Lost Lakes - Devils Causeway

MODERATE 66 reviews

Lost Lakes - Devils Causeway is a 10 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Yampa, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,814 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

Drive to Yampa and turn at the sign for the "business district." Drive through town to Highway 7. A sign here tells visitors Stillwater Reservoir is 17 miles. You'll drive on a paved road, then a bumpy dirt road to Stillwater Reservoir at the end of the road. Use the turn around at the end of the road and find a parking space.

hiking
18 minutes ago

Hiked the loop on 7/11/18 started at about 8am. No snow on trails, awesome weather, and we only saw two other hikers the entire 10 miles. I’m not a seasoned biker by any means but I found the trails to be scarcely/confusingly marked. Take a map with you for sure!! The first two miles up to the causeway were kind of steep but then it’s pretty smooth sailing. There was a good amount of bugs in the forested areas FYI.

6 days ago

Killer wildflowers - July 12th

hiking
20 days ago

Hiked the out-and-back on 6/30 and WOW it was perfect with wildflowers in full bloom! We started the hike around 9am (left Denver just before 6am) and I'd suggest starting by 9am or sooner to avoid the crowds. It's a great trail with the last section being much steeper than I expected, but it doesn't last for too long (almost all of the elevation gain is in the last 3/4 mile). We had the causeway to ourselves for about 45 minutes and the views from the top are amazing. On the way down there were hordes of people - one group of 20, two groups of 10, and tons of smaller groups. I'd only feel comfortable crossing the causeway one-by-one, so I expect it gets pretty backed up if you don't start early-ish.

hiking
1 month ago

My wife and I attempted on 5/27. We got started from the trailhead right around 7:30 AM. The first 2 miles were pretty straightforward and we made some good time. A lot of patches of snow covering the trail, but solid foot prints allowed us to keep on the trail. There were enough breaks that we could keep on the trail no problem. Once we got about 2 miles in, the trail was completely lost. We saw a trail marker sticking out of the snow saying "Please stay on the trail," but it was no where to be found. We spent about 2 hours trying to scale the face in the snow. By about 11 AM, we were post holing knee deep or even waist deep with every step. Made it to about 11,400 before the snow gave out underneath my wife and she slid back down about 100 feet on top of the snow. At that point, I slid down myself.

As Ben said, it is possible to reach the top, but not via the trail. There was a large area of rock exposed that may have made the top accessible via scrambling . More equipment would make it an easier trip up. All we had were some microspikes. Definitely would recommend starting early because as the sun heats up, the post holing becomes much worse. The way back down was significantly more challenging because all of the snow we simply walked on top in the morning was now melted and caused post holing with every step. Even without reaching the Causeway, it was still a beautiful and certainly memorable hike.

1 month ago

Flight 159- just finished this hike, it was way more intense than I had hoped. The south side was pretty close to impassable without an ice ax and crampons, I luckily found a spot where we could down climb but it was way off trail. There were a few sections where we cliffed out and had to find a different way down, not on the trail. The trail is covered in snow and we were postholing the entire trail. If you do it make sure you have the right equipment, I would even suggest snowshoes. In all it took us 9 hours to do a 10 mile hike. I might suggest doing it later in June. Good luck to the Matthew doing it on the 27th. Camping is plentiful and the road up is fine.

hiking
1 month ago

Matthew I appreciate the info. Was worth a shot to see if anyone had hiked it lately. I have been attempting to get through to the Yampa Ranger District with no success as of yet. I may just wing it and see what happens. Happy Trails!

hiking
1 month ago

Flight 159 - My wife and I are going to try to do the trail on 5/27/18. I also have been looking for condition reports but have not found any. Looking at the map of US Forest Service Road 900 there are multiple campgrounds along the way each maintained by the US Forest Service. Bear Lake Campground which is 4 miles from the trailhead is open as of 5/14/18 (https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbr/recarea/?recid=23030). Horseshoe Campground and Cold Springs Campground both still say "Unreachable" on their respective USFS pages, but both say they generally open on Memorial Day weekend, but with snow until mid-June. I will report back next Tuesday 5/29/18 on road and trail conditions that we encounter. USFS site for The Devils Causeway also states "Unreachable" (https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbr/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=79305&actid=50)

hiking
1 month ago

Has anyone been on this trail lately. Thinking about backpacking in the next week but looking for a condition report? thx

hiking
3 months ago

The road is currently pretty impassible. I tried to get out there today with my 4WD Wrangler and ended up getting stuck in the deep snow along the sides. You could maybe get out there with a snowmobile or a 4WD that has chains but the snow really makes you fishtail, is slushy and deep in a lot of places, and feels like it's going to throw you off the road. The drive toward Yampa was gorgeous though so I can't wait until summer when the snow is gone to get back out here!

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike. Garmin has it at 10.7 miles. Starting to get a little windy and cool. Make sure you start early because by noon rain clouds and lightning develop. It took us roughly 5 1/2 hours to do the round trip with stops and lunch. It is approximately an hour and a half drive to trail head from Steamboat Springs. Elk hunting season has started so be aware this is a heavily hunted area and you may want to avoid it during rifle season.

10 months ago

Challenging first half of the hike and the causeway is a bit scary but it's all well worth it!

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike. Great view. Great for prepping for narrow bridges, in my case Angels Landing in Zion next week :) I only did thru the causeway and back which was around 6 miles + round trip. No protection from lightening/storms, make sure you weather watch. Relatively easy/moderate hike, until the last 1.8ish miles which is up up up. Lots of sheep on the trail, so if you have dogs, be sure to leash up, the herding dogs are very vocal. More info, this is the best website:
http://www.rockymountainhikingtrails.com/devils-causeway.html
There are no real signs, so please remember to stay right at both forks to complete the loop

10 months ago

Great hike. Garmin has it at 10.7 miles. Starting to get a little windy and cool. Make sure you start early because by noon rain clouds and lightning develop. It took us roughly 5 1/2 hours to do the round trip with stops and lunch. It is approximately an hour and a half drive to trail head from Steamboat Springs. Elk hunting season has started so be aware this is a heavily hunted area and you may want to avoid it during rifle season.

hiking
10 months ago

I highly recommend this hike for the diversity of the landscapes you get to see along the way. The altitude was a little hard for me but you can take your time and enjoy the view. This was my first trip to the Flat Tops and I can't wait to go back.

hiking
10 months ago

Astounding hike. We did the 10 mile loop in ~6 hours, including lunch breaks and a ton of stops for us unaccustomed to the altitude. the hike to DC was demanding but beautiful. the causeway itself was maybe the most terrifying thing I've ever done, but the feeling you get afterwards is incredible. The back 6 miles are incredible and easy, and you're rewarded with some solitude after the DC crossing. can't recommend it enough

hiking
11 months ago

Such a great experience! Scary crossing the causeway, but an adrenaline rush for sure. Definitely longer than 10.1 miles. We logged nearly 14 miles for this trail.

hiking
11 months ago

Just hiked up to the devils causeway and back down last weekend. Mosquitos weren't bad at all, flys were more bothersome. Got up and down in 2hr 40min. Unique hike

Friday, July 14, 2017

I completed this loop on July 13, 2017 in just under 6 hours with lots of photo stops and rest breaks. Spectacular hike with varied terrain and amazing profusion of wildflowers on the lower portions. I started at the Stillwater Reservoir TH and went right past Little Causeway Lake up to the Devils Causeway (DC). I am a fit and experienced hiker and rate the ascent up DC as one of the most physically demanding I've experienced - due to steepness and altitude - but absolutely worth the effort. The top of the approach to DC has snow banks covering the trail in 2 spots, but they are easily traversed. Crossing the DC was fun and exhilarating - more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge, and I felt safe doing it. The vistas from the top are world class. Once across the DC and continuing the loop to connect with Bear Creek trail, I was surprised at the lovely meandering miles across the high elevation bench - basically a gentle slow descent atop one of the Flat top plateaus. You are above tree line here and fully exposed to sun/rain for a few miles. The final few miles descend into alpine pine forest and running river for a complete change of scenery. Bear Creek trail has running snowmelt on it at times and some more minor snowfield crossings - nothing difficult, just wet. NOTE that the mosquitos at the lower elevations (the first and last few miles) are brutal! Swarms and aggressive - but my deet worked great.

hiking
Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Beautiful country, getting a little to populated for my liking, but if u come to the flat tops it's a must do hike.

backpacking
Monday, July 03, 2017

Just did this loop counter-clockwise as an overnight trip, starting at the Stillwater Reserve trailhead and going up the East Fork trail, across the Devil's Causeway, down the Chinese Wall Trail, and back up Bear River. Beautiful hike, lots of bugs, little sketchy across the Causeway but my dog and I made it across fine. From about mile 2 to mile 6 or so is above treeline and rather exposed.

Friday, April 07, 2017

It is a long hike and the end gets steep. Very enjoyable!

hiking
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hiked to and across the causeway, then back in July. The causeway was so amazing and fun to cross. Makes for fun pictures too! There were a lot of mosquitos in the first half of the hike up, in the woods. Still worth it!

hiking
Monday, October 03, 2016

Actually the best hike ever. One of the most amazing views I've ever seen and what a thrill it is crossing the causeway.

hiking
Monday, September 12, 2016

Tons of mosquitoes, difficult hike, no facilities. I wouldnt reccomend it.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

This hike is awesome. Loved the varying terrain. I was worried about crossing the causeway, but found it doable for all skill levels. I was still nervous, but it was not as bad as I anticipated. Hiking on the flat tops was great with great views.

hiking
Saturday, August 06, 2016

It's 6 miles if you hike up to the devils causeway and back, instead of doing the full loop if your short on time like I was. Quite easy at first, than gets pretty steep but the views are phenomenal. I crawled on all fours over the causeway, someone on the trail told me that I have a 'healthy fear' of heights. Lots of wildlife and people that were hiking the trail, camping on road to trail. It is busy during summer but overall a terrific trail, the flat top mountains are a sight to see, and the devils causeway is a great mental/physical challenge for any hiker.

hiking
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Crazy awesome!
Steep and narrow edges.
Beauties views

hiking
Friday, July 08, 2016

Great hike! Just finished this 6.2 mile hike in 2.5 hours. Pretty easy hike until the last climb to get to the top of the ridge. Once at the top you'll have an awesome view of the surrounding mountains and the valleys in between them. If you dislike heights this is a good hike to face your fear as its not to steep of a climb. If you're in the area don't hesitate to do it! Also bring a camera!

backpacking
Saturday, June 25, 2016

I do a variation of this hike where I drop over the first ridge and spend a few days exploring the valley below. Then I climb up the "Chinese Wall" on the north trail and navigate along the rim back towards the causeway. After crossing the causeway I make my way back to the parking lot. It's about a 22-24 mile loop and makes for a great 2-3 day getaway. Plenty of lakes along the way and a great fishing hole at West Lost Lake.

hiking
Saturday, June 20, 2015

Breathtaking!! Awesome trail, well kept, a few trees down here and there, still snow covered at the top but still able to reach saddle.

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