Boulder, CO: Devils Thumb Lake

Leave your car at home: To explore Continental Divide country, you only need a bus ticket and your bike.
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Leave your car at home: To explore Continental Divide country, you only need a bus ticket and your bike.

-Mapped by Andrew Matranga

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 16.4

Waypoints

DTL001

Location: 39.9533348, -105.526268

From Nederland High School, pedal W on CO 130 through old town of Eldora. Road turns to gravel

DTL002

Location: 39.9519501, -105.5959702

L @ Y to Hessie trailhead (eventually becomes 4WD road)

DTL003

Location: 39.9540329, -105.5997467

Pass shacks of Hessie, an old silver-mining town. 4WD road ends @ bridge over creek. Stash and lock bike, then begin hiking on Devils Thumb Trail, passing waterfalls

DTL004

Location: 39.9555664, -105.6128159

L @ Y, staying on Devils Thumb Trail

DTL005

Location: 39.9545326, -105.6165314

L @ Y onto Lost Lake Trail. Climb 200 ft. under an umbrella of lodgepoles

DTL006

Location: 39.9508247, -105.616806

Lost Lake: Pick a campsite (permits required) along the wooded shoreline. The next day, backtrack to WPT 5 and turn L (bearing W)

DTL007

Location: 39.954216, -105.6196671

Cross South Fork Middle Boulder Creek and continue straight on Devils Thumb Trail

DTL008

Location: 39.9627495, -105.6325531

Swing L @ Y; hillside pockets of aspens. Grind out next 1,000 ft.

DTL009

Location: 39.9746323, -105.651619

L @ T; keep climbing

DTL010

Location: 39.9753342, -105.6613312

Pass W shores of Jasper Lake (10,814 ft.). Roam along a stream lined with grasses and colorful wildflowers. Stunted, bonsai-like pines and firs @ treeline

DTL011

Location: 39.973587, -105.6760864

Camp near 11,180-ft. Devils Thumb Lake; charge up to Continental Divide past summer snowfields for monster views. Next day, descend to bus stop (last bus leaves @ 11 p.m.)

Mountain views

Location: 39.9660037, -105.6329441

Heading into the Jasper Creek drainage, a meadow opens to views up the valley. ©Peter Matranga