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Devil's Thumb Lake Trail

HARD 41 reviews
#12 of 22 trails in

Devil's Thumb Lake Trail is a 12.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 12.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,467 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

The hike to Devil's Thumb Lake is a wonderful hike for those who are able to make the journey. Although there are other, much shorter routes to the pass, none offer the scenery that you will encounter on this particular route. It is rated as moderate due to the length of the hike and the fact that you will ascend approx. 2400 feet (add another 800ft if you choose to climb to the top of the pass). This is a full day hike as you will definitely want to take your time so you don't miss any of the wonderful sights this trail has to offer.

hiking
14 days ago

Fall colors are fantastic!

hiking
16 days ago

Difficult trail...rocky & uphill. After climbing for miles I get to a drained Jasper Lake and a small Devils Thumb lake. Better trails and lakes around this area

hiking
rocky
21 days ago

Hiked this trail Sept 21, 2019. Absolutely beautiful Colorado blue sky day when the hike started at 9am. Stopped at Jasper Lake at 5-mile mark, worth a stop but as others pointed out, the lake and the surrounding lakeshore not that impressive as the lake has dried up a lot by now and tree debris litters the eastern shoreline but the views to west are nice. Devils Thumb Lake is just another 1.25 miles/300-400’ gain up the trail and well worth the effort. had to see the overall Devils Thumb Lake itself as it’s surrounded by heavy tree cover and a short but steep decline from the trail down to the shoreline and then craning around tall trees for a view/photo. Lake appears to be very deep as there were no signs of water loss after a long summer. Suggest following the trail past the lake to get the beautiful views of the Continental Divide. This takes you through two sets of some thick willows. You still never get a full view of the lake due to the tall trees along the lake’s shoreline. Sadly, I can’t give this trail more than 3-stars as you are mostly hiking through uneventful woods for most of the 6.25 miles to above Devils Thumb Lake with a few peak-a-boo views of the destination. The trail is very rocky in segments which is even more unpleasant on the descent. If you want to see this lake it all its glory, recommend driving up to Rollins Pass from the Winter Lake side of the Divide. From the top of that pass, you climb up the Divide to get birds eye unobstructed views of King, Bob, Betty and Devils Thumb Lakes. Why start from Hessie Trailhead and hike 6-7 miles through the woods to get a view of these beautiful lakes when you can come from the west and bagged all 4 lakes on one hike? Granted, a longer drive if you live on the east side of the Divide (and a rocky 13.5 miles ride up to the pass) but in this case, well worth it!!

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was a great day hike to see some gorgeous wildflowers. It was well cared for and not overly crowded. I will say the Porto potties at the trailhead were in pretty rough shape but I guess that's what you'd expect. Also if you can't find parking there is a shuttle service I wish we would have known about before hand.

hiking
2 months ago

For how popular it is, it is in great shape. Thanks everyone for caring for our public lands!

hiking
2 months ago

Lots of people but not uncomfortable, still some snowpack higher than Jasper but nothing crazy. There are a couple of water crossings that are a little more difficult thanks to all the snowmelt and rain so waterproof boots are a good idea. Some fairly muddy areas as well

hiking
2 months ago

Lots of people but not uncomfortable, still some snowpack higher than Jasper but nothing crazy. There are a couple of water crossings that are a little more difficult thanks to all the snowmelt and rain so waterproof boots are a good idea. Some fairly muddy areas as well

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
snow
3 months ago

I went up past devils thumb lake almost to where the trail meets up with the high lonesome trail, at around 11,700 feet, and it was gorgeous!! There is a lot of snow still leading up to, and after jasper lake, but actually clears up after devils thumb lake too. Snow was very soft and melting quickly! The trail was very wet, so be prepared to have your feet wet. We had slight difficulty staying on the trail at times, but there were footprints to follow and we always found the trail. We went midweek and found parking very close at 8:45 am, but I know weekends tend to be much more crowded. We saw a moose, a very tiny garden snake, and a few marmot on the trail, and so many beautiful wildflowers all over! It was a challenging and amazing day.

hiking
3 months ago

We only did the hike from lost lake to Jasper lake, but still great! Quite a bit of snow still up by Jasper lake, but not too hard to follow the footprints to stay on the trail. The lake was mostly thawed and beautiful! A fair amount of the hike was very wet, like walking in a stream. We lost the trail at one point because it filled with water, but were able to meet back up with it.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Beautiful trail. Challenging conditions with lots of snowpack still after the first 2 miles. Snow made it challenging to stay on the trail. We meandered a bit before making Jasper lake.

8 months ago

This is really a collection of trails that start at the Hessie trail in Eldora. I hiked here before going to King Lake and the Continental Divide last summer but a few days ago (2/8/19) I tried to go to Jasper Lake and, for the second time this week, couldn't quite make it to my destination because of deep snow. The Hessie trail starts as a road and because it is popular it was nicely packed with snow and easy to walk on with snowshoes to a meadow where you enter the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Beyond that snowshoes were needed and the trail got progressively hard to find but my GPS was helpful in knowing I was on the right track. There are several trails one can take but the trail to Jasper Lake is described as being anywhere between 9 and 10 miles (in and out) with ~2000 ft elevation gain. I had to stop short of the junction with the Diamond Lake trail (probably around 4 miles in) because of deep snow. My entire trip was about 4 hours in and out with a short lunch break. The views of the Continental Divide are great and I will have to return once the snow melts to make it to the lake.

backpacking
Friday, September 07, 2018

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

hiking
Saturday, August 18, 2018

Nice hike with not too many people on a Friday in summer, but be aware that Jasper Lake (a reservoir) gets drained this time of year (like Lake Isabelle up in Brainard Lake Rec Area). We found a nearly empty lake when we arrived, but had planned on continuing to Devil's Thumb Lake anyway, which was quite nice. The hike, while a little long, is pretty moderate throughout with a bit of rockiness in many areas, so watch your footing. It is in and out of the trees, so a good mix of sun and shade, and no issues with exposure/dropoffs. Overall, I recorded round-trip stats of 13 mi/2,600' elevation gain from the 2WD TH to the end of Devil's Thumb Lake.

hiking
Saturday, August 04, 2018

This hike has ton to see, moose, open meadows, snow melt streams and killer views. It ramps up in elevation from mile 2 to 3, and once you are above tree line the last mile to the top is steep but worth it. The Thumb is kind of an optical illusion, you will see what I mean when you get there.

backpacking
Saturday, September 16, 2017

Amazing and beautiful hike. Recommend wearing sunscreen. Arrived at the trail on Sat around 0900 and the main parking lot was full. If you have an off-road high clearance vehicle additional parking at the trail-head. Attempted to do Jasper Lake, but signs posted “no fires” and it also required a permit to camp. Highly recommend going to the .gov sight for more info about this area. The lake looked very low. Headed to Devil’s Thumb Lake which was about 1 mile away and found a few camping spots and didn’t see as many restrictions as Jasper Lake. In mid Sep it snowed and was very cold at night, dropped at night to 23 degree’s with 94 percent humidity. AllTrails does not have a way to communicate with other outdoor enthusiast, I can be reached on Facebook Messenger if you have any questions.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

We did this hike over two days ( camped at devils thumb lake for the night). The struggle was REAL the last mile or so carrying the extra weight with our equipment, but totally worth every agonizing step. Amazing views, gorgeous meadows full of beautiful wildflowers, and friendly people passing by. We even got lucky enough to have a moose visitor stop by our tent hahaha. Would recommend a sturdy pair of mid boots or better. If you're camping for the night, bring some warm gear. As soon as the sun goes down it's chilly. Arrive as early as possible. Nowhere to park at 9AM on the road leading up to the trailhead. You will need a 4WD vehicle to park in the lot nearest the trailhead. There is a very reliable shuttle that comes to and from Nederland every 10-15 minutes. Overall a great, challenging adventure.

hiking
Saturday, July 15, 2017

This is an easy hike with great views of continental divide.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Great trail, awesome scenery!

hiking
Thursday, June 08, 2017

June 7, 2017: need waterproof boots or hiking sandal if you don't mind the cold water, some spots of snow but mostly ankle deep water!

hiking
Monday, July 04, 2016

Good hike, easy way to get there from Denver is get on hwy 40 nb, make a right turn into county road 8 and go about 30-40 mins on a mild dirt road. Parking spots are limited so get there relatively early. Trails starts out easy and then begins to get tough around 1.5 miles in. At around 2.75 miles, we had to cross a nice sized snowfield. As we started around 9am the snow was still hard, but when we were coming back down, it became soft and slushy. The views at the top were amazing and be ready for a nice gain in elevation

Monday, June 20, 2016

The map doesn't have it where we went. From winter park we turned right on county road 8 and went about 6-7 miles, turned right on Devils thumb trailhead. Was able to make it up about 3.5 miles and the snow was too much for this family of 4. We were not prepared to get our shoes soaked in the snow. We did about a mile past into the snow but gave up when a hiker coming down said we had another 3/4 mile to tree line. Bummer because it was great until the snow. Should be better in a couple weeks.

hiking
Thursday, July 16, 2015

My wife and I hiked this trail about a mile up and back. We saw 4 moose about a quarter mile from the trailhead. Really pretty, easy hike

hiking
Monday, July 06, 2015

We chose this hike thinking it was indeed "moderate" as the description states. This trail is much more advanced. To get to the trail head, take the turn to Eldora. The street is poorly marked but there's a visable sign for Eldora. Continue straight through the small town of Eldora. The paved road will turn to a dirt road. Follow the dirt road until you get to a junction with a wood sign for the Hessie and Fourth of July trail. Parking is limited. only park between the designated parking signs! a 4wd road will take you closer to the trail head. for others, park and walk the trail alongside the 4wd road for about .5 mi. the trail is rocky for a couple miles until it turns into dirt path. there were flooded trails due to the rain and runoff. very marshy and muddy in spots. wear appropriate gear. the dirt trail turns back into a very rocky climb for about 4 miles until you get to Jasper Lake. it took us about 4 hours to reach the lake and saw many waterfalls along the way.

snowshoeing
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I've snowshoed this trail several times. Great for snowshoeing . Almost alway sunny.

hiking
Sunday, October 05, 2014

Nice hike with plenty of coverage. Trail starts out next to a beautiful little creek. Wear hiking boots instead of tennis shoes if you go in the fall, because there is a good bit of snow about 45 minutes in. It's an out and back hike with well kept trails. Views are great!

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

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