Explore the most popular camping 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.

Nice easy walk. Good for dogs and little ones. If stream is dry don’t expect a waterfall show. Good picnic spots around the reservoir

Awesome trail with great hikers. 0 trash found and overall well maintained. I brought and out of town relative here for an overnight. couldn't have asked for more. Camped at the lower lakes then hiked the upper before breaking down camp for the hike down. it's got fair traffic but overall does not take away from the experience. I will definitely do this again in day hike format.

Waterfall and creek was dry.

I did this trail to warm up for the Dead and Company shows in Boulder the following weekend. This trail had everything, low traffic (in the morning), a challenging climb, loads of flowers, and spectacular peaks towering over you. I climbed up the south ridge of the Crater Lake saddle to get up to a beautiful view of the next valley and then climbed on up to the continental divide. Hike exceeded my high expectations of hike in the Rockies.

3 days ago

Very easy did this hike mid-July. We stayed at the campground the night before which was nice. Free sites were also along the road. Vault toilets at the trailhead. Nicely shaded trail. We just wish there was a better spot near the lake for our dog to jump in and cool off. This parking lot was PACKED by noon so plan accordingly.

Enjoyed the hike. The wildflowers are out in full force. Not to be outdone by the flowers, at the first lake 3 good sized fish decided to feed right where we were standing and one was courteous enough to stop and pose for the camera (see pic)! And, so the fish and flowers weren't to get all the glory while walking back a Weidemeyer's Admiral butterfly landed on the trail and showed off for the camera as well (pic posted too). There were quite a few people on the trail and even at the uppermost lake - so bummer for that. But we had the third lake all to ourselves. We had never hiked up the rock path before - previously traveling up the path that follows more along the major waterflow between the 2nd and 3rd lakes. We decided will stick with our original path - much!!!! prettier!!!!!!

We stayed at the lower 2 Crater Lakes and oh my goodness it was busy! The lower lakes are ~4mi and 1500’ gain according to my GPS. We hiked to the upper lakes the next morning, another 700’ gain and 0.7miles. We had our full packs so it was a workout. The hiking poles for the descent were a must. There was quite a bit of talus to navigate.

Crater lakes is beautiful, the wildflowers are at peak right now. The campsite was nice, I was just in awe of how crowded it was (yes on a July weekend, should I be so surprised?!) All campers were respectful and tried to minimize impact. Everyone was using bear canisters or bear bags but with as many people and dogs were there that night, I didn’t think a bear would be wandering through.

The initial part of the joint trail that serves a number of hikes is gentle although the quality of the trail can hit the feet in places!
The turn to the Crater lakes begins the fun/hurt, the gradient at times was a challenge for a 66 years young person who lives at sea level but for the young and locals the trip to the first lakes is moderate. Then you look up and see people trying to climb what seems like a vertical trail to the lakes beyond. That climb also includes scrambling over two areas of boulders, again easier for the younger hikers - overall a good trip especially if you manage the final climb - a great sense of achievement.

It was so beautiful my eyes could barely stand it. Definitely do the final lake. It takes a scramble but it’s more like a playground of rocks.

One of my favorite local hikes! Nice because unlike some trails in Roosevelt National Forest there is an actual parking lot with ample parking. Even on the fourth of July we found parking without difficulty. It is heavily trafficked but everyone was polite and friendly and followed good trail etiuqette. If you don't do the final scramble I think this clocks in more like a moderate, personally.

8 days ago

Road was fine for my 2door hatchback with standard clearance. sporadic potholes but they are easy to straddle.
A sweet little hike. I wouldn't suggest it for backpacking because it's very short (my GPS says less than 2miles) and there aren't many places to go off trail to camp without messing up a restoration area or camping g in the middle of an animal trail. I use a bivy sac and it was still difficult to find a good spot.
SO many mosquitos-- bring bug spray for real.
If you're looking for a fun spot to mess around in small lakes and not have to hike too far from camp this is perfect. Pretty pines and aspens and a few glimpses of a pretty mountain but no wide vistas. It's a very easy hike if you're looking for a short nature woodsy walk without building up too much of a sweat this is a good trail for you.
There's access to Arapahoe Glacier Trail from this Trailhead and if I'd had time I would've turned around and done that instead. That is probably an amazing hike to a wide vista very close by and if you'll be at the campground a while you could goall the way to Arapahoe Pass and Lake Dorothy in a day if you left early.

This was such an incredible hike. Amazing views and a difficult trail that wasn’t too long. The hike to the upper lake is really hard, scrambly in places, but worthwhile. Not a lot of people went up that far and it was a great place to recharge before descending.

Bring your big boy (or girl) pants for this one! Sketchy trail down to Caribou lake but you'll be rewarded with the most scenic Oasis in Mount Mordor. You'll have it to yourself and few others because everyone has to make that conscious decision to actually trek down the mountain to the lake, I'd say 80 percent say hell no. Lots of trout, flowers and just beautiful surroundings. We loved this place until we had to make the long trek back, it's a tough one. I already complained about the train wreck of a dirt road car pile up on the lake Dorothy page, I won't repeat.

Incredible hike! The view at the top is absolutely stunning, we spent an hour staring in awe at the beauty. We took our 2 dogs with us and they had a great time hiking as well. 100% recommend!

Very nice pretty much the trail is shady and it’s just beautiful

The hike itself is exceptional. This review relates directly to parking logistics and the dangers currently present at the top of Fourth of July trailhead. By 10 A.M., more than 200 cars were parked illegally, stopping all incoming and outbound hiking car traffic on the road. Local residents were running around screaming at folks who parked on the side of the road, blocking traffic. It took more than an hour and a game of musical trails to ensure we could make it off the mountain this morning. Parking logistics are at an emergency status on this trail. Park services must take action now.

I brought my dog. I’m new at this hiking stuff and I found the trail good for a newbie. It was kinda short but it had some great views,

Very nice, easy trial to a series of lakes. Great for kids, families, dogs- everyone! Rocky trail at certain points, but not hard to navigate. Stunning views of the mountains and nearby glacier from the last lake.
Bring your mosquito repellant- they are out in full effect once you get closer to water.

This is an extremely easy hike! Essentially it’s a nature walk with one exception and that’s around the “waterfall” area which is a bit rockier and steeper, but really only difficult for older dogs and small children. (Cool canyon view there.) Wasn’t terribly impressed with this one - very limited views once you’re on the trail which was pretty crowded, the waterfall is barely worth the title, buggier than anticipated for mid-summer and LOTS of garbage! The wildflowers and wildlife made the walk out to the reservoir worth while, but there’s little reason to stay more than a few minutes as the shoreline is too rocky and wooded to explore. Also note: getting there it’s fun as the drive is spectacular and you do a bit of “off-reading”; there’s no swimming allowed and it is patrolled. Take the kiddos, enjoy the drive, just don’t expect too much.

Pro: Not much snow.
Con: It all turned to mud and high creeks.

So I'm thinking maybe there's a week in August where there's no snow, and no mud, or high water, before it starts snowing again, but I digress. This is a beautiful and amazing route, with gradual inclines until you get near High Lonesome, at which point it gets a tad steep. Once you're up top, there's a shoe-sized narrow single track trail through the tundra, and it's hard to believe they have a guy up there mowing the lawn but it looks like a giant putting green. I saw two marmots and a dude who was hiking the CT from Mexico and smelled like a garbage can. Okay but here's your warning. There's some exposure and snow over some rocks once you get to the beginning of the Devil's Thumb trail (don't try to sled down it you fool!). I used my hands to arrest any potential fall but it was a bit steep and scary. At the rocks just scramble down and you'll see the trail again, it's kind of hidden. After that there's a lot of loose rock/tripping roots for the rest of the way, with several stream crossings. Unless you mastered the long jump, prepare to get your feet soaking wet. There's no way around it. Then there are a few sections where there is friction-less mud, so watch your footing. Also there are spots where plants have overgrown the trail and disguise hazards, but that's their way of playing a trick on you! Anyway, it took me around 4 hours with stops etc because I took a bunch of pictures. I'd post them but it would spoil the beauty for you, so take your own pictures. Also the wildflowers are awesome right now.

Per some recent questions regarding access to Brainard Lake, please see the link below. Yes, the road is now open. Work was completed on 6/29/18...


Love the micro climate with the hanging moss. Snowing in this area is wonderful. I also fish in Boulder creek. Less busy in winter and does have vault bathroom. If your lucky the trains in winter are cool.

Does anybody know if the road is open here yet?

7.1.2018 - Two day backpacking trip on the Devil's Thumb trail with a detour to Bob and Betty Lakes. Virtually no snow encountered but the winds were strong above treeline. Bonus: Fabulous flowers everywhere!

Spectacular hike and wild flower display. The hike to upper Crater Lake was steep but well worth the effort! We had the lake all to ourselves. We had plenty of opportunities to refill filter water bottles ( it was particularly hot yesterday) and watering for our fur baby. The gnats at the first lake were pretty aweful as they appeared in a giant swarm for about 20 yds...I am sure you could almost eat your weight in those!

Stunning wildflowers, great camping, gorgeous views. We camped between the two lower lakes and hiked up next to the waterfall to Upper Crater Lake. The upper lake is emerald green and breathtaking, well worth the 1000 ft elevation gain after you drop your packs. Minimal snow on the trail as of 7/1, no special gear needed. Some traffic on the trail but still easily found a camping spot. Incline was gradual and not at all hard. Will be back for sure. Check out the aftermath of an avalanche between the lakes: trees snapped in half and stripped of branches. Pretty jawdropping.

17 days ago

Parking at Hessie Trailhead is always funky! Great hike to Jasper Lake with steady and not too bad grade up in elevation. Saw a moose!

Easy quick hike. Great for beginners. The waterfall isnt has the pic shows. Hardley any water coming down. Still a great hike. The lake was beautiful.

This was an awesome trail. Did this hike about 3-4 weeks ago and it was very wet. Trail finding was also a bit difficult towards the top which definitely added about a mile into our hike each way. However it was totally worth it once we got up to Jasper Lake. Can’t wait to make it up to Devils Thumb lake later in the summer.

Beautiful hike. A little snow near the lake, but can easily navigate around, so won't be an issue. A lot of water on the trail, so bring appropriate footwear but otherwise free and clear. Not too strenuous a hike and has great views.

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