Lost Lake

Indian Peaks
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Lost Lake

Distance: 6.4km
Elevation: 248m
Time: 2-3h

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This is a popular, family-friendly hike, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out. Lost Lake is a moderately easy hike that begins at the historic Hessie Townsite (an old mining town, high in the Rocky Mountains). This hike offers a lot of bang for the buck: not too much work for a lot of great sights.

Getting there

From Nederland, at the traffic circle, take 2nd exit onto W 2nd St. Continue onto CO-72 for 10.9km. Continue onto Hessie Road where the road turns to gravel. Parking is available along the side of the road, at the Hessie Trailhead.


When to do

Early June to Late September

Backcountry Campsites

In the Lost Lake Area. Permits are required from the National Forest Ranger Station



Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back


Detailed Description

Begin the trail at the Hessie Trailhead where there is a map of the surrounding area. Follow the signs for Lost Lake, crossing over a bridge and onto a pretty trail through pine forests and aspen groves.

After couple of switchbacks past an old log cabin, you’ll gain elevation alongside an impressive waterfall. A short side trail spurs off from the main trail to a waterfall overlook point that we think is worth the view!

Continuing on to Lost Lake, you will descend down into a small valley before crossing over a bridge to the base of a second, smaller waterfall. From this point, the trail climbs to the other side of the valley. It climbs all the way up to Lost Lake.

From the lake you will enjoy views of Mt. Neva and Mt. Jasper off in the distance. Once you’ve had your fill of views, you can hike back the way you came.

Insider Hints

  • Unimproved camping is available at 4th of July Campground, you might be able to guess how this area came to be named 4th of July, here is a guess; it has to do with snow!

  • To limit traffic to the trailhead, the Town of Nederland and the RTD bus system offers a free shuttle to the trailhead. The shuttle leaves from the Nederland Park and Ride Bus Station.

  • Visit the Town of Nederland, and grab a bite at Crosscut Pizzeria & Taphouse or a beer at the Very Nice Brewing Company after your hike.


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