Explore the most popular walking 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.

Absolutely stunning. Even though wild flowers had already peaked, this trail is breathtaking.

Lives up to its billing. Beautiful hike.

Good, easy hike with kids. Plenty of shade, nice views toward the end of the trail. Waterfall and creek are dried up, I am sure it is more beautiful with higher water.

8/13/18
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!

so beautiful at the top. highly highly recommend. get there as early as possible for parking.

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.

Nice hike with not too many people on a Friday in summer, but be aware that Jasper Lake (a reservoir) gets drained this time of year (like Lake Isabelle up in Brainard Lake Rec Area). We found a nearly empty lake when we arrived, but had planned on continuing to Devil's Thumb Lake anyway, which was quite nice.

The hike, while a little long, is pretty moderate throughout with a bit of rockiness in many areas, so watch your footing. It is in and out of the trees, so a good mix of sun and shade, and no issues with exposure/dropoffs.

Overall, I recorded round-trip stats of 13 mi/2,600' elevation gain from the 2WD TH to the end of Devil's Thumb Lake.

hiking
2 days ago

Not sure if I would rate this a easy trail. Pretty rocky going up to the lake had a old dog that had a hard time as well as took the kids a while to navigate with the slipping rocks. I would say it has amazing views; but my moderate trail.

hiking
2 days 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.

hiking
2 days ago

On a whim I was looking for something relatively short with some elevation gain since I just moved to Denver and hunting season will soon be upon us. Driving there was pretty easy as the road looks like it was just graded this spring or early summer. don't get going too fast or your tail end will try to come around! There's a five mile dirt road approach that looks highly seasonal, but is fine for all but the lowest cars if you're careful and avoid the potholes and go slowly over washboarding.

The hike itself is nice and relatively gentle elevation gain. I'd recommend some trekking poles for the rocky path you have to take, or perhaps just some sturdy ankle support wielding boots. I'd absolutely come back here, it looks like the trail goes further than the last lake but I didn't have a GPS and it began to look like a goat path. For another day then.

Now one of my top five all-time favorites. First time I have done this hike. Only went to Blue Lake—didn’t do the rock scramble up to Little Blue Lake. Has a little bit of everything: river crossings, valley views, lake views, etc. I prepared for mosquitos after seeing all the reviews where people got eaten alive, but we went mid-August and some of the wet areas were dried up, so I’m thinking the breeding grounds weren’t as plentiful. We didn’t see a single mosquito. Most of the wildflowers were done, but there were still some blooming here and there. We saw a female moose and her baby lounging in a meadow. On the way back we saw a bull moose across one of the ponds. Also saw various other smaller wildlife. Nice to have facilities right at the trailhead. Went on a Thursday morning at 8 am and got in no problem, but there were plenty of cars in the parking lot.

I loved this trail! The scenery was spectacular, the trail well marked and the wildflowers in abundance.
One of the best hikes I’ve done in awhile and I would highly recommend it.

Great hike. If you're going to go, get there early. Parking fills up and then you have to wait to even get in the park. The path is a little rocky, but not bad and the views are awesome.

hiking
4 days ago

Couldn't have asked for a better hike today. The weather was beautiful, we had to park at the Brainard Lake Lot after getting there at 9am. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I had expected
Everyone we did come across was super nice and very quiet. If someone can tell me of a place that is this easy of a hike and even more beautiful please let me know. I'm not sure there is a place.

on Mitchell Lake Trail

hiking
4 days ago

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

so pretty! lots of fun things to see along the trail. I loved the many creeks, lakes and flowers.

backpacking
5 days ago

Lot was full by 10am but we squeezed on the road. We read there wasn’t many backpacking spots - and I found maybe 3, but were too close to water or the trail. We found if you go past (between) the final lakes and keep going (careful, the trails spur and we got turned around), you follow a stream on your right after 1/2 mi to approx 3 sites spread by a few hundred feet. It was a good first backpacking trip for my 7yo. There was plenty of water, moderate temps, and while we saw a bunch of bugs, only really got one or two bites. We encountered a cow moose about 30 feet off the trail about half way up!

I think technically this is in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and you need a permit in summer, but, sorry, it is ridiculous to print a form and mail a $5 check or to go to the office. Let me do it online. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/arp/recarea/?recid=80803

Absolutely beautiful! There were lil steams on the way up that my dog could drink from. I took the Diamond Lake trail and it was amazing!! EVERYONE had their dogs on leash. I was shook.

Overall it's not a trail I'd be super excited to get back to or take anyone to, but it was a nice short hike with shade most of the way. The final lakes/ponds are pretty with some views of the surrounding ridges. The lakes are small with quite a few people crowded around fishing or lounging. The first lake you pass is mosquito heaven and pretty yucky.

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.

on Lake Isabelle Trail

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful BUT: The Lake is now drained. There's only little water left. no more waterfall, and compared to a month ago most of the wildflowers are now gone.
Still a nice walk/hike, would suggest going later in the day as it gets crowded in the morning.

Beautiful hike on August 6, 2018.

This hike starts with a gradual incline for about 1.5 miles through the spruce and fir forest. Once you break out of the trees at timberline, the rest of this hike (4 miles or so) is exposed high tundra hiking. IF YOU HAVE ARE BRINGING A DOG...there is no water at all on this trail. Just FYI. After treeline you get your first big views of north Arapahoe peak and Apache peak. You are also able to see the lakes down on your right associates with the Boulder watershed. The hike begins to climb from this point up the tundra with a few different switchback sections. You then end up on the south side of the ridge where you have great views of eldora ski area, Mt Evans, and all the mountains on the continental divide looking towards winter park. We could also see Grays and Torrey’s, and Bierstadt, and Pikes peak way off in the southern distance. You head along the ridge here for a couple miles at a pretty even grade until you meet up with 4th of July trail. At this point you can see the peak to your right which is the way to south arapahoe peak. This is why the trail has a hard rating in my opinion. It’s a steep rock scramble up to the top but well worth it.

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.

Great little hike. Got there at 830 ish and had to park further away.

Beautiful stream and gorgeous lake

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5), had hiking child carriers.

I’m honestly hesitant to give this a review because of how good it is. This is a hidden gem (from tourism) and perfect alternative to the emerald lake, dream lake, lily lake, etc. It’s also not only easy, but a great duration. I suggest an evening hike for the sunset at Lake Isabelle, absolutely incredible. Check weather though for any afternoon hikes, always.

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