Diamond Lake Trail

MODERATE 361 reviews
#1 of 108 trails in

Diamond Lake Trail is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1240 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Eldora: Travel west on CR #130 and then northwest on CR #111 to the 4th of July/Buckingham Park Campground. Hiking alternatives include Diamond Lake Trail from Hessie, Arapaho Glacier Trail from Rainbow Lakes, and Arapaho Pass from Monarch Lake (Hot Sulfur District). Note: Getting to the trailhead can be difficult. A high clearance all seasons car with 4-wheel drive is recommended.

hiking
2 days ago

Done on 6/15. This is a great trail! Excellent scenery and not too strenuous. The first 2/3 on the way in has several streams to cross, and there were several snow drifts the last 1/3 as you got closer to the lake, but packed down for the most part so extra equipment wasn’t needed. Would definitely recommend having a high clearance vehicle to access the trailhead as the road is quite bumpy. All in all, a great trip and would strongly recommend.

3 days ago

Trail was super fun, would highly recommend it. Be advised that there were still several snow drifts (6/13/18) that needed to be traversed, especially the last half mile or so leading up to the lake. I used trekking poles and that helped a lot, but still slipped, fell, got wet and made it to the car with wet socks and shoes. Was it worth it? Well I went back the next day to do another trail, so, I’d say so!

7 days ago

We backpacked this trail 6-9-18. We chose not to bring snowshoes and were glad we didn’t. There’s still a decent amount of snow for the last half mile. It is useful to have a GPS map, since finding the trail before the big river crossing and again right by the lake is difficult. I’d recommend bringing crampons if you have them and if they’re easy to put on to help you from sliding on the snow, especially on the way down. You’ll be fine in hiking boots if you’re ok getting a little snow in your shoes. Bring an extra pair of socks. The lake is beautiful and worth it.

hiking
14 days ago

This was our first hike in that area, and I had heard that the hikes are beautiful for their wild flowers. I had done some research, but did not read the trip reports for Diamond Lake. Well, little did I know that there was feet of snow! You can hike to trail head and a little past to the bridge and waterfall without getting wet feet. Everyone we passed who was coming back stated they didn't make to the Diamond Lake due to the snow and confusion on where the actual trail was. We started with 6 people and we had 3 people turn around at the bridge. The three of us that continued on were using GPS along with my Hiking Project app to find Diamond Lake. We ended up going a little longer route, crossing the bowl and post holing a lot, but we finally made it! You pass a frozen pond, and then it's right over the ridge. On the way back, we went down through the trees and followed the river back to the bridge. Which was actually closer to the real trail. Our feet were wet and frozen, but definitely worth the peace and view! If you decided to hike the Diamond Lake, I recommend snow shoes or skis this time of year, otherwise your in for an adventure with just hiking boots. Was an amazing hike!

hiking
22 days ago

May 26, 2018.
I been to this area before but never got the chance to see diamond lake. Today I started at 7:40 AM. The first half of the trail is the easiest part of the trail. Although I did end up getting lost for about 40 mins or so until I finally found the bridge in the middle of the river. After that, I followed a few tracks but I end up making my own tracks instead and went straight up the mountain until I reach the lake. Mind you that during the incline, I have sunk in the snow about half of my body a half of a dozen times. I’m 5”9 btw. Anyways, I actually made it at the lake around 10:30ish. After that I went back down. I didn’t follow back my own tracks because I had no where it was so I went straight down until I hit the river. I turn left and made it to the bridge. Yes, I had a good amount of bruises and scratches since some parts of the snow was really soft. I made back to my car around 12:40. Note once you get to that bridge, it’s the only time you have to ask yourself will you do it or turn back? I saw most if not all the people on this trail turn back without question or asked me about it but rather not deal the brutal incline. I was the first and probably the only person out of 50 or more of people that actually made it to the trail on this day. I only used yak taks, water proof boots. I had hiking sticks but never bother to use them because I have to be constantly on my phone and my watch to navigate back.

So in the end, it is possible to do this hike. But it’ll cost you a lot of pain and sweat to get here. And possible chance that’ll you get lost because you followed some guy tracks. Gotta have a strong mindset and determination for this trail. If not, it’s probably best to wait until July or August for this trail. This is my 29th hike and a journey I will always remember. Follow me on insta if you like: ed_hikes

Good luck and be safe!

walking
22 days ago

The plus: Stunning views of wild forest, charming brooks, small waterfalls and snowy peaks, and the hike is not too difficult. That said:

The path isn’t marked at all and deep snow covers the upper trail this time of year (end of May). After about an hour of a pleasant hike the only real way to follow the path is to look for previous people’s tracks. Which, mind you, might be yours and you’re just walking in circles... it’s easy to lose the path and begin back tracking.

I came alone, and progress became less and less certain as the trail went deeper into the mountain. At some point after crossing the creek, about two thirds of the way to the lake, I found myself in a snowy forest with absolutely no way of knowing which way to go, and no tracks to follow as I guess most people would have abandoned the trail by now, and the late afternoon sun beginning to dim. Luckily the Alltrails map was loaded on my iPhone and I could watch my exact location - no cell reception, but the GPS still worked.

Add that to the fact I was totally ill prepared: let’s just say shorts and running shoes are sub optimal as in certain parts of the trail your foot will sink all the way in... and you can understand why I had to cut it short about a mile before reaching the lake. It was still quite an adventure.

Bottom line: amazing track and unbelievable view in spring time if you come well prepared for a snowy hike. And as a general advice, read past reviews - I only did AFTER going :)

1 month ago

Beautiful hike with a lake at the top! We hiked this last spring. Road driving up is pretty rocky. We meant to hike the 4th of July trail lower down on the road but couldn’t find parking anywhere so kept driving up the road and there was nowhere to turn around until you get to the parking lot at the trailhead. So we ended up hiking this trail instead. Was a pretty hike. Would do again.

hiking
1 month ago

Snow covered on most of the track. Had to return from the middle but few were doing it completely. Good luck

hiking
6 months ago

Snow ice the whole way. Be sure to have micro spikes. Ran out of time and had to turn back prior to the lake. No wild life but lots of tracks.

hiking
6 months ago

Micro Spikes and waterproof hiking boots a must. Snow and ice about 80 % of the trail. Beautiful views of snow capped mountains, frozen waterfalls, frozen Diamond lake. Windy cold at the lake. Wear layers. Even with a 4x4 vehicle, the car slid backwards attempting to climb an icy road - scary but the ABS system helped. So we had to park 1.5 miles from the trailhead, making the hike 8.2 miles RT and elevation gain 1,575 feet. Definitely want to go back in the summer.

hiking
6 months ago

Micro Spikes a must. Snow and ice about 80 % of the trail. Beautiful views of snow capped mountains

6 months ago

Used micro spikes and had no problem. Drive in was icy and a bit challenging. Beautiful hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Gorgeous hike! Super icy in areas. Spikes would be a great choice!!

hiking
6 months ago

Really pretty hike! One of my favorites. The day we went was 73 in Denver, but snowing here. It was pretty icy too, so I would bring yak tracks next time. Want to come back and do it in the summer.

hiking
6 months ago

One of the best hikes within an hour of the Front Range. Micro spikes came in handy. Road was passable with Subaru. Lots of snow on the north facing trail - trail was easy thanks to earlier snowshoers. Some post-hole areas at lake area.

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing ! A few waterfalls along the way & amazing views!

7 months ago

Great trail, today the wind was ripping and it was COLD at the top. Very icy, I would suggest using spikes. No wildlife to see today.

8 months ago

It was very icy when crossing the waterfalls and after the turnoff to the lake.

8 months ago

Beautiful hike! I loved the multiple small waterfalls and the lake was stunning! I’d recommend bringing spikes this time of year, as the last mile to the lake was icy. Also getting to the trail head was a bit rough.

hiking
8 months ago

nice, steady climb.

8 months ago

I think Sam Waters got lost on the way to the trailhead. The trail is stunning. Multiple waterfalls, crystal blue lake, gorgeous fall colors this time of year. And pending on your fitness level it can be a good workout for you. We do this trail several times each year, highly recommend!

8 months ago

Terrible joke of a hike.

8 months ago

Hiked it 9/3/17. Great hike. Took the shuttle to the trailhead BUT NOTE it is 4 more miles on a road from where the shuttle drops you off. We grabbed a ride with a vehicle for the 4 miles. Great hike. Not too difficult like a 14'er. Pleasant hike. About 5 hours total includes drive time w shuttle. Beautiful scenery.

hiking
8 months ago

Small parking area, so get there early! It took a while to hike up this consistent incline to the summit with the lake. But there were nice views and some small waterfalls along the way. The lake itself is a nice view and would also be a nice area to go back and camp at. Dog friendly on leash.

hiking
9 months ago

Road to the TH was bumpy but nothing unmanageable. You can definitely do it with 2WD. The first mile isn't bad, gets bumpier the last 4, expect to go 5-20mph.

On a Saturday at 1 PM Parking was limited but we did fine a spot on the road .2 miles from TH. Hiked to the lake in about 1.5 hours. GPS said 2 miles like signs say. Then we hiked back past the lake and up along the water falling down the mountain to middle diamond lake and the up past that to upper diamond lake. RT distance from beginning of lower
Diamond lake up to middle then upper and back was 3.5 miles. The middle lake was the prettiest is my opinion.

We did this hike on 9/16 and it wasn't very muddy and I would say it was light to moderately travelled. Hike to first lake was moderate and adding on the other two made the hike a hard, but not really hard, hike. Total hiking time was 4 hours, 35 minutes over 7.5 miles. Elevation at upper lake is 11,750.

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked this trail on the way back in to Boulder & Denver. Drizzle setup during the hike, so difficulty increased. Plenty of small streams to cross, and nice views and water falls on the way up. Fairly busy trail given the difficulty of getting to the trail head (raised 4x4 recommended).

9 months ago

This hike wasn't too difficult and the scenery was great.

hiking
9 months ago

It's a fun and beautiful hike! Definitely recommend :)

hiking
9 months ago

Loved the hike, made it through the roads with a WRX easily, just take your time.

hiking
9 months ago

Mostly uphill and it gets steep near the lake. With breaks to enjoy the view, overall it took us about 3:30 hours. Very beautiful hike!!

The drive is a bit harsh on the car, so be prepared!

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