Abyss Trail

MODERATE 73 reviews
#18 of 152 trails in

Abyss Trail is a 15.3 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.

15.3 miles
3221 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


cross country skiing


horseback riding


trail running






wild flowers




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.

1 hour ago

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

4 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.

5 months ago

Great trail with beautiful aspen groves!

5 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.

5 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.

6 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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!

8 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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.

10 months ago

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.

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!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Very nice out and back for hiking or snowshoeing. There is usually moose activity in the marshy area about 3 miles up so keep a look-out! Good mix of shade and sun in the Mt Evans Wilderness area.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Didn't have much time, so only went in about 2 miles to the river where there is a great view into the valley. Tall pines and aspens, with plenty of water stops. Easy to park off paved road. There are places to camp after about a mile, lots of firewood.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Spectacular aspen change colors. Blinding yellow. We went a little past the second creek crossing - very easy hike - really more of a walk. Gentle steady uphill but mostly rock free. Very wide trail. Suitable for everyone. Plenty of dogs running around. Will try it again in the winter - will be a nice snowshoe hike

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Great moderate trail with amazing gold Aspens in the fall. Dogs allowed on leashes.

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