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    Helms Lake via Abyss Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    18.8 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    733 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Hike through vibrant aspens up to the picturesque Helms Lake. The Helms Lake via Abyss Trail adventure is one for the books. Challenge yourself as you ascend steep grades up to the alpine lakes. Ideal for those hoping to climb a Colorado 14er, the Helms Lake via Abyss Trail is the perfect introductory hike.

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    Route Description for Helms Lake via Abyss Trail

    Hike up steep but scenic terrain to Helms Lake. Track the Abyss Trail up through the aspen forests before opening to the alpine tundra. The Helms Lake via Abyss Trail is one for the books. This adventure is long, so if you are planning it as a day-hike then we would recommend setting out in the early morning to beat dusk. Furthermore, you will be trekking up to an exposed alpine tundra of high elevation. Check the weather forecast prior to your hike to mitigate any chances of getting caught in an afternoon storm. Pack plenty of water and bring a camera because you are going to want to snap some photos along this scenic trail.

    Begin your adventure up Helms Lake via Abyss Trail from the Abyss Trailhead. This route follows a wide, well-marked logging road for the first few miles. Hike up the gravel trail through the vibrant aspens. Peeking through the tree coverage, you may be able to spot Arrowhead Mountain in the northeast. Continue climbing up the forested mountain valley as the path merges with the Scott Gomer Creek. Travel along the creek’s edge and enjoy the ambiance of the babbling waters. Eventually, you will encounter an intersection. At this junction, keep straight and continue tracking northeast on the Abyss Lake Trail. Shortly after the fork, you will have to navigate a short rocky scree up the ridge of the lakes. Climb up the switchbacks and you will see Helms Lake on your left.

    Explore the shoreline of Helms Lake and the smaller surrounding pools. Dip your tired feet in the waters prior to beginning your descent. If you still have some gas left in the tank, consider continuing along the Abyss Lake Trail to the glacial cirque and alpine lake. If you are already exhausted, no worries, retrace your steps along the path back to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Helms Lake via Abyss Trail Trailhead

    The Helms Lake via Abyss Trail is accessed from the Abyss Trailhead off Geneva Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Dispersed Backcountry Camping, restrictions apply.

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Helms Lake via Abyss Trail Elevation Graph

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    Helms Lake via Abyss Trail Reviews

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