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 along Fourth of July Road.

Even though it is only 2.6 miles to the final destination, the hike is somewhat of a rollercoaster ride.  From the trailhead, the trail climbs 1.2 miles to the Diamond Lake Trail split-off.  Next, it descends to the North Fork of the Middle Boulder Creek where it runs dead-smack into a beautiful cascade.  Once at the North Fork, be sure to look up to the north; this location offers amazing views of Mount Neva (elevation 12,814′).  From the creek, you have a little over one mile of incline to huff and puff through until you reach the Lake.

Worth Noting: About 1/2 mile west of Diamond Lake there is an old plane wreck.  Unfortunately, Indian Peaks is riddled with metal skeletons that could not quite make it over the Divide.

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