Author: Hike Mike

Multi-Shop Stop

As in 2014 we now go out and shop all our dream ultralight gear – but from many different shops and manufacturers!

Disclosure: This article has been supported by no one, but I have good relationships with some of the brands which are mentioned. But as you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.

The idea of One Stop Shop is to buy all your gear at one shop. It saves the hassle of searching many different shops, saves on shipping [which in turn is good for the environment] and also purchasing in many different currencies like £, $ and €. The downside is that if you definitely want to have those Houdini trousers and fleece and the shop you purchase everything else from doesn’t carry them, well, you might just need to pick a pants from Black Diamond, Arc’teryx or Rab instead. Ah well. Here is the list ..

As in 2014 we now go out and shop all our dream ultralight gear – but from many different shops and manufacturers!

Multi-Shop-Stop

Disclosure: This article has been supported by no one, but I have good relationships with some of the brands which are mentioned. But as you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.

The idea of One Stop Shop is to buy all your gear at one shop. It saves the hassle of searching many different shops, saves on shipping [which in turn is good for the environment] and also purchasing in many different currencies like £, $ and €. The downside is that if you definitely want to have those Houdini trousers and fleece and the shop you purchase everything else from doesn’t carry them, well, you might just need to pick a pants from Black Diamond, Arc’teryx or Rab instead. Ah well. Here is the list I came up with if I’d buy the equipment and apparel at many different shops instead [please keep in mind that I adjusted the prices in this table to show the actual shipping, where applicable, which I’d need to pay to get it to my home in Finland, and I converted all currencies to €]:

Item Name Weight Price
Backpack Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Porter 865 g 325,00 €
Sleeping bag As Tucas Sestrals Quilt 658 g 290,00 €
Mattress Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Uberlite Regular 240 g 200,00 €
Shelter As Tucas Millaris Bivy + HMG Echo 2 Tarp 454 g 549,00 €
Stove LiteTrail SolidFuel System 84 g 60,00 €
Pot 0 g 0,00 €
Cutlery Sea To Summit Alpha Light Spork 12 g 8,00 €
Knife Mora Eldris 177 g 38,00 €
Cup Kupilka 21 87 g 20,00 €
Waterfilter Katadyn BeFree 64 g 50,00 €
T-Shirt Houdini Activist Message Tee 143 g 70,00 €
Longsleeve Patagonia Cap Cool LS 133 g 50,00 €
Trekking pants Arc’teryx Palisade Pants 300 g 140,00 €
Fleece Houdini Outright Houdi 296 g 170,00 €
Insulation PHD Wafer Ultima K Down Pullover 155 g 308,00 €
Wind jacket Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoody 199 g 150,00 €
Rain pants Rab Flashpoint Pants 96 g 124,00 €
Rain jacket OMM Halo Jacket 102 g 112,00 €
Shoes La Sportiva Mutant 640 g 140,00 €
Lamp Petzl Bindi 35 g 50,00 €
Trekking Poles Swix Sonic Pro Trail Carbon 120 306 g 150,00 €
Navigation Suunto A-30 31 g 30,00 €

Total Weight: 5.089 g

Total Price: 3042,00 €

Price per g: 0,60 €

Multi-Shop-Stop Pie Chart

My thoughts on my own list:

  • I picked the Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Porter because it’s a pack I really like. It’s super simple yet durable and carries well. It does lack side pockets for my water bottles, but I have used this pack on plenty of trips and don’t mind to stop, put down the pack and get my water out.

  • The As Tucas Sestrals Quilt is currently my go-to quilt when I go backpacking between spring and autumn. It’s a tad warm with the APEX 200 insulation I have, but I’m rather warm than too cold. The quilt works well with the UberLite, as I have tested on my trip in the Pyrenees last autumn.

  • I chose a bivy + tarp as it is my favourite way to sleep outside. The weight and price is listed together, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo 2 tarp on its own is 264 g and costs $ 355,00. The beauty about this setup is that it’s very versatile and can be pitched in small spaces, and works well with the trekking poles.

  • I tend to switch things up stove and cooking wise, and if the weather is good I go for my Esbit setup as it’s tiny and UL. When I go with friends, family or if the weather is crap I like to use a gas stove, too.

  • The rest of the kitchen setup is pretty much what I always have with me when I go out. The knife is the heavy stand-out, but as I often need a proper knife for starting a fire I like the Eldris.

  • The clothing, with exception of the rain gear and the Arc’teryx Palisade Pants, is what I wear when I’m out. I have used the Palisades pants in the past and rate it high, but nowadays use the Houdini Motion Light Pants, though that one isn’t available anymore.

  • For rain clothes I picked what pretty much every shop has recommended, a Ultralight combination of pants and jacket which tip the scales at about 200 g. The rain jacket and pants I currently use are SIGNIFICANTLY heavier so an UL alternative like these listed are very welcome.

  • As a La Sportiva Ambassador I picked the Mutant for 3-season use, it’s one of my favourite La Sportiva shoes around.

  • And then some tried and trusted accessories to help with hiking and illumination!

  • Overall this list has the potential to still cut down quite a bit of weight – there are lighter fleece jackets out there, lighter knives and backpacks, but this is gear I own and would buy again as I know it works well for me.

  • What also becomes apparent is that I have created the most expensive list yet, at a tad over 3.000 € it is pretty pricey. Only part can be blamed on shipping costs, but e.g. picking up a bivy and cuben tarp is much more expensive than some other options which we have seen in the series.

  • Anyway, this is my Multi-Shop-Stop list! It orders gear from 8+ companies and includes gear from several companies where I am an Ambassador (Houdini and La Sportiva) and companies where I have worked together with [As Tucas, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Therm-A-Rest, Petzl]. Nevertheless, if I’d need to go out and buy all my gear again, this would pretty much be the list!

Keep in mind that these lists are suggestions! If you are already hiking & backpacking you do not need to buy everything in one go but can replace gear slowly, and this lists merely should show you that you can purchase a complete Ultralight Backpacking Setup from one store – or in this case, from 8 different ones. Check out Carsten’s Multi-Shop Stop list in German at Fastpacking.de.

Chilling at Sunset

Disclosure: The One Stop Shop Series was Carsten’s idea back in the day. The 2019 Series we have created together and you can read his take on the different lists in German on his blog, and you can read my take over here in English. Furthermore, we have been remunerated for our time by the individual shops.

Enjoyed this article? Support me on Patreon and get some useful rewards (like hanging out on Discord with me, where you can pick my brains!) or buy me a coffee – I work Full-Time on Hiking in Finland to bring you inspiring trip reports, in-depth gear reviews and the latest news from the outdoors. You also could subscribe to the rarer-than-ever Newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for more outdoorsy updates!

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One Stop Shop: Conclusion

Who had the most affordable One Stop Shop List, and who had the lightest one? Which items did we see most often? Lets find out in the conclusion of One Stop Shop 2019!

Disclosure: This article has been supported by no one, but I have good relationships with the Shops and Brands which are mentioned. But as you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.

We had 7 Shops participating in our One Stop Shop Series this year, and I created an eight Multi-Stop-Shop List for the kicks of it. Before I delve in more, here’s the lists with prices and weights side by side:

Alpinetrek
6.002 g
2.822,26 €
0,46 € per gram
Backpackinglight.se
5.866 g
3.531,00 €
0,60 € per gram
Ultralight Outdoor Gear
4.011 g
2.265,44 €
0,56 € per gram
Walk On The Wild Side
4.035 g
2.424,00 €
0,60 g per gram
Trekking-Lit..

Who had the most affordable One Stop Shop List, and who had the lightest one? Which items did we see most often? Lets find out in the conclusion of One Stop Shop 2019!

One Stop Shop 2019

Disclosure: This article has been supported by no one, but I have good relationships with the Shops and Brands which are mentioned. But as you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.

We had 7 Shops participating in our One Stop Shop Series this year, and I created an eight Multi-Stop-Shop List for the kicks of it. Before I delve in more, here’s the lists with prices and weights side by side:

Alpinetrek 6.002 g 2.822,26 € 0,46 € per gram
Backpackinglight.se 5.866 g 3.531,00 € 0,60 € per gram
Ultralight Outdoor Gear 4.011 g 2.265,44 € 0,56 € per gram
Walk On The Wild Side 4.035 g 2.424,00 € 0,60 g per gram
Trekking-Lite-Store.com 4.212 g 2.084,09 € 0,49 € per gram
Outdoorline 4.741 g 2491,70 € 0,53 € per gram
Garage Grown Gear 4.993 g 2.199,41 € 0,43 € per gram
Multi-Stop-Shop 5.089 g 3042,00 € 0,60 € per gram
AVERAGE 2019 4.868 g 2.607,49 € 0,54 € per gram
AVERAGE 2014 5.667 g 2.349,39 € 0,45 € per gram

What is interesting to see is that in comparison to 2014 that the lists got a lot lighter. Where in 2014 the average list was 5.667 g heavy nowadays the average is almost 900 g lighter, at 4.868 g. However, the price per gram went up and also the average price per list went up by around 250€ – which, if we want to account for Inflation and such, probably is not as bad as it might sound.

With the exceptions of Alpinetrek andWalk On The Wild Side which are more Allround Outdoor Shops (though as we can see, who both have everything an aspiring UL Backpacker needs) we also have five shops which are selling exclusively Ultralight Outdoor Gear and are able to show us that they are Experts in their field. Ultralight Outdoor Gear has the lightest list this time around, being very close to the 4 kg mark, while Trekking-Lite-Store.com has the most affordable list at 2.085,00 €.

Chilling at Sunset

I found it very interesting to see how the weights in some categories went quite a lot down in the past five years, especially the rainwear. Where in 2014 a 350-ish gram rain jacket was ultralight, we now can get fully waterproof rainjackets and pants which are under 100 g! For a pair of garments which in the ideal case are 95% of the time in our backpack that is ideal and allows us to drop some 500 g of weight from our packs!

A difference to 2014 is also that we see nowadays a lot more European Cottage Brands in these lists, from Liteway, As Tucas and GramXpert to Cumulus, which means that the ultralight segment in Europe is still growing and allows these brands to succeed in the market with high-quality gear which lasts for many years. I am very happy about that, as it means more people can follow their passion and break out of the 9-to-5 grind and working to make others rich.

And with that our One Stop Shop Series of 2019 comes to an end! Thank you for following along, I hope you found the lists interesting and found out about some interesting items here and there – I for one can’t wait to pick up a rain pants and jacket which tip the scales at sub-200 g! Please let me know on Twitter or Facebook which was your favourite list, what you would have done better, and any other comment you might have!

Enjoyed this article? Support me on Patreon and get some useful rewards (like hanging out on Discord with me, where you can pick my brains!) or buy me a coffee – I work Full-Time on Hiking in Finland to bring you inspiring trip reports, in-depth gear reviews and the latest news from the outdoors. You also could subscribe to the rarer-than-ever Newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for more outdoorsy updates!

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SUP Adventures in the Kvarken Archipelago

You know what’s the best with this summer heat we’re having? Going for some water-based adventures! And that’s exactly what I did – taking my SUP Board to the Kvarken Archipelago for a sunset paddle!

Disclosure: This article has been supported financially and with equipment by Decathlon, and includes Affiliate Links to the mentioned products. But as you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.

Climate Change is showing it’s HOT phase in Europe at the moment, and with temperatures above 25°C in many parts of Finland I did what I always do when things get too toasty: I go outdoors! This time I took my new SUP Board along and went for a sunset paddle in the Kvarken Archipelago. For a long time I wanted to try SUP Paddling but adhering to normal business hours of the SUP School in town has proven diffic..

You know what’s the best with this summer heat we’re having? Going for some water-based adventures! And that’s exactly what I did – taking my SUP Board to the Kvarken Archipelago for a sunset paddle!

Sunset SUPing

Disclosure: This article has been supported financially and with equipment by Decathlon, and includes Affiliate Links to the mentioned products. But as you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.

Climate Change is showing it’s HOT phase in Europe at the moment, and with temperatures above 25°C in many parts of Finland I did what I always do when things get too toasty: I go outdoors! This time I took my new SUP Board along and went for a sunset paddle in the Kvarken Archipelago. For a long time I wanted to try SUP Paddling but adhering to normal business hours of the SUP School in town has proven difficult for me. Hence an own inflatable SUP Board and the possibility to go when it’s best for me – when the kids are in bed and the sun still shines late! – works best!

It’s a nice short drive to Svedjehamn on the furthest corner of the Kvarken Archipelago and as always I took a short stroll along the iconic red boat houses which line the harbour. It doesn’t matter which season I come here, I always fall in love with this view.

Admiring Svedjehamn Harbour

With a bright and warm sun shining I walk to the secret spot I made out from the map, and start the process of inflating the SUP Board and getting it ready. Mosquitos fly around me while I handle the pump to get the SUP sea-worthy. Five minutes inflation time was claimed on the website, and like any good digital citizen I was sceptic of this claim. However, I was proven wrong and the SUP was inflated to 15 PSI in some six Minutes – the extra Minute likely coming from me slapping Mosquitos away and making sure the tube was connected correctly.

Inflating my Itiwit 11' from Decathlon

Almost done!

Light enough to carry

I changed into my shorts and shirt and then was ready to put out to sea! I was surprised by how light the whole SUP was, and when I will be paddling it again I think I can even plan in some short portages on future adventures!

Bird's Eye View

Paddling

I simply love the Kvarken Archipelago. The moraine formations from the Ice Age which are still slowly emerging from the sea (every year they rise around 1 cm) make the Archipelago very shallow, and hence excellent for paddling – and also for a large variety of wild life. There’s White-Tailed Sea Eagles, Arctic Terns, Oystercatchers and other birds calling Kvarken their home during the summer, and under water you can find massive Pikes, Perch and many other fish. There are many beautiful sand beaches, and the water temperature is often nice and warm. There’s also some beautiful lighthouses here, and they already have me scheming for future trips!

SUP Paddling in Kvarken

Itiwit SUP Paddle

I paddle out from the small bay where I put in, birds circling around me and observing this floating human. I pass many small rock islands and almost all the time can see the rocky ground a meter or two under the clear water surface. I paddle along the shore, then out into the open where the wind blows stronger. With my packraft this would have been an uphill battle, though putting the nose of the SUP straight into the wind I am amazed by how easy it is to paddle into the wind – and even better, I think, on my way back this wind will pretty much sail me towards the beach!

Towards the Sun

I navigate myself towards the shore for a short break, where I enjoy putting my feet into the warm Baltic Sea while the sun shines on my face. An Arctic Tern lands close by on a rock and looks interested into my direction, probably wondering how this human managed to get completely dry on this small rocky island. I smile as it takes off and decide it is also time for me to continue – the sun is nearing the horizon, and while it does not get dark at all right now it is nicer to paddle while it is still light.

Kick-off!

Back to the Beach

Isn't Kvarken pretty?

Back at the beach I meet two Germans from Hamburg who are travelling around the Baltic Sea with their Van, and we chat about Vaasa, SUP paddling and the beauty which is around us, all while I easily deflate the SUP and pack it back up in it’s backpack. After my first journey at sea with my new SUP board I am mighty impressed with it. It is easy to inflate to the recommended 15 PSI with the Pump, and just as easy to deflate – the valve can be locked into a deflate position which means packing up is the easiest thing ever (and something which I imagined would take me 20 Minutes or more). Simply open the valve and then start to roll up the SUP Board from it’s tail to the front – The whole procedure didn’t even take five Minutes! And as outlined at the beginning, inflating it was just as easy and a quick affair.

Handling-wise, thanks to the fin which is easy to install the board is very stable and easy to manoeuvre with, and the width of 86 cm makes it very stable for a beginner like me. The sharp tip and overall long length of 335 cm make it a fast SUP, while at the same time it still is very agile and it was easy to paddle between the rocks and reeds. The reinforced sidewalls of the SUP definitely are a Plus here in the Kvarken Archipelago as sharp rocks linger everywhere, while the EVA Grippad not only made it very clear where I should stand but also gave me good grip on the wet board. The SUP Paddle is both light and easy to adjust in length from 170 to 220 cm, which makes it great when the kids want to try to SUP as I won’t need to get an extra paddle for them! Overall the construction of the board (with a 9 mm Dropstich and a reinforced Stringer for more stiffness) is high-quality and I don’t doubt that the kids and me will have a lot of fun with it. It comes with it’s own backpack and everything together – SUP board, backpack, Pump and paddle – weighs ~11,5 kg, which means it’s light enough to carry it also on the bike to the beach!

Taking in the view

And soon deflating!

After everything was packed up and I had killed a dozen Mosquitos it was time to head back to Vaasa. On the way home the sun was coming closer and closer towards the horizon, bathing the sky into a beautiful orange. Damn, it’s pretty to be outside!

More photos on Flickr!

That Orange

Enjoyed this article? Support me on Patreon and get some useful rewards (like hanging out on Discord with me, where you can pick my brains!) or buy me a coffee – I work Full-Time on Hiking in Finland to bring you inspiring trip reports, in-depth gear reviews and the latest news from the outdoors. You also could subscribe to the rarer-than-ever Newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for more outdoorsy updates!

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St. Vrain Mountain Hike

The St. Vrain Mountain trail is just a 3-mile hike into Indian Peaks Wilderness to stunning views of the rocky peaks of Wild Basin. Hike up and additional 1.5 miles from the RMNP boundary to the summit of St. Vrain mountain for 360-degree panoramic views of a wildflower-laden wilderness. Explore the full St. Vrain Mountain hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more.
Trail Snapshot: St. Vrain Mountain Hike
Hike Distance
9 miles Round Trip
Difficulty
Difficult
Duration
Approx 5-6 hrs
Trail Type
Out and Back
Starting Elevation
8,800′
Elevation Gain
Approx +3,200′to Summit of St. Vrain Mountain
Seasons
June-Sept.
Dogs
Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map
Click for a Map of St. Vrain Mountain Trail
Denver Drive Time
1 hr 30 min
Driving Directions to St. Vrain Mountain Trailhead
Click for Google Map
Town Nearest Hike
Allenspark, Colorado
Beauty
Cascades, Panoramic Views, Wildflowers, Summit
Activities
Hiking, snowshoeing, photography
Parking & Trailhead Information for St. V..


The St. Vrain Mountain trail is just a 3-mile hike into Indian Peaks Wilderness to stunning views of the rocky peaks of Wild Basin. Hike up and additional 1.5 miles from the RMNP boundary to the summit of St. Vrain mountain for 360-degree panoramic views of a wildflower-laden wilderness. Explore the full St. Vrain Mountain hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more.

Trail Snapshot: St. Vrain Mountain Hike

Hike Distance 9 miles Round Trip
Difficulty Difficult
Duration Approx 5-6 hrs
Trail Type Out and Back
Starting Elevation 8,800′
Elevation Gain Approx +3,200′to Summit of St. Vrain Mountain
Seasons June-Sept.
Dogs Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map Click for a Map of St. Vrain Mountain Trail
Denver Drive Time 1 hr 30 min
Driving Directions to St. Vrain Mountain Trailhead Click for Google Map
Town Nearest Hike Allenspark, Colorado
Beauty Cascades, Panoramic Views, Wildflowers, Summit
Activities Hiking, snowshoeing, photography

Parking & Trailhead Information for St. Vrain Mountain

parking area at st. vrain mountain trailhead in colorado aspen trees and dirt road

From Denver, take Interstate 25 to either 36 or 66 to Lyons. In Lyons, follow 7 to Allenspark. In Allenspark, turn left onto Ski Road – FR-107. This will be marked with a street sign and a home-crafted sign made out of an old pair of skis. Follow this dirt road as is weaves through Allenspark then a series of dispersed cabins for about 2 miles until the road terminates at the trailhead. There is parking for only about 8 vehicles at the trailhead. There is additional parking along the road, but make sure that you’re not blocking cabin drives or tearing up the roadside. You may have to park a ways back down the road if crowded. I hiked this on the weekend and the lot was full around 8 AM. There are not restrooms or potable water at the trailhead.

The Hike: St. Vrain Mountain Trail

cascades among spruce and aspen trees on st. vrain mountain trail in colorado

The hike begins in the shade of aspen, spruce, and lodgepole pine forest. This first segment is easy and gradual, getting steeper as the sounds of distant St. Vrain Creek grow louder and closer. Wildflowers become more prevalent and soon the trail begins to follow right alongside the course of the creek.

view to southeast with green mountains along st. vrain mountain trail in colorado

Then the switchbacks begin. I hiked this in late-May after a Winter when our snowpack was below normal. So it was snow-free until around mile 2. From about mile 2 to mile 3, intermittent snow covered about 3/4 of the trail. I didn’t bring snowshoes but had it been early May, I definitely would have needed a pair. Trekking poles were essential for negotiating the trail and to keep from post-holing up to my waist. It could be done without poles, but I’d definitely recommend having them.

above treeline with tundra in distance and short evergreens and blue sky along st. vrain mountain trail in colorado

At treeline, things open up to blue skies and high-country tundra brightened by the many colors of summer wildflowers. In early-May, these were just beginning to bloom. However, come mid-June, the creek alongside the trail and these upper reaches of high-country should be replete with wildflowers.

blue purple and white wildflowers along st. vrain mountain trail in colorado

Once you crest the saddle, the views are outstanding. To the Northwest, the entire Wild Basin of Rocky Mountain National Park opens up before you. To the North, you’ll find Meadow Mountain, elevation 11,632′. I met a local from Allenspark along the trail and he said the views from the summit of Meadow Mountain rival those of St. Vrain because of the perspective looking down into the Wild Basin area.

high mountain tundra with peaks of wild basin of rmnp in background along st. vrain mountain trail in colorado

At mile 3, the trail enters Rocky Mountain National Park. From this point, I could see a faint trail in the snow leading up the rounded ridgeline of St. Vrain Mountain. It’s about a 1/2 mile hike from the main trail to the summit with about 700 feet of elevation gain.

man hiking up snow covered st. vrain mountain in colorado

Below is a photo of the map found at the trailhead. I’ve added a dark-black dashed line to indicate the trail that goes from the junction with the Rock Creek Trail to the summit. The lighter-grey dashed line indicates the path hikers were taking across the snow to the slopes of St. Vrain Mountain. Be sure to hike on durable surfaces (snow, rock, trails) on the summit approach to protect the fragile tundra environment.

wilderness map with trails and topographic information for indian peaks area of colorado

Tips & Resources for Hiking St. Vrain Mountain Trail

Weather

Allenspark, CO

Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions

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Ridgeline Open Space Hike

Ridgeline Open Space is nestled in the Meadows residential area of Castle Rock. This network of over 13 miles of trails winds through elevated grasslands and gamble oak with a backdrop of distant snow-capped peaks of the Front Range. Hike it or bike it for a quick escape from the work week. Explore the full Ridgeline Open Space hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this adventure in Castle Rock.
Trail Snapshot: Ridgeline Open Space Trail near Castle Rock, Colorado
Hike Distance
1 to 13.4 miles
Difficulty
Easy
Duration
Approx 1hr+
Trail Type
Multiple Loops and Out and Back Options
Starting Elevation
6600′
Elevation Gain
Approx +200′
Seasons
Year Round
Dogs
Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map
Click for a Map of Ridgeling Open Space Trails
Denver Drive Time
40 min
Driving Directions to Meyer Homestead Trailhead
Click for Google Map
Town Nearest Hike
Castle Rock, Colorado
Beauty
grasslands, small stands of pine trees, mountain views..

rolling grassland and gamble oaks in castle rock colorado
Ridgeline Open Space is nestled in the Meadows residential area of Castle Rock. This network of over 13 miles of trails winds through elevated grasslands and gamble oak with a backdrop of distant snow-capped peaks of the Front Range. Hike it or bike it for a quick escape from the work week. Explore the full Ridgeline Open Space hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this adventure in Castle Rock.

Trail Snapshot: Ridgeline Open Space Trail near Castle Rock, Colorado

Hike Distance 1 to 13.4 miles
Difficulty Easy
Duration Approx 1hr+
Trail Type Multiple Loops and Out and Back Options
Starting Elevation 6600′
Elevation Gain Approx +200′
Seasons Year Round
Dogs Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map Click for a Map of Ridgeling Open Space Trails
Denver Drive Time 40 min
Driving Directions to Meyer Homestead Trailhead Click for Google Map
Town Nearest Hike Castle Rock, Colorado
Beauty grasslands, small stands of pine trees, mountain views, wildflowers, wildlife: rattlesnake, western bluebirds
Activities Hiking, mountain biking, trail running

Parking & Trailhead Information for Ridgeline Open Space

From Denver, follow Interstate 25 south to Castle Rock and take Exit 182 and go west on Wolfensberger Road. Turn right onto Coachline and follow this until to Ridgeline Open Space Trailhead (on the left-side of the road). There is a restroom and map at the trailhead. Alternatively, hikers can park at Bison Park in Castle Rock and access one of the several neighborhood access trails that lead into Ridgeline Open Space.

The Hike: Ridgeline Open Space

Ridgeline Open Space is one of our family’s favorite places to hike because it’s right in our backyard here in Castle Rock. The residents of Castle Rock also use the 13.4 miles of trail for trail running and mountain biking. It’s quite a labyrinth of trails, but because it’s located right in the heart of a residential area, it’s hard to get lost (if you stay on the trail). There are maps posted at several junctions and trailheads along the network in the case you need to reorient yourself. Or print the map from the link above and bring it with you.

trail leading into distance with gamble oak leaves along the ridgeline trail in castle rock

Our approach is usually to go up to Ridgeline for an afternoon and see where the trails take us. You’ll likely encounter mountain bikers along the trail. Most are locals and are very considerate of hikers. Less considerate are the rattlesnakes. I’ve yet to run into one, but my neighbor was stopped short by a rattler recently while trail running. Rattlesnakes are only aggressive when threatened, but they are easy to stumble upon because they are so well camouflaged. So, keep your eyes peeled as you hike. Mountain Lions also frequent the area–like most trails along the Front Range–because of the plentiful deer population. It’s wise to always keep your kids near when hiking and not running up the trail ahead on their own. This is just good practice on any trail, but I mention it because we have seen Mountain Lion prints in the mud on one of the western trail segments.

rolling terrain and rock along the ridgeline trail in castle rock

Ridgeline is aptly named because it is situated above the town and offers great views out to Longs Peak, Indian Peaks, Mt. Evans, Devil’s Head to the west, and Pikes Peak to the south. Deer bed down in the grass between the gamble oak and birds flit from tree to tree along the trails.

broad green meadows and puffy clouds  along the ridgeline trail in castle rock

Tips & Resources for Hiking the Ridgeline Open Space Trail

  • Rattlesnakes: Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes that sun themselves on rock and the packed, warm surface of the trail.
  • Hiking with Kids: As always, hike as a group, keeping small children near you. Mountain lions live in the area (as with most front-range hikes), and the sight of a small creature running alone on the trail can signal a lion’s prey response.
  • Sunscreen: This hike is 100% exposed to the sun’s rays, so be sure to wear a hat and apply that sunscreen.
  • More Hikes in Castle Rock Colorado: Castle Rock Trail, Waterfall at Castlewood Canyon, East Plum Creek Trail.
  • Trail Map for Ridgeline Open Space Trail near Castle Rock: Trail Map Link
  • Packing List: Always pack the 10 Essentials. Download our Hiking Guide to get the list and dayhiking packing checklist.
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: Crave Burgers

Weather

Castle Rock, CO

Map & Driving Directions

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Tarryall Falls Near Jefferson, Colorado

The Tarryall Falls Trail is a short, 1/4 -mile hike across a small canyon to a waterfall that pours into Tarryall Creek. The slopes of snow-capped peaks along Boreas pass make for a majestic backdrop against the contrasting sage grasslands of surrounding South Park.Tarryall Falls draws its waters from the Tarryall Reservoir, a popular camping and fishing destination here in the high-plains. Explore the full Tarryall Falls hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this adventure near Jefferson, Colorado.
Trail Snapshot: Tarryall Falls Hike
Hike Distance
0.4 mile Round Trip
Difficulty
Easy
Duration
Approx. 30 min
Trail Type
Out and Back
Starting Elevation
8900′
Elevation Gain
Less than 100′
Seasons
Year Round
Dogs
Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map
Click for a Map of Trail to Tarryall Falls
Denver Drive Time
1 hr 45 min
Driving Directions to Trail Parking
Click for Google Map
Driving Directions to Falls Viewing Parking (no hike requi..

tarryall falls near jefferson header
The Tarryall Falls Trail is a short, 1/4 -mile hike across a small canyon to a waterfall that pours into Tarryall Creek. The slopes of snow-capped peaks along Boreas pass make for a majestic backdrop against the contrasting sage grasslands of surrounding South Park.Tarryall Falls draws its waters from the Tarryall Reservoir, a popular camping and fishing destination here in the high-plains. Explore the full Tarryall Falls hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this adventure near Jefferson, Colorado.

Trail Snapshot: Tarryall Falls Hike

Hike Distance 0.4 mile Round Trip
Difficulty Easy
Duration Approx. 30 min
Trail Type Out and Back
Starting Elevation 8900′
Elevation Gain Less than 100′
Seasons Year Round
Dogs Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map Click for a Map of Trail to Tarryall Falls
Denver Drive Time 1 hr 45 min
Driving Directions to Trail Parking Click for Google Map
Driving Directions to Falls Viewing Parking (no hike required) Click for Google Map
Town Nearest Hike Jefferson, Colorado
Beauty Waterfall, Creek, Lake
Activities Hiking, fishing, photography, camping, picnic areas and grills

Parking & Trailhead Information for Tarryall Falls Hike

From Denver, take HWY 285 South to Jefferson. In Jefferson, turn left onto CR77 and continue for about 17 miles. The parking pullout is on the southern tip of the reservoir on the right-hand side of the road. This is about 1hr 45 min drive.

From Colorado Springs, take US 24 toward Divide. At 5.4 miles west of Florissant turn right to Tarryall Road / CR 77. Continue on CR 77 for about 24 miles. This stretch makes for a beautiful drive, especially just before sunset when the Tarryalls are lit up all pink and orange. Just after mile 24, there will be a pullout parking area on the left side of the road alongside the reservoir. The hike description below begins at this parking area. This is about a 1hr 30 min drive from Colorado Springs.

The roadside viewing area is easily accessed by turning on to Turner Gulch Road. The parking area is located on the right-hand side of the road soon after turning onto Turner Gulch road.

The Hike: Tarryall Falls Hike

map of hike to tarryall falls
It’s less than a 1/4 mile jaunt from the parking area to the waterfall, but be aware that the trail winds through some rocky and loose terrain on this unmaintained trail. The trail begins on the gravel path that heads down toward the reservoir then descends to a footbridge spanning Potato Gulch, a small canyon that serves as an overflow from the reservoir back into Tarryall Creek. I’ve marked the trail on the map above, but this is intended for general reference only. Take care as you navigate the trail as it winds through the rock on the other side of the footbridge. The path will lead to the top of the waterfall, then eventually down to the base of the falls. This area is not recommended for pets or children and if present should be supervised.

Sunlit mountain scenery of the tarryall mountains in colorado
As mentioned in the driving directions above, the stretch of road between Tarryall Reservoir and Lake George is one of my favorites for sunsets. Like the Flatirons of Boulder, the Tarryalls have a pink and orange hue but showcase deeper reds, especially at dusk. When the sunlight hits the rock, the mountains seem to come alive.

Hikers coming from Denver can make a day of it by first visiting the trails along Kenosha Pass, then driving to Tarryall Falls. From there, drive South on CR77 to Lake George, taking in the Tarryall Mountains until you come back out to HWY 24. Follow Highway 24 South to visit Rainbow Falls in Manitou Springs. Grab a bite to eat in Manitou or Colorado Springs, then stop by and visitHelen Hunt Falls. All three waterfalls in this driving loop require very little hiking. Finally, take Interstate 25 North back to the Denver area.

explore more colorado waterfalls

Tips & Resources for Hiking Tarryall Falls Hike

Weather

Jefferson, CO

Map & Driving Directions

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Shanahan Ridge Hike Near Boulder

The Shanahan Ridge Loop Hike is an easy, 4-mile lollipop-loop trail with stunning views of the Shanahan Ridge of the Flatirons in Boulder, Colorado. Explore the full Shanahan Ridge Loop hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this hike in Boulder.
Trail Snapshot: Shanahan Ridge Loop Trail in Boulder, Colorado
Hike Distance
4 Miles
Difficulty
Easy
Duration
Approx 2 hrs
Trail Type
Lollipop-Loop
Starting Elevation
Approx. 5500′
Elevation Gain
Approx +900′
Seasons
Year Round
Dogs
Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map
Click for a Map of Shanahan Ridge Trail
Denver Drive Time
40 Min
Driving Directions to Shanahan Ridge Trailhead
Click for Google Map
Town Nearest Hike
Boulder, Colorado
Beauty
meadows, wildflowers, peak views, pine forest
Activities
Hiking, Photography, Trail Running
Parking & Trailhead Information for Shanahan Ridge Loop Trail

The Shanahan Ridge Trailhead is located just along Lehigh Street south of Boulder. From US 36, f..

shanahan ridge loop trail near boulder header
The Shanahan Ridge Loop Hike is an easy, 4-mile lollipop-loop trail with stunning views of the Shanahan Ridge of the Flatirons in Boulder, Colorado. Explore the full Shanahan Ridge Loop hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this hike in Boulder.

Trail Snapshot: Shanahan Ridge Loop Trail in Boulder, Colorado

Hike Distance 4 Miles
Difficulty Easy
Duration Approx 2 hrs
Trail Type Lollipop-Loop
Starting Elevation Approx. 5500′
Elevation Gain Approx +900′
Seasons Year Round
Dogs Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map Click for a Map of Shanahan Ridge Trail
Denver Drive Time 40 Min
Driving Directions to Shanahan Ridge Trailhead Click for Google Map
Town Nearest Hike Boulder, Colorado
Beauty meadows, wildflowers, peak views, pine forest
Activities Hiking, Photography, Trail Running

Parking & Trailhead Information for Shanahan Ridge Loop Trail

The Shanahan Ridge Trailhead is located just along Lehigh Street south of Boulder. From US 36, follow Table Mesa Drive West to its intersection with CO 93. Turn left onto 93 and follow it for less than a mile. Turn right onto Greenbriar Boulevard which eventually becomes Lehigh Street. The trailhead is on the left/southwest side of the road and marked by a trail post and trash receptacle. There is actually no parking lot because the trailhead is located in a residential area. Because of this please exercise extra care and respect for the residents as you park along Lehigh or adjacent streets. Be aware of city parking signage.

The Hike: Shanahan Ridge Loop Trail

The Shanahan Ridge loop is best hiked clockwise in order to gain the best views of the Flatirons and surrounding countryside. Going left on the first junction will take you onto a connector trail that will next intersect with the South Fork Shanahan Trail. This trail begins with a gradual ascent which becomes more demanding. If you are acclimatized to the altitude and hike a fair amount, you’ll find this segment easy; but beginner hikers and those of us who are not in the best of shape will find this a moderately demanding trail.

Continue on the South Fork Shanahan Trail for about 1.8 miles as it weaves through ponderosa forest and opens out to captivating vistas of the Flatirons. The trail will terminate at a junction with the Mesa Trail. Follow this trail North (right) as it winds along the base of the Shanahan Ridge of the Flatirons.

red rock of shanahan ridge flatirons area outside of boulder colorado

After approximately a 1/2 mile on the Mesa trail, it will intersect with the North Fork Shanahan Trail. Taking a right onto the North Fork Shanahan leads backdownhill for about 1.3 miles to the trailhead.

Tips & Resources for Hiking the Shanahan Ridge Loop

Weather

Boulder, CO

Map & Driving Directions

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Booth Creek Falls Hike Near Vail

Booth Creek Falls is a 60-foot waterfall located in the Eagles Nest Wilderness near Vail, Colorado. The journey to the waterfall requires a strenuous, 2-mile hike along the banks of Booth Creek. Explore the full Booth Creek Falls hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and tips and details to help you enjoy this adventure near Vail.
Hike Distance
4 miles Round Trip
Difficulty
Moderate
Duration
Approx 2-3 hrs
Trail Type
Out and Back
Starting Elevation
8460′
Elevation Gain
Approx +1290′
Seasons
March to October
Dogs
Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map
Click for a Map of Booth Creek Falls
Denver Drive Time
2 hr
Driving Directions to Booth Creek Falls Trailhead
Click for Google Map
Town Nearest Hike
Vail, Colorado
Beauty
Waterfall, Lake, Cascades, Creek, Aspen Trees, Wildflowers
Activities
Hiking, Photography, Birding
Parking & Trailhead Information for Booth Creek Falls Hike

To get to the Booth Creek Falls Trailhead from Denver, follow interstate 70 West until you reach East ..

booth falls near vail header
Booth Creek Falls is a 60-foot waterfall located in the Eagles Nest Wilderness near Vail, Colorado. The journey to the waterfall requires a strenuous, 2-mile hike along the banks of Booth Creek. Explore the full Booth Creek Falls hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and tips and details to help you enjoy this adventure near Vail.

Hike Distance 4 miles Round Trip
Difficulty Moderate
Duration Approx 2-3 hrs
Trail Type Out and Back
Starting Elevation 8460′
Elevation Gain Approx +1290′
Seasons March to October
Dogs Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map Click for a Map of Booth Creek Falls
Denver Drive Time 2 hr
Driving Directions to Booth Creek Falls Trailhead Click for Google Map
Town Nearest Hike Vail, Colorado
Beauty Waterfall, Lake, Cascades, Creek, Aspen Trees, Wildflowers
Activities Hiking, Photography, Birding

Parking & Trailhead Information for Booth Creek Falls Hike

To get to the Booth Creek Falls Trailhead from Denver, follow interstate 70 West until you reach East Vail. Take exit 180. At the first intersection, make a right, then an almost immediate left onto the I-70 Frontage Road. After about 1 mile on Frontage road, turn right onto Booth Falls Road. Follow Booth Falls road for about 1/4 mile until it terminates at the trailhead parking area. Space is limited and the trailhead parking likely fills early in the day. The trailhead is near a residential area so please be courteous of those living in the vicinity.

The Hike: Booth Creek Falls Hike

From the trailhead, the trail starts at a steep incline as it follows the course of Booth Creek and passes through the aspen forests and glades of wildflowers that make this part of Colorado famous. In the fall, the changing leaves of the aspens make this hike a favorite. The trail continues on this steady ascent for the first mile, then becomes more gradual.

At around 1.8 miles be on the lookout for a trail sign indicating a side-trail for Booth Creek Falls. You may opt to view the falls from the overlook or proceed down the social trails for a closer experience of the falls. Exercise caution, however, because the area around the falls is steep and social trails are not maintained. As with all trails, conditions can change quickly after rains and weather.

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Tips & Resources for Hiking Booth Falls Hike

  • TIP: The trailhead may not be directly visible from the parking lot, so walk up the road and find it. It will be located just past the gate.
  • TIP: Hike further up the trail to Booth Lake. This adds 2.4 miles (round trip).
  • Trail Map: Booth Creek Falls Map
  • Packing List: Always pack the 10 Essentials. Download our Hiking Guide to get the list and dayhiking packing checklist.
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • Photo: We would like to express our gratitude to Shannon Dizmang and Brandon Bombaci for sharing such an amazing photograph of this hike to Booth Falls.
  • After the Hike: Loaded Joe’s

Weather

Vail, CO

Map & Driving Directions

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Chief Mountain Hike

Chief Mountain is a 1.5-mile hike in the mountains just one hour outside of Denver, Colorado. The Chief Mountain trail travels through alpine forest, then breaks out into high-country tundra, eventually gaining panoramic views of surrounding mountains. Chief Mountain gives hikers an incredible vantage point to survey the changing colors of Fall spread out in 360 degrees below. Explore the full Chief Mountain hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this adventure near Denver.
Trail Snapshot: Chief Mountain Hike
Hike Distance
3 miles Round Trip
Difficulty
Moderate
Duration
Approx 3 hrs
Trail Type
Out and Back
Starting Elevation
10800′
Elevation Gain
Approx +1000′
Seasons
Year Round (weather permitting)
Dogs
Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map – Winter
Click for a Map of Chief Mountain Trail
Hike Trail Map – Summer
Click for a Map of Chief Mountain Trail
Denver Drive Time
1 hr
Driving Directions to Chief Mountain Trailhead
Click for G..

rock formations and trees near on tundra near the summit of chief mountain colorado
Chief Mountain is a 1.5-mile hike in the mountains just one hour outside of Denver, Colorado. The Chief Mountain trail travels through alpine forest, then breaks out into high-country tundra, eventually gaining panoramic views of surrounding mountains. Chief Mountain gives hikers an incredible vantage point to survey the changing colors of Fall spread out in 360 degrees below. Explore the full Chief Mountain hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this adventure near Denver.

Trail Snapshot: Chief Mountain Hike

Hike Distance 3 miles Round Trip
Difficulty Moderate
Duration Approx 3 hrs
Trail Type Out and Back
Starting Elevation 10800′
Elevation Gain Approx +1000′
Seasons Year Round (weather permitting)
Dogs Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map – Winter Click for a Map of Chief Mountain Trail
Hike Trail Map – Summer Click for a Map of Chief Mountain Trail
Denver Drive Time 1 hr
Driving Directions to Chief Mountain Trailhead Click for Google Map
Town Nearest Hike Idaho Springs, Colorado
Beauty Panoramic views, Rock Formations, Summer Wildflowers, Fall Colors
Activities Hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, camping, photography,

Parking & Trailhead Information for Chief Mountain Hike

From Denver, take Interstate 70 west to exit 252. This exit will funnel you onto CO-74/Evergreen Parkway headed West/Southwest for about 2 miles, where you’ll take a right onto Squaw Pass Road. Squaw Pass road is paved and climbs the mountain in a series of switchback for 10.4 miles. The trailhead is easy to miss. It’s a pull-out on the right-hand/North side of the road. It’s worth taking a look at the parking area using satellite view on Google maps before going. You’ll notice that the trail begins just a bit East of the parking area on the South side of the road. We’ve dropped the pin in the driving directions above at the location of the trailhead. As with all roads at this altitude, be sure to check conditions and closures before setting out.

squaw pass road colorado bend in road at switchback with golden aspens and green spruce trees

The Hike: Chief Mountain Trail

The Chief Mountain trail begins on the south side of Squaw Pass road. The trail starts out as a steep 1/4 mile segment that takes hikers through dense alpine forest to Old Squaw Pass Road. The trail is picked up again on the other side of the dirt road and marked by signage. The trail bends now along the base of Papoose Mountain and the dense forest gives way to scattered trees and eventually into high-country tundra. Colorado’s tundra ecosystems are incredibly fragile. Here the alpine flowers and lichens grow close to the ground in order to survive in the harsh winds and cold. Stay on maintained trails as it can literally take centuries for this alpine environment to recover from the damage inflicted upon it by foot traffic.

The trail should be evident, but you’ll also find that it is marked by blaze marks on some of the trees. The trail becomes more demanding and steep. With each switchback new panoramas reveal distant snow-capped landscapes. Jagged rock formations grow in size as the trail gains elevation and makes its way closer to the summit.

The views are incredible at the top (see photo below). Mount Evans can be seen to the West and Squaw Mountain to the East. This is a great vantage point for taking in the changing aspens along the Front Range of Colorado. For more Fall Hikes, see our 25+ Hikes for Viewing the Changing Aspens in Colorado.

green mountains in front of snowcapped mount evans panoramic view with clouds from an top of chief mountain colorado

Tips & Resources for Hiking the Chief Mountain Trail

Weather

Evergreen, CO

Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions

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Lost Lake Hike Near Nederland

Lost Lake is an accessible 4-mile (approximate) hike to a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by the mountains of Indian Peaks. Just over one hour northwest of Denver, the trail up to lost lake takes you along the course of Middle Boulder creek, a slide waterfall, a set of tumbling cascades, and a variety of wildflowers that decorate the borders of the trail, the creeksides, and the small meadows that open up along the trail. In the winter months, the trail up to Lost Lake makes for a good snowshoeing route and cross-country trail. trail (though it’s a bit steep on the way up
While we categorize Lost Lake as a family-friendly hike and a great trail to take in the changing colors of Fall, it’s important to know that the hike is uphill and demanding up to its destination. Explore the full Lost Lake hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this adventure in Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Trail Snapshot: Lost Lake Trail near Nederland, Color..

mountain lake with snowcapped mountains and evergreen trees in foreground with blue sky and cirrus clouds lost lake near nederland colorado
Lost Lake is an accessible 4-mile (approximate) hike to a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by the mountains of Indian Peaks. Just over one hour northwest of Denver, the trail up to lost lake takes you along the course of Middle Boulder creek, a slide waterfall, a set of tumbling cascades, and a variety of wildflowers that decorate the borders of the trail, the creeksides, and the small meadows that open up along the trail. In the winter months, the trail up to Lost Lake makes for a good snowshoeing route and cross-country trail. trail (though it’s a bit steep on the way up

While we categorize Lost Lake as a family-friendly hike and a great trail to take in the changing colors of Fall, it’s important to know that the hike is uphill and demanding up to its destination. Explore the full Lost Lake hike profile below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this adventure in Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Trail Snapshot: Lost Lake Trail near Nederland, Colorado

Hike Distance Approx. 4 miles Round Trip
Difficulty Moderate
Duration Approx 3 hrs
Trail Type Out and Back
Starting Elevation 8642′
Elevation Gain Approx +1144′
Seasons Year Round
Dogs Allowed On Leash
Hike Trail Map Click for a Map of Lost Lake in Indian Peaks Wilderness
Denver Drive Time 1 hr 15min
Driving Directions to Hessie Trailhead Click for Google Map
Driving Directions to Shuttle Parking in Nederland Click for Google Map
Hessie Shuttle Details @ Boulder County Hessie Page
Town Nearest Hike Nederland, Colorado
Beauty alpine lake, creek, waterfalls, wildflowers, columbine, Indian paintbrush, aspen groves, fall colors
Activities Hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, camping, fishing, lunch

Parking & Trailhead Information for Lost Lake Hike

Parking is very limited at the Hessie Trailhead, so be sure to take some time to review these details before departing for your hike. Because the Hessie trailhead is one of the most popular in the state, Boulder County offers a shuttle that runs from Nederland every 15-20 minutes on weekends during the Summer months and on some holidays. For full details on the Hessie Trailhead Shuttle, please see the Boulder County page for the shuttle service. This shuttle departs from the RTD Park-n-Ride in Nederland.

Directions to Hessie Trailhead

At the roundabout in Nederland, Colorado, drive south onto CO-119/South Bridge St. Take a right onto Eldora Road which will take you to Elodora Colorado. The road continues through Eldora, and changes to Eldorado Road. It proceeds out of town and changes its name to Hessie Road. About 3/4 of a mile outside of Eldora, the road will split, 4th of July Road goes to the right, and Hessie will turn to the left. The 2WD Hessie Trailhead Parking area is at this split. Do not park alongside the road, as you will likely be fined. If the parking area is full, then go back to Nederland for the shuttle (weekends and holidays). There is parking for 4WD vehicles further up the dirt road and closer to the beginning of the official trail. It’s important to know that rains can quickly flood this segment of Hessie Road.

The Hike: Lost Lake Trail

If taking the shuttle, it will drop you off at the 2WD parking area. From here, hikers will follow a trail for that runs along the north side of the 4WD dirt road. The trail runs past a small pond and will keep to the right-side of the 4WD Hessie Trailhead road until it arrives at the official trailhead. Keep your eyes peeled for Moose who frequent these waterlogged meadows along this lowland segment of the trail. At approximately 1/2 mile from the shuttle drop, a sign marks the site of the old mining town of Hessie, Colorado.

old four wheel drive road and trail with sign marking former town site of Hessie Colorado

Soon, the trail will cross the North Fork of Middle Boulder Creek via a footbridge and a large sign will map and describe the several trails and destinations that can be accessed from this point. Hikers will continue on this old mining road as it leads uphill towards both Lost Lake and the intersection for the trails that lead to Devil’s Thumb Lake, Jasper Lake, Woodland Lake, King Lake, and Bob and Betty Lakes. This trail profile will describe the route to Lost Lake only.

The next 1.2 miles climbs by way of switchbacks over rocky and steep terrain. Wildflowers pepper the trailsides and the riparian zone along Middle Boulder Creek. At the first trail intersection (Devils Thumb and Devils Thumb Bypass Trails), a sign will mark the way to Lost Lake and give distances and point the direction to the other destinations. Here the trail to Lost Lake will go left and cross another footbridge. Soon, a waterfall and set of cascades will come into view. The trail will make its way to a second intersection and sign. Here, the trail for Lost Lake departs, once again, to the left.

waterfall through rocks of middle boulder creek near lost lake in indian peaks wilderness

From this point, Lost Lake is just 1/2 mile away. It’s a steep segment but worth the views when you arrive. At Lost Lake, hikers can explore the outside circuit of its shores (this will add both time and distance to the hike). Return via the same trails.

blue rippled lake with evergreens and mountains with blue and clouded sky at lost lake indian peaks wilderness colorado

Related Hikes

Tips & Resources for Hiking the Lost Lake Trail

  • TIP: Parking is very limited at the trailhead, so try to arrive before 7am. Review trailhead information above for seasonal weekend and holiday shuttle from Nederland.
  • CAMPING: Camping is allowed by permit only and in designated spots. See the Indian Peaks Alliance page for details.
  • USFS Indian Peaks: Camping is allowed by permit only and in designated spots. See the Indian Peaks USFS Page page for details.
  • TIP: The trail is rocky so it would be a good idea to bring trekking poles.
  • Trail Map for Lost Lake Trail: Trail Map Link
  • Packing List: Always pack the 10 Essentials. Download our Hiking Guide to get the list and dayhiking packing checklist.
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • Photo: We would like to express our gratitude to Tim and Brad Fagan and Eric Frazier for sharing photographs of this hike on Lost Lake.
  • After the Hike: Sundance Cafe, Nederland

Weather

Nederland, CO

Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions

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