Indian Peaks Wilderness, near Nederland, CO, is a mecca of sensational hiking trails. Hessie Trailhead is a starting point for several hikes within Indian Peaks. Today’s adventure, Lost Lake, is a family-friendly trail for backpacking and day hiking.


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It is late May, and exciting to be back in the high altitudes after a long winter of heavy snowfall. However, what lies ahead is a mystery. Snowmelt is strong, and trails are unpredictable in early summer. 

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Hessie Townsite is an open meadow with no remnants but imaginable as you stroll by the signpost. The sounds of pounding waters fill the air soon after as you cross a bridge. Snowmelt!

Open views of the Eldora Ski area and the surrounding mountains as we steadily hike on a rocky incline. 

When the trail levels off, it becomes a game of hopping rocks and maneuvering around deep water puddles. (later in summer this will be dry). 

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A great time to be here; the rushing waters alongside the trail are fantastic to witness this time of year. 


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Everyone loves a waterfall, and this was a treat and exceptionally gorgeous!

At the turn to Lost Lake, things change. Mounds of snow line the trails; it’s time to put on our microspikes. Only a 1/2 mile to go, but it’s steeper, icy, and slushy here. 


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Lost Lake, glimmering in the sunshine with a light cool breeze. There are many areas where snow has left for the season, and we plopped ourselves on a rock and took it all in. I am ecstatic that the summer season is beginning. And feel like dancing, smiling, and never leaving.  

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Our Colorado critters and wildlife are making themselves known. They, too, are excited summer is coming. We encountered numerous moose droppings and noticed soon, the berries would be abundant for bears. > bear spray. So, be aware of your surroundings as you hike.

NOTABLE for early summer: Bring extra socks; it’s wet. Also, bring a > traction device for your boots and additional layers for temperature changes. Consider > trekking poles for extremely rocky areas and snow.


Four miles out and back

Rated: Moderate

Portable Potties

No horses, bikes

Dogs ok on leash

Camping Info: > Roosevelt National Forest

Nearest Town: Nederland, CO

> Shuttle service in Summer to Trailhead


Boulder Ranger District; 303-541-2500

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Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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