Explore the most popular trails near Nederland with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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took the family (Wife daughter 5 son 3) for their first hike. we had a great time. the waterfall is dried up at the moment but the lake was beautiful.

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.

Arrived 7:15am on a Monday in September. Only 3-4 other cars in the lot and saw no one else on the trail until we hit Isabelle. Water level is low (drained)but it was still a worthwhile hike and there’s still a decent amount of water left. A lot more foot traffic heading up to the lake when we were heading out. Back at the parking lot at 10:30am and lot was full with cars circling to find a spot. Easy hike-the elevation gain comes right before the lake.

We only hiked about 4.5 miles of this trail since we got on the road a little later than expected. Still a beautiful hike, is mostly a steep incline for the first couple miles so I would recommend being prepared for that. There’s a really pretty waterfall around mile 2(ish) off to the side. Would definitely like to go back and go backpacking!

hiking
1 day ago

I'm guessing the hard rating is based on the minor scrambling required to get to the upper lakes. Overall a great hike with 4 gorgeous lakes. Saw some people braving the cold water and had wished I packed some extra clothes to jump in as well. Even though there's a decent amount of traffic on the trail, it didn't feel overly crowded and everyone I encountered was friendly and courteous.

Had a wonderful hike but lots of people. The fall colors were amazing and I’m sure everyone had the same idea to view them. Parking is awful so get there early in the morning or later in the day around 2pm. Hike isn’t long so totally doable

Incredible views at the lake! We logged 7.75 miles round trip with a short walk by the lake and parking close to the trail head.

What an amazing hike! Its really easy with a bit of a strong incline right before blue lake. Super dog and kid friendly plus there is plenty of space at the lake to hang out.

Amazing hike with 360 views almost the whole way . Beautiful scenery and definitely a diamond in the rough . We didn’t see many people out on the trail and the parking lot is small. The road to the trail is definitely bumpy.. slow going for sure. But don’t let it keep you from going . I wasn’t expecting such an amazing hike . We didn’t get to spend as much time as we wanted at the top because it starting storming and lightening. But the view at the top - AMAZING... half the trail is dirt and some is nothing but rocks. The hike isn’t too strenuous and we only got to check out Lake Dorothy but I would definitely love to go back and explore the rest of the trail .

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike - semi quiet going up around 8:30am - lots of good flat parts with few rocky areas. Good forest, mountain and lake views. Parking near trailhead was full so parked at the Brainard Lake lot (past the pay area) so overall mileage out and back was closer to 7.3-7.5 miles.

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!

Pros:
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.

Cons:
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).

Fantastic hike with gorgeous pay off. beautiful the whole way.

Fantastic hike with great views. Decently strenuous with nearly the entire trail at an incline. Some rockier parts, definitely bring proper hiking boots. Fantastic views, especially after the treeline. Camping is possible. To get to the lake, take the Caribou Pass trail and it will be on your left. Get to the parking area early!!! It will be full by 8AM or so.

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.

hiking
2 days ago

Fall colors, incredible, next week they will be popping even more than they were on this hike.
beautiful Lake on top wasn't too busy on a Friday.

Great trail. Not hard until you start up to the upper lake. I would note that there are two trails up to the upper lake. If you go between the lakes and up, it’s pretty steep and you will end up climbing a lot of boulders. You will not follow the trail on all trails. You’ll end up to the left of the trail but will still reach the lake. You have to go around the lower big lake a bit to reach the actual trail (the one you find on all trails). It’s steep (maybe not as bad as the other way). Both trails have been travels a bunch so marked.

Trail was pretty but not sure I would do it again. Long dirt rocky road to get to the trail. Don’t not necessarily need a high clearance vehicle or 4wd. HUGE parking lot so you don’t have to worry about getting a spot. Probably holds 50 cars.

Very rocky but great trill

Beautiful hike worth the climb to the upper
Lake. Great hike to break for lunch at the halfway point.

Beautiful, scenic trail! After parking and walking around the lake, it came to 7.3 miles on my Apple Watch. Very busy trail.

Trail was beautiful. Had some friends from out of town so we didn’t go to Little Blue Lake, but Mitchell and Blue Lake were amazing. Lots of little lakes in between them as well. Top parking lot was full even on a Monday morning, so get there early or prepare to hike from a lower lot.

hiking
6 days ago

This is an absolutely beautiful trail. Lake Isabelle was really low, but it didn't matter at all. It felt like we were on a movie set. It was a great, easy hike. Definitely go during the week. We had no issues parking or with overcrowding. Coming from Texas, the heat doesn't bother us. We got there around 3P. It's very shaded so the sun wasn't an issue.

Amazing trail with fantastic view at the end! Not a full 8 miles around the lake, we did the full thing and it came out to under 7 with a lot of exploring. Absolutely breathtaking views at the end. The trail is pretty flat, with maybe max of 0.5 miles uphill. Great for out of towners. Parking fills up early, be prepared to walk extra mileage if you’re after 9 even on a weekday.
Lots of moose in the area, spotted two at the lake on the way in.

Beautiful trail! As a lot of the reviews mention, go all the way to Lost Lake! It’s a half mile up after the end of the Hessie Trail.

Huge tip to not get lost: Download the map if you have Premium version of All Trails. If you just have the free version, keep the app open on your phone. When you get there, go to the trail on All Trails and click on the trail map. When you’re in the area, your phone will show a blue dot with your location on the map. Just follow the red line to stay on the trail. When you reach the end of the Hessie Trail, follow the dotted lines to Lost Lake.

When you get to the fork where you can either go left to go to Lost Lake, or go right to go on a different trail, make sure to take a right first, walk about a quarter mile til you get to a wooden bridge that goes across a stream. That valley over the bridge is gorgeous! We were originally going to just take a left to Lost Lake, but another hiker recommend we walk down to the valley first. After you check out the valley, turn around, go back the way you came, then go left when you get back to the fork to go to Lost Lake.

The hike itself isn’t hard, but it does get rocky after the Hessie Trail ends. The elevation is the only thing that makes it somewhat difficult, it’s at 9k feet. Other reviews said it’s probably not a good hike for out of towners, but I disagree. There were 6 year old kids on the trail and they were making it just fine. Just make sure to bring lots of water.

Also, about a quarter mile before you get to the end of the Hessie Trail you’ll hear a waterfall. Follow the sound, and it will take you to the beautiful stream that turns into a waterfall. It’s where the pictures of people in the water were taken on this trail description. Must see! Water is freezing, but very refreshing on a hot day.

Travel about 7 miles on the East Portal Inlet/Tolland dirt road out of Rollinsville, CO to the Moffat Tunnel. The road is a bit rough in spots, but easily traveled with a 2WD vehicle. This is a cool tunnel that cuts through the Continental Divide for about 6 miles and ends up on the other side in Winter Park. Once you make it up to the two lakes, by climbing up the steep talus and dirt trail to the upper Crater Lake, you get a beautiful view of this section of the Divide and the lake which has a deep green tint reflecting the peaks above. We saw quite a few marmots in the talus field on the way back down to the lower Crater Lakes and a beautiful panoramic view of that area below and the surrounding mountains. Take your time with this easy scramble because of the scree and loose rock. Our retrievers made the up and down just fine. We camped at the east lake and filtered water from there. It’s crowded for the hike up from the trailhead, but most are day hikers. The Saturday night we camped, there were probably about 3-4 other groups camping overnight along with us in other camp areas. You can pick your own campsite, but it’s encouraged to use a place already camped before obviously. The trail is rated as Hard, but I would say that would be for the upper lake trek where it’s much steeper, but a fun scramble, than the hike up to the two lower Crater Lakes. I really enjoyed this trail especially since you don’t need a permit for an overnight. At this time of year several of the streams were dry under the bridge crossings, but there still is a waterfall, and another good running stream on the way up besides the lake for water. The aspens were changing colors making for a beautiful hike. I’ll do this one again!

Great trail with scenic views! We hiked counterclockwise and camped one night at Devils Thumb Lake. You have to have a permit durning the summer months up until Sept 15th. We camped on 9/7 and the temperature at night got down to around 30 - 31 degrees so make sure you have the correct gear even in early September. The first part of the trail going counter clockwise with a 35lb - 40lb pack can be difficult on some of the climbs in elevation, take breaks and drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine. There are plenty of water opportunities on the trail, so accessing water isn’t an issue for the most part. The ascend up from Devils Thumb Lake to the High Lonesome Trail has some great views you climb about 1,000 feet over approx a 1/2 - 3/4 mile. The rest of the trail after you come down off the High Lonesome Trail by King Lake you’ll be going down in elevation the remainder of the time. The overall trail is marked “ok” but recommend having a map or gps as back up, I would not rely on the trail markers only when hiking this trail. Great 15 + mile trail with beautiful views......go get some!!

Great views and some challenging terrain! Super packed. Get here early or you'll add about two miles to your trek because the upper lot is usually full and you have to hike another mile to the trail head. Overall a nice easy/ moderate trail.

hiking
7 days ago

I thought the crowds would thin after Labor Day. I was wrong. This is a beautiful hike just be prepared to fight the hoards. We had to park up the road which added two miles to the hike and kept us from going all the way to the glacier. Despite the crowds the views are spectacular. Fairly easy hike with only a couple of steep spots. Lots of water throughout. This is a great one if you don't mind all the people.

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