Explore the most popular river 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.

hiking
16 hours ago

Very rocky trail, too many people and a drained lake. It should be called a reservoir not a lake. People should be TOLD when getting a permit that the lake has been drained. Huge disappointment. (see pic of Jasper pond)

Wonderful views. The trail was great for the kids (ages 6 and 9). Bring your bug repellant of choice. Lots of mosquitos near the lake. Soo beautiful!

Didn’t get up to area until 10:30am, on a Monday however no trouble parking at brainard lake parking. Beautiful lakes, meandering paths until you reach Mitchell lake then it is rocky path up to blue lake which is not difficult to navigate. Trails very well marked. Did not attempt little blue, however, it must be beautiful. I can only imagine. It must be a very steep rocky ascent. It wasn’t overly crowded however once at blue lake you certainly see and hear others. I can’t imagine it with more people. We did have a moose sighting which was a gift. This hike is now one of my must dos during my annual visit Home to Boulder

I actually ended up hiking this path while trying to find Dorothy Lake, but am very happy I found this gem. If you’re brave enough to descend the mountain, there is a beautiful valley that you’ll likely get all to yourself. There were only a couple of birds in the area – otherwise it was completely silent and still. The trees and lake in the valley are pristine. Bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic to enjoy the valley.

You’ll want your energy for the hike back up the trail. It’s a series of very steep switchbacks with quite a bit of wind and sun exposure. All in all, it took about 6 hours for two semi-experienced hikers to hike the entire trail to Caribou Lake. While it’s a challenge to climb up and endure the return walk after the valley, the trail is rewarding. Bring plenty of water.

I liked that this trail had variety of sceneries. Many shaded area as well as some meadows and rocky terrains. Great for dogs since there is a creek running by, and the lakes to get to. Wild flowers are beautiful in August. I saw a coyote (I think) and moose!

Beautiful hike on August 6, 2018.

Beautiful views: mountain-backed lakes, harsh ridge lines, and wildflowers. Well-marked trail.

We hiked clockwise, three days, two nights -camped at Bettie Lake and Devil’s Thumb Lake, felt alone at both. Jasper Lake looked like a popular camping spot, and there was a site by the stream right before the off-shoot to Bob and Bettie Lakes if you don’t want to leave the loop. We were skinny-dipping at Devil’s Thumb and realized there was a lone fisherman across the lake getting a great show, haha, but otherwise, camping was very peaceful.

I was thankful for layers because it was really hot during the day, but surprisingly cold as soon as the sun dipped. We made Nalgene hot water bottles to supplement our 20* sleeping bags.

We hiked mid-week (Aug 8-10) and saw more hikers and trail-runners than backpackers. Some people struggling, but then also an older couple of women crushing it, and a Dad with two young kids. I’m a beginner with a heavy pack and ended each day smiling.

Brought my 35lb pup - she wore off her front pads chasing marmot in the rocks... which wouldn’t have been a problem if I had kept her on leash. She loved it. Didn’t see many (any?) dogs out towards the peak, but lots at the trailhead. Leash definitely required for the first bit.

Elevation is no joke, but plenty of places to refill water, so keep drinking!!

Side note: we stopped in Ned on the way home and ate at the Thai restaurant - killer $10 lunch deal!

Arrived at 5:15 am on Saturday and there were a lot of cars parked on the side of the road but still plenty of space. People can't seem to agree on which way to go- I decided to go counterclockwise and I'm very glad I did.

I have been up to Jasper Lake a couple of times but this is the first time I tried the loop. In my opinion the north side of the loop is more scenic. It's best to do it in the morning when the lighting is better and you still have energy. Also I like steep inclines more than steep declines as they're more exciting and less stressful on the knees. Saw a bull moose about halfway up to Jasper Lake. That was pretty terrifying as he was only 25 yards or so off of the trail hidden behind some trees. I snapped a quick picture and got out of there.

The trail is pretty easy. The distance is the hard part. I was feeling pretty haggard on the last 3-4 miles. Got back to the parking lot a little before 3PM. I probably could of finished at 2 if I hadn't of taken so many pictures.

Overall an awesome hike! My favorite one so far

Scenic and forested. The last 3/4 of the hike got hard and had me wondering if I was ever going to make it, but it was worth the effort to get to beautiful mountain lakes.

I usually love this hike but the lake was about half drained, almost no water.

Not a loop trail, and it is over 2 miles one way to get to Lost Lake. We had a time constraint and had to turn around and didn't see the lake. Due to misleading description on AllTrails we didn't allow enough time. Trail is poorly marked with a few spots you have to choose a trail, but indeed there are many hikers to consult. Download the map before you get up there. I forgot and didn't have service so it was too late. Map would have been helpful. The difficulty ratings on AllTrails are also misleading. As an experienced and relatively fit hiker this hike is easy, but the I'm trying to find a trail for out of town visitors with varying fitness levels and this ain't it. There's many other trails on AllTrails rated as easy that are clearly not easy.

Cool hike and views from the upper lake. Many, many people due to the parking lot being so big. I would rate the TH to the two lakes has a moderate hike and if you choose to go up that last .5 mile is hard. There are two trails up, the one in view from standing between the lakes is a scramble up and then down 150 ft to the lake. The trail to the east is steep too but drops you at the lake shore.

overall, nice hike with tons of people.

A great, moderate hike. My wife and I didn't make it up to Little Blue Lake, and by the time we made it to Blue Lake, it looked like it was going to storm on the day we visited, 8-5-18. Blue Lake was still a great spot eat lunch and take some pictures. It ended up not storming, so we'll be back soon to do a complete circuit.

There were still plenty of wildflowers in bloom, and we arrived shortly after a lengthy bout of rain, so some of the streams were overflowing and added to scenery and enjoyment. We missed sighting a moose with her 2 calves by just a few minutes, but saw plenty of birds and rodents. The route was well maintained and not densely trafficked while visiting on a Sunday morning and in fact we had about a quarter mile stretch on the way back where it was just the two of us. Excellent photography opportunities along the way. I look forward to returning

A dramatic backdrop, wildflowers, wildlife, multiple lakes and waterfalls... this trail really does have it all! (and has quickly moved up my list of favorite hikes to do in Colorado). Echoing the reviews already posted, yes definitely get there early... I arrived at 7 AM on a rainy Sunday and the parking lot was still filling up pretty quickly. Also, the rocky scramble up to Little Blue Lake is pretty challenging and not very well marked... beautiful up there, but certainly not for all skill sets. Blue Lake alone is still well worth the trip though!

my favorite trail

on Jasper Lake Trail

11 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike with varied terrain. I arrived about 9am on Saturday and the trailhead was busy. Parking is very limited so I would suggest starting between 7 and 8am if you can. I noticed a shuttle taking people up to the trailhead but I'm not sure how often it runs or where the pick up/drop off location is. The bypass trail to Jasper lake was fairly dry. Not much snow until you got closer to the lake. Sometimes you find yourself maneuvering muddy sections or walking through a shallow stream. My feet stayed dry for the most part, wearing water resistant shoes. Highlight of the hike was sighting two moose. I can't wait to come back and do more exploring. Would highly recommend!

Lakes r theraputic. If I hike this again Ill either camp at the base and do rogers pass the following day or camp at the middle of the trail at the lower lakes n trout fish. Def wish I knew it was such a great camping area w so many alike enthusiast to share the adventure with. The hiker companionship is strong w this trail.

hiking
12 days ago

I haven't been on many hikes in Colorado yet, but this one is my favorite so far. Hiking all the way up to the lake is well worth it. There's a good mix of forest and meadows with lots of wildflowers. The elevation gain is gradual and not difficult at all. I've been able to do this hike a couple times already in tennis shoes. I highly recommend checking this one out if you haven't already!

My latest trip was on a Friday and I had no trouble finding parking along the side of the road at 7:30 AM...weekends and holidays are a different story. When in doubt, take the shuttle from Nederland (holidays and weekends in the summer I believe). I took the shuttle on the 4th of July and it was an excellent experience. It's FREE!

hiking
12 days ago

Everyone below is spot on, it’s very gravely in the beginning. Lots of family’s at the beginning too. Once you get up about a mile, it splits into a bunch of different directions. That’s when it gets good. I was very surprised how wet the trails was, so be warned. I had hiking boots, so I was good, my friend not so much! It’s gorgeous. It’s very green and worth it!

This hike has ton to see, moose, open meadows, snow melt streams and killer views. It ramps up in elevation from mile 2 to 3, and once you are above tree line the last mile to the top is steep but worth it. The Thumb is kind of an optical illusion, you will see what I mean when you get there.

great hike,views are amazing. and wild life everywhere.

backpacking
13 days ago

Trail has a lot of loose rocks makes it hard to keep footing up and down. Very steep in places. Moose, deer, bear all in the area. Wild flowers, amazing! Don't even bother with trying to park at Hessie trailhead on the weekends. The shuttle from Nederland is quick, comfortable and very convenient and best of all FREE.

Easy hike to Blue Lake. Great for an inflatable boat.

After reading many reviews here, we got to the trailhead at 6:30am (on a Thursday) and there were only a few cars in the lot. Hardly anyone on the trail at that time. Around 7:45-8am we nearly ran into two bull moose eating right on the trail! We had just come to the top of a steep hill and couldn’t see them until we got to the top. Very cool though- maybe 50 yards from us. We also saw two big buck closer to the lake. The views are spectacular and have everything you’d want to see/ views, wildflowers were still in bloom (8/2/18), waterfalls, wildlife etc. The entire trail is pretty rocky so it slowed us down a bit.. but we did also stop a lot to take pictures. Coming down the trail around 9:30-10:30 we passed tons of people. If you want to see wildlife I’d definitely go early morning or late afternoon.

Agree with everyone that the upper lake is a must do. It is a long, gradual climb to the lower lakes, some rocky and rooty segments from the parking lot. We saw quite a bit of traffic on a Saturday morning but so it goes these days in Colorado.

Upper lake is steep, but the trail is obvious from the lower lakes and it's beautiful. Since you're almost there, keep going! There is a bit of rock scrambling at the top but look for the cairns and you'll be fine.

Wildflowers are about done for this year but still plenty of stragglers along the way.

Very beautiful lake views! This is the only lake I’ve been to that has a waterfall flowing into it, or better yet down an enormous mountain!
I didn’t go to the little blue lake as the trail got extremely rocky and steep. But the view of the bigger one was worth it!

I enjoy this hike year after year, but parking has become a problem. We were at the park entrance at 8:15 and had to park at Brainard Lake because the Mitchell Lake trailhead parking lot was already full! This adds about a mile in each direction to the hike.
The wildflowers were pretty spent, but the three male moose we saw made up for it.
I recommend this hike, but plan to get there early.

Super beautiful, takes about 3hours to get there from the creek at hessie trail. Make sure to have pups on leashes

Beautiful hike. Lots of wildflowers, several moose, overall great scenery. The pup also loved it. Parking at the Mitchell Lake trailhead was full, but you can still park at Brainard and there’s a trail that brings you up.

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