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    High Lonesome Loop Hike

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    Very Hard
    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.
    26.6 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.
    1,077 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

    The High Lonesome Loop Hike is a strenuous trail in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. This trail is perfect for experienced hikers who are looking for a challenging day hike, or an overnight backpacking excursion. The High Lonesome Trail guides adventurers through the Indian Peaks and up the Continental Divide. Passing through different typographies, this trail will leave the most experienced hikers dumbfounded. The impressive scenery from the Continental Divide makes it all worth the effort. Make sure to add this hike to your Colorado itinerary!

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    Route Description for High Lonesome Loop Hike

    The High Lonesome Loop Hike is a magnificent trail near Nederland, Colorado. This hike can be completed in a day or as a multi-day backpacking adventure. Either way, this trail will deliver astonishing views of the Front Ranges and surrounding alpine lakes. This trail departs from the Hessie Carpark. The small parking lot fills up fast as the Hessie Trailhead provides access to numerous backcountry hikes. Arrive early to beat the crowds or consider taking the RDT free shuttle from the town of Nederland! When planning this adventure, ensure to bring a water filter or plenty of water and snacks, you’ll need to bring your A-game to complete this hike! Additionally, due to the extreme elevation gain of this trail, afternoon storms are common near the Continental Divide, be sure to check the weather and head out early.

    Departing from the Hessie Trailhead at the carpark, head west along the Devil’s Thumb Bypass Trail. We recommend completing this hike counterclockwise. Continue along the trail until the first junction and stay right as you merge onto the Devil’s Thumb Trail. Follow along the trail as it guides you through the woods, gradually gaining elevation. At the next junction, turn left, passing along Jasper Lake and the Devil’s Thumb Lake. These lakes have great campsites sheltered from the wind. After passing the lakes, you will begin your steep ascent up the Devil’s Thumb Pass to the Continental Divide.

    At this point you will encounter another junction, turn left, heading south along the High Lonesome Trail. This segment of the hike is exposed and windy, so exercise caution. Appreciate the views of the Indian Peaks as you progress along the Continental Divide before navigating switchbacks down to the next intersection. Turn left, diverting you onto King Lake Trail. As you pass the picturesque King Lake the trail will begin to gradually descend. Follow the trail east, staying straight on King Lake Trail. This path will eventually guide you through the alpine woodlands, past vast meadows, across creeks, and back to the Hessie Trailhead and Carpark.

    Getting to the High Lonesome Loop Hike Trailhead

    The High Lonesome Loop Trail departs from the Hessie Trailhead at the Hessie Carpark.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Yes, permits required.

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


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    High Lonesome Loop Hike Elevation Graph

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    High Lonesome Loop Hike Reviews

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