Lost Lake via Hessie Trail

MODERATE 747 reviews
#2 of 12 trails in

Lost Lake via Hessie Trail is a 4.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, birding, horses, and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.1 miles
869 feet

dogs on leash



horseback riding







wild flowers




Lost Lake is accessed from the Hessie Trailhead just outside the southeast boundary of the Indian Peaks Wilderness near Nederland, Colorado. From downtown Nederland, go south on Highway 72 for .5 miles to County Road 130 and make a right. You will see a sign for Eldora Ski Resort at this junction

2 days ago

We entered from CR 125 and 123–the latter a dirt road with lots of ruts and rocks as we neared the trailhead sign. Be advised that there are at least two different access points and that one may be easier than the other. The trail descended steeply over rocky scree before reaching the creek which it followed through a mountain meadow. The ascent from the meadow to the lake was fairly steep. Although the signage listed the distance to the lake as 1.2 miles,it seemed longer to us.

The lake itself is lovely and remote. We discovered a party of campers who had pitched tents and brought in a kayak. Yes, some of them were swimming!

High clearance four wheel drive vehicles are strongly suggested for accessing trailhead.

Beautiful hike. Limited parking, we arrived at approx 10am and were lucky to find a spot, I recommend going early. Lots of loose rock for nearly the entire trail. Great views, short and sweet.

3 days ago

Hiked this today on a beautiful cloud free, warm fall day. We didn't get to hike around the lake but we went to it to take a peek. We had to make it back in time for the final shuttle of the day!

1. The trail is shaded for much of the hike which is nice on warm sunny days.
2. Didn't see any rattlesnakes (my biggest fear since moving to CO) only one smaller snake that slithered away from the trail
3. Moderately challenging steepness (for most people - im not in CO hiking shape yet!) so this was a good middle level challenging hike for me that was a good mileage.
4. A few small waterfalls (unless we missed bigger ones) which were pretty. We werent able to stop and enjoy them too long because we had limited time but they were nice. you pass a handful of creeks on this trail.
5. Busy trail - i prefer this because the more people the less snakes (i assume haha) but i like that people are hiking the trail so you know if anything happens or you get hurt someone will cross your path at some point.
6. We saw a moose!! It was on the ride back to the parking area but still, super cool that there is some good wildlife in the area.

1. Parking! Which many people expressed. We went today on a Saturday afternoon, and we drove around for a while and wasted a lotttt of time, before deciding to take the shuttle which is about 15 min from the trailhead so we wasted an hour trying to figure out where to park and what to do with that.
2. Only two major scenic areas, from a view perspective, one open area that has a view of some mountains and a sky resort towards the middle of the hike, and the lost lake, otherwise its mostly a wooded rocky trail with not much scenic views. Still pretty, dont get me wrong, but i like mountains, and lots of em!
3. Some rock was really lose - it was tough on the way down for me so wear hiking boots (I fell going down and hit my knee because of the loose rock - and i was even wearing good hiking boots).

4 days ago

Good hike to get acclimated to the higher elevation. We took the shuttle from the Nederland Ride-and-Park, which worked very well to avoid the limited parking situation at the trailhead. Lovely views along the trail of mountain vistas, waterfalls, golden aspen, and clear Lost Lake. Really appreciated the shade along portions of the trail on a sunny day like today.

10 days ago

Beautiful day! Glad we arrived early and beat the crowds!

10 days ago

While at a decently high altitude, it is only moderately challenging given the gentle (but consistent) upward slope. Lots of shade, but enough sun to warrant sunscreen!
Great picnic spots by the lake. Took us one hour up and 45 mins down with breaks to give water to the pups. Loved the hike!

10 days ago

Good hike today- trees were changing and lake was quiet and calm. We hit the lake around 10;30 and crowd was increasing on the way down. Parked at the trailhead. Very glad we got there early.

11 days ago

Great hike, great scenery. Like other reviews take the very short off trail wandering to view and enjoy the multiple water falls along the way up. Saw enough wild life to keep me satisfied. Birds, squirrels, chipmunks and even a small snake! Aspen are starting to turn so plenty of yellow patches most directions you look.

14 days ago

It was my first hike ever in Colorado so I have nothing to compare it to. Lol. I LOVED IT!!! Challenging but I’m way out of shape so if I can do it, I’m sure you’ll be fine!

16 days ago

Absolutely stunning views! Get off the trail a bit and follow the waterfall up. You will not be disappointed.

17 days ago

Short and sweet AMAZING hike! A lot of people, parking wars. You have a choice of taking the shuttle too but not sure exactly where the shuttle station is. No fee to get in, short but rough hike, so no flip flops, folks! You can walk around the lake, swim, or some people had a tent out. Amazing view, must go trail!! 80% shade by the way.

18 days ago

Absolutely loved this hike. Be sure to step off the trail to check out the waterfalls. You won’t be disappointed. And the lake is stunning.

18 days ago

Took the pup for a walk this morning, knowing full well we both needed the exercise. The trail was rocky but not overly so, watch your step on the way down though -- I slid a couple of times and have no idea how the trail runners managed to stay sure footed. One of the friendly people I met on the trail mentioned the hike is nicer from campsites 1-6 around, it gives you full view of the mountain as you walk around. Not to be missed it the little side trail down to the waterfall!

Just be aware that the trail isn't super well marked but there are signs at official trail intersections.

19 days ago

Great hike this morning!

23 days ago

My girlfriend and I took a weekend trip here this past weekend. I have nothing but good things to say! Although a lot of the comments say it’s always crowded that only appears to be at the trail head as that splits off into numerous longer trails. We camped up at lost lake, much more private than anticipated. Gorgeous view and put a hammock by the lake. We then hiked Devils Thumb trail and blazed our own trail up a peak to an altitude of 12,100 feet! Very rocky so make sure you have good boots and socks. Great place!

24 days ago

Follow previous reviewers and take the shuttle! We hiked this in a few hours. Was moderate, as the terrain was rocky. The lake was pretty! There is also camping up by the lake too.

25 days ago

Good hike, even for kids (my 10, 8, & 6 yo made it up just fine). Go early and just assume parking is full and take the shuttle, it’ll save you 30-45 mins. Take the time to check out all of the waterfalls on Hessie trail on the way up to Lost Lake, some good sights and pic opportunities.

25 days ago

Really great hike. Got to the trailhead around 7:30 AM on a Saturday and there was zero parking available. Had to drive back down to the park and ride and got back to the trailhead around 8:15, then saw maybe 2 people on the entire way to the lake and had the entire lake to myself. Headed back down around 11:30 and passed probably 200 people coming up, so definitely come early!!

26 days ago

My favorite hike I’ve done since moving here this summer!! A good distance, great stopping views, several waterfalls, and the lake area is great! The trail can be a bit rocky at times and the trail around the lake can get tight, but worth it! Started at about 9am on a Friday and want too busy yet!

30 days ago

Great hike today! The leaves are starting to change a little already! It’s
In the open, so pretty hot. Loose rocks so have good shoes, I used my sticks. I’m 65 so not as quick as I used to be, but a nice hike for my age group! Has everything-a creek, some daisies still out, Abert squirrels. Busy trails many off lease dogs but well behaved. Loved it!

1 month ago

Normally I'm ok with the poplar trails but this one is getting to be a joke. the lake is beautiful, great place to eat; until you get a mom and her children coming up while you're eating and proceed to strip And skinny dip right in front of us, not only was this incredibly uncomfortable for us who were sitting there first but girls proceeded to PEE right in the water!! squatting right in front of us eating our f*cking lunch!
I'm all for skinny dipping but have some respect for the people around you, please don't expose your 10 year old children to the entire lake and DO NOT pee in the water!

1 month ago

very quick and easy trail with an great lake at the top. do this and diamond lake in the same day if you have time - the Lost Lake trailhead starts where the road splits to lead to Diamond Lake. get there early bc it gets very busy and hard to park.

1 month ago

Did this hike on a Thursday morning. Parking was tight but found a spot around 1130. Started the hike, took a detour to the left and found some beautiful waterfalls. Had to backtrack to get to the main trail. Rocky in parts. A bit of an incline at the end, but worth the view at the lake at the end. Not as narrow on the trail as other hikes. Quite a few bugs along the way but none at the lake which was a great place to grab a bite and enjoy the view.

1 month ago

Walk the path by the river, it’s beautiful and is not nearly as rocky. We walked the river path up and it was gorgeous!! It brings you out at a nice place to lay out in the rocks and then you continue on to the main tail to the lake.

1 month ago

The trail is beautiful and not too difficult. But I have to agree with other commenters that it’s very busy on weekends and the amount of loose rock is tricky. I still recommend it though because the lake and the waterfalls are relaxing. Also, parking at the Nederland park n ride and getting the shuttle is the way to go; it’s there every 15 minutes on the weekends and you don’t have to deal with the scarce parking at the trail head.

1 month ago

Nice well marked trail that takes you up to Lost Lake, a clear, shallow mountain lake at about 10,000 feet elevation. It’s a bit tough on the way up, but a fun hike down. Nice Mountain View’s and shallow rocky rivers with a couple large waterfalls.

1 month ago

Fairly easy hike. Good trail improvements along the way. Definitely a lot of wildflowers, waterfalls, and scenery. The lake at the top is worth every step. We would definitely come back for a picnic lunch on a nicer day. The clouds started rolling in once we made it to the lake and we had to cut the chill time short. I definitely recommend blazing your own trail at the bottom to see a few waterfalls that aren't as easy to get to or see from the main trail. As other reviews have stated stay to the left.

1 month ago

I love this hike, great views, like waterfalls and rolling rivers. go early or go late

1 month ago

Great hike! A bit rocky throughout. We had a little trouble knowing where to go to go around the lake. It was busy and parking was tight. Would go again!

1 month ago

Great hike. Beautiful views and waterfalls. Trail is stupid busy. Do yourself a favor and park in Ned at the Park n Ride and the the shuttle or you're going Yo end up adding an extra mile or two to the hike. Would be 5 stars except for the parking.

Load More