Lost Lake (and beyond)

Round-Trip Length7 miles

Start-End Elevation:  8,642” – 9,886 “

Elevation Change:  +1,244’

Skill Level:  Moderate

Trailhead Location:    From Nederland’s traffic circle, take Highway 72 north through the town of Nederland 0.6 miles from the traffic circle, turn right on County Road 130 (look for the signs that say Eldora Mountain Resort). Pass the ski resort turnoff and drive through the town of Eldora to the sign that says “End of Winter Maintenance” and park here.

Lost Lake is a great snowshoeing trip in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area near Nederland, Colorado.  I did this trip in February 2011 when there was an abundance of snow.  It was a cold, but sunny day and I didn’t run into anyone else on the trail.  In the winter, the trail actually starts just outside of the town of Eldora and on a dirt road which is closed in the winter.  After snowshoeing up the road for 1.25 miles, you come to the Hessie townsite and the Hessie Trailhead (this is the start of the summer hiking trail).

Hessie Townsite Sign

Hessie became a town because it was halfway between Lost Lake and Eldora and made a good stopping point for gold miners.  Hessie was named for the wife of the town’s founder. Hessie also served as the postmistress for the town. In the late 1890s, the town of Hessie was large enough to have a post office, school, sawmill and one or two stores.  By 1914 only a few stalwarts still called Hessie home as the high-grade gold vanished.

Soon after reaching the Hessie townsite, you cross a bridge.

Lost Lake-Bridge

Looking to the south, I could see some runs of the Eldora Ski Area.

Lost Lake-Ski Run

There was plenty of snow as I continued to hike up the trail.

Lost Lake-Boulder Snow

Lost Lake-Boulder Snow

After 2.3 miles, the Lost Lake trail forks to the left and continues on up through the trees.

Lost Lake-Trail Sign

Lost Lake-Trail

I continued on up to the lake, arriving about 12:30pm.  A look across the frozen lake.

Lost Lake

Lost Lake

I was going to stop and eat lunch at the lake but it was too windy and cold so I just walked around and across the lake a bit and decided to head back into the trees where there was less wind.

I headed back down the .25 miles to the trail split and decided to continue on up into the valley in the direction of King Lake.  I continued up through an open meadow with some great views.

Lost Lake-View

The trail follows the South Fork of Middle Boulder Creek.  I had a glimpse of it here.

Lost Lake-Creek

Lost Lake-Creek

After continuing on up the trail for another mile or so, I lost the trail so decided to take in the view before turning around and heading back.

Lost Lake View

Lost Lake-3 Trees

I decided to have a little fun with my shadow and take a picture!

Lost Creek-My Shadow

After having a little lunch, I turned around about 2:00pm and retraced by tracks back down the valley.

Lost Lake-Tracks

I came across a cabin in the woods on the way back.

Lost Lake-Cabin

Lost Lake-Cabin

A self-portrait of myself with the view of the Continental Divide in the background.

Lost Lake-Self Portrait

Another great snowshoeing trip!