Abyss Trail

MODERATE 105 reviews
#14 of 170 trails in

Abyss Trail is a 15.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bailey, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
15.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,225 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

horseback riding

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

snow

washed out

The Abyss Lake Trail is a popular hiking trail that ends at Abyss Lake. The lake is nestled in a high glacial cirque between Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans. The elevation gain, together with the round trip distance of almost 17 miles makes this a strenuous day hike. The trail follows an old logging road about 4 miles to an intersection with the Rosalie trail. from there the trail climbs more steeply into the upper part of the valley. From an unnamed lake at timberline, the trail continues through the willows, then westerly across the tundra to the lake.

backpacking
8 days ago

Backpacked in to Helms lake 8/6 - 8/7. A bit marshy getting around helms lake but the trail was in good condition and relatively easy to follow otherwise. Lost a blue nalgene somewhere in the helms lake area.

backpacking
8 days ago

Awesome trail with dispersed camping spots easy to find. Light elevation gain for first 2.5 miles and then it increases significantly thereafter. Excellent camping right after the first creek crossing at 2 miles in. There are flattened logs to walk across so no getting wet during the creek crossings. We went further and camped just short of Helms Lake (5.25 miles in) in the tree-covered area. Wonderful views and a few dispersed campsites easy to find.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great trail, beautiful scenery with ample camping. We wanted to camp up at Helms lake but it was extremely buggy so made our way back down. It wasn't an overly crowded trail and finding camping was pretty easy.

backpacking
1 month ago

Just completed 2 day back packing trip. Great camping sites and lots of room to roam. Menacing weather kept us from making Abyss Lake day 2. Awesome wilderness area!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing and beautiful and predominantly quiet. The only people I came across were on the return trip and on the Bierstadt and Evans ridges. Plenty of wildlife. Evans and Bieratadt are accessible by climbing out of the cirque. That way you can avoid the ultra crowded standard routes. The views everywhere are amazing.

It gets rather hard to follow the trail on the east side of Helm's Lake. It isnt a very hard bushwack as its just waist high willows and only for fairly short lengths of time.

backpacking
1 month ago

Just wrapped up this trail. Bottom part is very mellow and well maintained. To be expected the trail gets a little faded above tree line. Helms lake and Abyss are beautiful and the trail offers amazing views all the to the South Park valley. It was a beautiful hike well worth the trip.

hiking
1 month ago

I didn’t travel the whole trail—making it just past the third bridge. The trail is easily identified and the views are spectacular!

hiking
2 months ago

2018-06-05. Abyss trail to Kataka Mountain route.

2.4 miles on the Abyss trail until we ascended through the woods to Kataka Mountain. The descent was fine until we neared the Rosalie trail (at mile 5.6). Recommend descending West through the forest at mile 5.5 to avoid the dreaded willow bushes.

It wasn't too difficult to find a way to cross the main creek without getting wet at mile 6.0 before getting back on the Abyss trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Trail is in good shape. Just a few patches of snow covering the trail but 99% is melted. No need for microspikes.

backpacking
2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike but definitely strenuous for one day. We only saw two other couples and a group of dads with kids camping out. Start early though cause the weather can change quickly. We had to make our way down rather quick as we were trying to be faster than a thunder storm

hiking
3 months ago

Agreed a very solitary hike - did this trail last week and made it to the intersection between Rosalie and Abyss before I had to turn back due to trail pretty much disappearing from snow (highly recommend snowshoes!). Beautiful trail though with plenty of views - Mt. Bierstadt is visible throughout most of the hike. I’ll definitely be revisiting this one come summer with better conditions for a backpacking trip to the lake!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful. Solitary. Saw a total of 7 people in 3 hours. Trail snow packed and only needed spikes bit a bit difficult to follow. Wish it were well marked. 4 miles in and tracks stopped. I tried to venture further but postholed. Snow too deep after that without snowshoes. Still, lovely trail. If you’re looking for stillness without a lot of foot traffic, this is it. Look forward to hiking this in summer.

5 months ago

Great hike in the snow. Snowshoes not needed. Gradual climb, windy! In the forest the whole time.

10 months ago

Did the trail on October 4th. Nice hike, plenty of gorgeous views. Over one foot of snow at the top. Wet & mucky coming down.

10 months ago

Great trail with beautiful aspen groves!

11 months ago

Hard to get past stream after the small lake. Don't literally follow map as it can entangle you in deep bushes, use it for general guidance. Keep extra pair of socks if you get wet crossing the stream.

11 months ago

the directions on here take you to burning bear camp ground... this is not the trailhead. the trailhead is just past or right before the campground as is the TH for Abyss lake. I don't want others to go on a goose chase like I did today. will have to come back and actually hike.

hiking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

The trail was beautiful. Once you get past the tree line, the trail becomes hard to follow. It also becomes more difficult with every mile. After the abyss/Rosaline split, the rapid increase in elevation slowed us down quite a bit. I'd definitely recommend checking the forecast because if it rains after about the 10th mile, you have no natural cover and you could be in a bad situation fast.

hiking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

This has become one of my favorites. You can get pass Helms lake with determination and pick the trail back up. And it was so worth it Abyss lake was incredible and I didn't see anyone.

hiking
Sunday, June 25, 2017

I made it but not without some work and almost turned back twice. Probably only for experienced hikers right now. Trail tough to find in a couple spots, a stream is the trail in a couple places, felt like I was bushwhacking in some spots. I would recommend gps for sure right now. Minor snow passable without spikes. Awesome views and lake but it was a fight to get there.

hiking
Monday, June 19, 2017

trail disappeared at helms lake. not sure if later in the summer would result in less water in helms lake or what. a little snow near treeline. beautiful hike regardless.

hiking
Monday, June 12, 2017

We completed the round trip hike the from the Burning Bear/Abyss trailhead 6/10. I would say the total mileage from here is closer to 17+. The trail was clear and dry all the way to Abyss. We started the hike around 10:30 and by the time we were making our way back from the lake around 5-5:30 the water at the creek crossings had risen quite a bit making the log crossings a little spicy. Just be careful not to slip on wet log because the water is raging right now. There is one snow crossing towards the end of the hike, maybe 30' and was a non issue. The snow there was firm and no postholing. Given the recent warm weather this will change shortly. The trail is a steady incline for most of the ascent. Once you hit the Rosalie/Abyss trail junction the trail becomes steeper and rockier along a scenic switchback. We had no issues with dogs off leash. Enjoy!

hiking
Saturday, June 10, 2017

I really loved this, but the trail from No Name lake was washed out and we turned back. Someone prepared for it might make it across, but we couldn't find a way through.

The first five miles go by without you even realizing you've gone up in elevation! The altitude might give you pause after that, but charge forward and you'll be met with beautiful views of Evans, Bierstadt, and everything else.

I was disappointed to see so many poorly trained, off-leash dogs, but I understand everyone thinks their pup is the exception to the rule. It's worth noting for people who might be worried about altercations on the trail with their dogs, though.

hiking
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Really beautiful, but the path from no-name lake to Abyss was covered in a very treacherous snow patch that forced us to turn back! Give if a few days maybe? It was worth it without seeing Abyss, anyways. It's a moderate hike, only the length and altitude make any of it difficult.

hiking
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

We did part of this trail on 5.23.2017 Some snow but nothing to bad. We only did about 3 miles ( 6 out and back ) and we absolutely loved it. We may go back and try and go all the way to the lake.

hiking
Monday, May 22, 2017

Started the trail late in the day. Still a fair amount of snow. Got as far as the 4th stream crossing(near the intersection with the Rosalie trail) but the water flow had removed any way across. Anyway, turning around when we did allowed us to come upon a moose in the marshy area. Nice hike hope to do it later in the year and get an earlier start.

backpacking
Friday, April 21, 2017

Hiked about half of this after coming in from Rosalie trail. Very quiet with awesome views. Camped near Abyss lake and then came up the back side of Bierstadt for a fun loop.

snowshoeing
Thursday, January 19, 2017

I went about 2.5 miles in to where it crosses the creek and there's a nice view. Can't wait to hike this again and go further!

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