Trailhead: Fourth of July Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Backpacking Closest City / Town: Nederland, Colorado Driving Directions: From Nederland, turn west off of Highway 119 onto paved County Road 130, following signs for Eldora Ski Resort and the town of Eldora . Go through the town of Eldora. Continue westward as the pavement ends. Go right at the fork in the road (left will lead you to the Hessie Trailhead). Another four miles brings you to the Fourth of July Trailhead. This portion of the road is rough but passable in a passenger car. The Fourth of July Trailhead sees extremely high use, especially on weekends, and parking is limited. Plan to arrive early and watch for signs along the road indicating legal parking spots if the trailhead parking lot is full. For information on access from the Monarch Lake Trailhead on the western slope, contact the Sulphur Ranger District in Granby, 970-887-4100. Hiking Distance: 5.2 miles (roundtrip) Description: Diamond Lake (elevation 10,940′) is a high alpine lake that is relatively easy to get to. Although the best approach is from the Fourth of July Trailhead (elevation 10,100′), Diamond Lake is also accessible from the Hessie Trailhead and another small trailhead located […]
Trailhead: Hessie Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Snowshoeing (to a point) Closest City / Town: Nederland, Colorado Driving Directions: From the Peak-to-Peak Highway (Highway 119/72), turn west on County Road 130, located just south of the center of the town of Nederland, and follow signs for Eldora Ski Resort and the town of Eldora. At the fork in the road, keep right, through the town of Eldora. At the end of town, continue westward as the pavement ends, following to the left at the next road fork for the Hessie Trailhead. The Hessie Trailhead sees extremely high use, especially on weekends, and parking is limited. Plan to arrive early and watch for signs along the road indicating legal parking spots. ***Please note that a stretch of the road from County Road 130 to the Hessie Trailhead is a cobblestone creek bed. It carries water year round and runs heavily in the early summer. It is passable by 2-wheel drive vehicles; however, high clearance is recommended. There is a parallel trail so hikers can bypass the water.*** Hiking Distance: (all distances are one way) King Lake: 5.2 miles Betty Lake: 5.5 miles Bob Lake: 6 miles High Lonesome Trail: 5.7 miles Description: Outside […]
Lake Isabelle Trailhead: Long Lake Trailhead (near Brainard Lake) Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Snowshoeing, Fishing Closest City / Town: Ward, Colorado Driving Directions: The Long Lake Trailhead is within the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, off Highway 72, 13 miles north of Nederland, and just north of Ward. Turn west onto Brainard Lake Road (County Road 102, National Forest System Road 112). (Note: This road is closed at the halfway point to Brainard Lake from late October through late June/early July). Travel approximately 5 miles on the paved road to Brainard Lake. The Long Lake Trailhead is .5 miles up the left fork of a side road that turns off at the west end of Brainard Lake. Hiking Distances: (all distances are one way) Long Lake: .2 miles Lake Isabelle: 2.1 miles Description: The Brainard Lake area is a busy little bee during the warm season, as is much of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. However, it’s incredibly beautiful. Heading out from the Long Lake Trailhead, the trail begins its relatively gentle ascent up to Long Lake and Lake Isabelle. After a quarter-mile of trekking, the trail intersects the Jean Lunning Trail, which will take you over to and around Long Lake. […]
We’re excited to announce a new partnership between The Colorado Hiker and Nomad Colorado. Over the upcoming months, all of the content on this website will be transferred to Nomad Colorado. The content of this page has already been transferred and can be found on the Brainard Lake Trails page on Nomad Colorado. Happy trails!
Trailheads: Wyoming Trailhead Rabbit Ears Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Biking (cannot bike through Mount Zirkel Wilderness) Closest City / Town: Steamboat Springs, Colorado Driving Directions: Wyoming Trailhead: From Steamboat Springs, head west on US-40 for 1.5 miles to County Road (CR) 129. Hang a right on CR 129, and head north for 30 miles to Forest Route (FR) 550. Take a right on FR 550 (towards Whiskey Park), and go 16.4 miles to the trailhead. The trailhead is on the right side of the road and 0.1 miles past the intersection with FR 550.2E. NOTE: This trailhead is difficult to locate – take your time. Rabbit Ears Trailhead: The trailhead is located on US-40, 2.5 miles west of its intersection with Colorado Highway 14 (south TH). Hiking Distance: 63 miles (one way backpacking trip!) Description: This trail is best done as a 4 to 5 day shuttle backpacking trip. Essentially, this trek encompasses the northern-most 63 miles of the Colorado portion of the Continental Divide Trail. Along the way, you will gain over 8,000 feet in elevation. In other words, this is a tough hike. If you begin from the north, you should bring a lot of water for the first […]
Trailhead: Stillwater Reservoir Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Fishing Closest City / Town: Yampa, Colorado Driving Directions: From I-70, take the Wolcott exit and head north on Highway 131. Go 43 miles on 131 to the quaint town of Yampa. Take a left just before the gas station on the left side of the highway and pass through town. Hang a left on County Road 7. Follow County Road 7 for about 6 miles, then go an additional 9 miles on Forest Service Road 900 to the parking area on the north side of Stillwater Reservoir. Forest Service Road 900 is a well maintained road passable to any passenger vehicle. Hiking Distance: Approximately 5.6 miles (roundtrip) Description: On this hike you’ll gain about 1,600′ in elevation. This trail initially parallels the north side of Stillwater Reservoir, which was constructed back in 1940. At 0.8 miles you will run into a registration/information board at the junction with trail #1120. Hang a right at the junction (heading north). You will reach the Flat Tops Wilderness Area boundary in another .2 miles. Next, you will pass Little Causeway Lake at mile 1.6. There is good camping and fishing at the Lake. From here you […]
Conejos River Headwaters Loop Trailhead: Three Forks Trailhead Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Fishing Closest City / Town: Platoro, CO (Monte Vista & Alamosa, CO) Driving Directions: Take U.S. 285 south to Monte Vista. Continue on Colorado Highway 15 (Gunbarrel Road) south 12.0 miles. Turn Right (West) on Twelve Mile Road. The road turns into FR 250, a dirt road. Follow FR 250. (Note: you will be on Twelve Mile Road and FR 250 for 29 miles, which is where you should run into Platoro Reservoir). Next, you will pass through Jasper. Avoid turning onto FR 380. Continue on FR 250 and begin heading up switchbacks to Stunner Pass. From the summit of Stunner Pass you will descend towards Platoro. Before you get to Platoro the road intersects FR 247 with signs to Platoro Reservoir and the Three Forks TH. Take a right (Southwest) and head towards Platoro Reservoir. After about 3.5 miles, you should arrive at the Three Forks Trailhead. Hiking Distance: 31.5 miles (roundtrip) Conejos River Headwaters Loop Trip Report: Day One – Three Forks Trailhead to Blue Lake: We began the trip at the Three Forks Trailhead. It was a relatively flat journey for the first couple miles. After Splashing […]