The Lost Lake Trail can be enjoyed anytime during the year, but we recommend visiting during the winter to avoid the extensive summer crowds.
Trailhead: Hessie Trailhead
Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Skiing, Snowshoeing
Closest City / Town: Nederland, Colorado
- From the Peak-to-Peak Highway (Highway 119/72), turn west on County Road 130, located just south of Nederland town center, and follow signs for Eldora and Eldora Ski Resort.
- At the fork in the road, keep right, through the town of Eldora.
- At the end of town, continue westward as the pavement ends; veer left at the next fork towards Hessie Trailhead.
- The Hessie Trailhead sees extremely high use, especially on weekends, and parking is very limited. Plan to arrive early and watch for signs along the road indicating which parking spots are legal.
- Parking has become such an issue during the summer that Boulder County Open Space has started running a shuttle service to get hikers to the Hessie Trailhead. This is just one more reason to go in the winter!
***Please note that a stretch of the road from County Road 130 to the Hessie Trailhead is a cobblestone creek bed. It carries water year round and runs heavily in the early summer. It is passable by 2-wheel drive vehicles; however, high clearance is strongly recommended. Do not attempt to drive the last .5 miles to the Hessie Trailhead in the winter. You will get stuck in the snow. There is a parallel trail so hikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers can bypass the water.***
Hiking Distance: Approximately 3 miles (roundtrip). Add an additional mile roundtrip during winter (total of 4 miles to ski or snowshoe).
Description: The trail up to Lost Lake begins around 9,000′ in elevation and ends at approximately 9,800′. It follows a closed jeep track the majority of the way up to the Lake.
This is a fantastic winter trail and a great summer trail for youngsters. There are a couple of nice cascades along the path. Camping is allowed, but only in designated sites. Avalanche danger up to Lost Lake is very minimal if you stay on the Lost Lake Trail.
Worth Noting: There are a couple old mines and cabins on the mountainside to the south of Lost Lake. We always love exploring and contemplating days past.
Additionally, the Lost Lake Trail showcases the backside of Eldora Ski Resort relatively well. It’s great to be able to check out the ski conditions. ?