walls. The lake is underwhelming, not sure if the final climb was really worth it. The weather was beautiful though, and friendly hikers and packers that we passed along the way.

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

I parked at Long TH at 10ish on a Tuesday. Someone was leaving. Decided I also wanted to hike up to Isabell Glacier. I think it added 3 ish miles to the trip. But finding snow for the pup to play in was worth it. Plus it was gorgeous. The hike up to the Continental divide was more difficult. The trail isn’t hard until the split from Isabell Glacier. They are doing a lot of work on the trail which is awesome. The scenery is prettier from below. Typical rocky above the tree line hike for the last 2 miles. If you are going to do it. Must make it to the sign!

hiking
10 days ago

Such amazing views!!! Go all the way up to the peak, don’t stop at the sign. Saw many people do this! 360 panoramic views at the top, breathtaking.

This was a nice, moderate hike. We had to park a ways up the road because there were so many cars.
We saw plenty of people on the trail, but many were backpacking, so the parking situation made it seem worse than it really was. The first mile or so is shared with the trail to Arapaho Glacier and shortly after the split is a lovely waterfall. We hiked up the waterfall area near the lake as well, and I'm bummed because we didn't realize there were more lakes! We didn't explore as much as we should have.

off road driving
11 days ago

Fun trail. Was a little tuff at the beginning but also challenging and not to hard. Had 33’s with a 4” lift in my 2001 Jeep wrangle. Took that trail like a champ.

off road driving
11 days ago

Fun trail. Very green this time of year.
The ascent right at the beginning is fun but the crystal mountain trail was gated off.
The closure signs looked fairly new.

Views are excellent. Don’t stop at the lower diamond lake. Keep hiking and you will find middle diamond lake and upper diamond lake. Beautiful!

on Jasper Lake Trail

12 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
12 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
12 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!

hiking
12 days ago

Hiked on a Saturday afternoon. It was very crowded with people and dogs. Beautiful wildflowers and a waterfall. We saw a moose. Narrow dirt road up to the trailhead with minimal parking.

backpacking
14 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.

hiking
14 days ago

Awesome trail with everything you could hope for in a hike. Waterfalls, mountain lakes and wildflowers were all stunning. Rough dirt road for about 5 miles to the trailhead. Good ground clearance in your vehicle recommended.

hiking
14 days ago

Gorgeous trail! Lush + green most of the way with abundant, tall wildflowers, even moss and ferns. Shaded. Follows the creek most the way. Rocky in spots, but mostly soft trail. 10 campsites along trail. Hummingbirds, woodpeckers, trout + bear scrapings. Ample parking @ trailhead. Bring bug repellent -- sneaky biting flies today (probably from nearby stables). You will see damage from big flood a few years back, but all bridges are rebuilt for the 3-4 creek crossings.

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, rigorous hike with plenty of terrain changes as you go. Started from Long Lake. Trail is undergoing maintenance with various crews at this time. Tread is rocky in many areas making passage more awkward and slow. Recommend an early start for parking and weather considerations. Traffic along the trail is heavy with lots of dogs accompanying their hikers. Even saw one hiker carrying two bearded dragons. Worth the effort for the beautiful views.

camping
16 days ago

Great hike! We camped at the base of the trail head by off Fourth Of July road right on the creek. We arrived at 5pm on a Saturday and had no trouble finding a spot right on the creek to set up camp- started early to beat the rain. Less than a mile in we’re absolutely beautiful wild flowers lining the trail and naturally occurring run off water falls from the mountain top. True to it’s word distance- uphill heading out but moderate and easy for any intermediate hiker. Passed multiple groups who had seen moose but we were alluded once again... Best part of the hike: running into a pair of Llamas!

Beautiful day
Beautiful hike

backpacking
16 days ago

My friend and I did this hike on Sunday (7/29) and stayed overnight about a mile east of Jasper Lake.

We left around 10 am and arrived back at our car around 1:30 pm on Monday (7/30). In total, we covered close to 14 miles round trip on our trek; traveling at roughly one mile per hour.

We tried to get a permit to camp at Diamond Lake, but were told that the Forest Service didn't provide the ranger station with any more passes for that camp zone. In any such case, we decided to get a permit to camp in the Devil's Thumb Zone of Roosevelt National Forest instead.

After completing the trek to Diamond Lake, we continued our journey up and over the pass that connects with the Jasper Lake/Devil's Thumb Lake trailheads. The incline to get up and over the pass from Diamond Lake is pretty strenuous, especially when carrying over 60 lbs. of camping equipment on your back.

The views from the ridgeline of the pass were spectacular, and after finding a spot to camp (about 200 yards down the hill from the where the Jasper Lake and Diamond Lake trailhead meet), we set up our tent and made the short jaunt (1 mile) over to Jasper Lake to watch the sunset.

It was an incredibly beautiful evening, and just as the sun disappeared beyond the mountains, the mist rolled in and it was as if we were trapped in the clouds.

This being our first backpacking trip, we did not prepare for the presence of wildlife near our campsite, and therefore had a late night visitor in the form of a small female black bear (125 - 150 lbs.). She came sniffing around our tent sometime around 3 am on Monday morning and then encountered her again around 8 am when we were packing up our stuff, surely looking for food. We will be sure to bring bear spray and keep our food in bear canisters on any future treks.

This was an absolutely majestic experience that I would surely recommend to anyone looking for a challenging backpacking adventure.

The three things I would say to anyone going on their first backpacking trip is make sure you pack as light as possible, have enough water for your time spent in the wild, and be prepared to encounter wildlife.

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful hike. 3 hours exactly (not including our time spent at the lake) and that was with lots of photo/snack breaks. The wildflowers and waterfalls were so pretty, and the lake at the end was so serene. One of my favorites!

Get there early! We arrived at 7:30 and parking was fine, about 1/3 full. By the time we left at 11:30 there were no open spots.

Lunch and nitro ice cream in Nederland are great treats afterwards :-)

I look forward to continuing the hike up to Upper Diamond Lake next time.

hiking
17 days ago

Great hike. Lots has been written about the hike itself, so I'll add a few comments on the drive to the trailhead:

- Unless you are hiking in winter with heavy snow on the road, there is ZERO reason why you would need AWD to get to the trailhead. The unpaved road is extremely rocky, which makes it bumpy, but you shouldn't need to worry about getting stuck. There is very little pitch to it.

- On the flip side, while you can make the drive in a normal car (I saw plenty of Accords, Civics, Corollas, Prius, even a few BMW 3 series), I would want something with high ground clearance, or you'll have to just crawl along the road to avoid bottoming out your suspension or scraping your undercarriage. We were in an SUV, and could take the road at 25mph no problem with the exception of a few areas.

- Lastly, if you are either unfamiliar with driving on unpaved mountain roads, or are one of the afore-mentioned drivers trying to crawl up in a normal car without tearing off your oil pan, please, please, please, pull over for traffic behind you and let them pass. There is no way to pass without someone pulling off the road, and you will easily delay everyone behind you 40+ minutes if you're doing 5mph or less.

hiking
18 days ago

I loved the wildflowers and you get the sound of rushing water following you along this hike. We couldn't go beyond into RMNP so didn't have a final "payoff" view but it was great! Beautiful trail, well maintained, pretty easy hike. Abundant parking at the trail head.

My wife and I did this recently and were amazed at all the wildflowers. Awesome views of surrounding mountains and Isabelle glacier. Did not go all the way to the pass. Had lunch at the flat tundra area and watched some marmots.

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

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