Kings Lake Trail

MODERATE 21 reviews
#31 of 112 trails in

Kings Lake Trail is a 12 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.

12.0 miles
2,683 feet
Out & Back



no dogs

3 months ago

Hiked mid-May. Great trail. Great views. Very rocky the first mile and then flattens our pretty nicely. An easy day hike up to the beautiful Lost Lake (with camping sites). About a mile in from the trailhead the snow pack starts to get thicker (but it’s nicely packed down from hikers) so spikes are nice but not necessary. However, after the Devils Thumb split,the snow is really deep and I still somewhat recommend snow shoes if you don’t want to sink.

9 months ago

Awesome hike to the lake, but beware this time of year, the snow was knee deep in some areas and finding the trail to the lake was challenging. Worth it, though!! Beautiful views and the lake is partially frozen. Bring very warm clothing and crampons if you have them.

11 months ago

Perfect time of year to do this hike. I did Lost Lake trail early summer which starts off on the same trail head, much more enjoyable this time. Aspens are starting to change colors. Gradual elevation change doesn't feel like 2,700 ft. Awesome views at the top. Took about 6 hours with a few short breaks.

Awesome hike! Went with my husband and our two dogs. The very beginning is ROCKY but it smoothed out within a mile. Very well shaded! Was an absolute pleasure to hike when we did it August 19th of 2017. Started around 10am. Was lucky to snag a spot. There were lots of people on the early part of the trail (over 10 different humans spotted) but became much more sparse specially on the way back. Did spot a few people backpacking in and I can understand why. There are some beautiful meadows to camp on about a mile, mile and a half from the lake. Would highly recommend this hike! If you can, bring a hammock! This is an excellent trail to simply lounge.

trail running
11 months ago

Beautiful hike!! Difficult to run the first couple of miles out due to loose/bigger rocks and gravel. The last mile out is also fairly steep for running, however, the middle section is good for running. I arrived at around 7:30 am and there was still parking near the trailhead, but I would imagine it gets very busy on the weekends. The first 4 miles are in the trees, but the last 2 open up and allow for great views of the mountains and the valley below. Not too busy and incredibly gorgeous!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Great hike, nice few pit stops along the way, and great conditioning on your body. Really fantastic reward after a tough end to the hike.

Monday, June 26, 2017

One of my favorite hikes yet. Pack snacks!

Sunday, September 04, 2016

From the intersection of 4th of July Rd and Hessie Rd to the High Lonesome Trail Junction above the lake is about 12 miles and definitely worth it. The trail has scenic water crossings and a lot of shade for the first four miles. Once you emerge above tree line expect wildflowers and marmots. I hit Hessie Trailhead at 6:30 and made the lake by 9:00. Even on Labor Day Weekend the lake was deserted. Climb another quarter of a mile to the High Lonesome Trail Junction (you can see the signs from the lake) for a great view of the lake, the Continental Divide and Winter Park. On the way back down I met a few dozen people climbing to Lost Lake, and as discussed, all parking between Hessie and Eldora was taken.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Great hike! It's pretty difficult as it's uphill almost the whole way and coming down is tough on the knees. We were beat by the time we made it back to the trail head.

If you are hiking on the weekend - take the shuttle. Parking is crazy up there. Dogs are allowed on the shuttle too.

There was a little snow on the trail as you get closer to the lake. We also ran into a pretty big stream that was difficult to cross - but we were able to get across. We had our dog and that was the trickiest part. The lake was windy and cold but was still a nice spot to stop for a picnic.

It is pretty busy from the Nessie Trail Head until you go past Lost Lake. The trail is pretty quiet after that. We hiked for several hours without seeing anyone and we hiked this over the 4th of July weekend.

Tons of great views and the wildflowers are just starting to pop. Bring lots of water, food for energy and be sure to be bear prepared. The couple right behind us on the trail ran into a female bear.

Overall, awesome hike - can't wait to see it in the fall!

Friday, October 16, 2015

This is by far my favorite hike. I came here two years ago with a Meetup group and couldn't get it out of my mind. So I decided to bring the dog to explore it on my own. Gorgeous! I have to admit, the first time I came I found the climb a bit challenging. But I had just moved here from the midwest so I wasn't acclimated to the altitude yet. This time was a breeze. Be sure to bring plenty of water!

It was 12 miles out and back. Believe them when they say trailhead parking is at a minimum. You might be wise to skip the search and just go straight to the Nederland P&R for the shuttle. I got lucky this time, probably because it was fall and the weather in Denver was overcast.

As I said, I love this hike so I'm amazed I'm the first to rate it.

2 months ago

10 months ago

10 months ago

11 months ago

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Saturday, June 11, 2016