If your looking for a backcountry lake to camp at and its close to the front range you better give this one a try. Being an hour away from Boulder to start your hike in makes this a gem!! Im sure some might get upset that I am telling about this but I feel everyone should experience the pristine beauty. Please just take the time to be a stewards of our land and respect our fragile lands ecosystem by learning the basics of leaving it the way you found it. LEAVE NO TRACE RULES AND PRINCIPALS.
This hike starts outside of Netherlands in a small town called Eldora. You will be starting at the 4th of July trailhead at the end of a bumpy dirt road. Don't worry your 2 wheel drive car will make it. Make sure and get your permit from the Boulder Ranger District. Give them a call at 303-541-2500. They only allow 6 permits per night at this lake but being this hike takes you onto the western side of the continental divide getting a permit is not very hard. The hard part is the hike.
This is an 8.8 mile out and back hike that takes you to 2,600 ft elevation gain. This hike takes you across the continental Divide and drops you down into this pristine high alpine lake. Get an early start at this hike as you don't want to start late and get hit with an afternoon thunderstorm that are all too common here in Colorado. Also the parking lot can fill up fast. I try to get started by no later then 6:30 am. If you do get a late start there is a shuttle that will take you to the trail head from Netherlands. This hike takes you threw a bunch of different forest life from dense forest to hi alpine above tree line. Make sure and bring enough water or something to filter your water with. There is water all the way to your camp site. Once you summit the divide you will see a lake on the western side that looks like its straight down. This is your camping destination. Switchback after switch back and you find yourself in the midst of something that looks like its straight out a fairy tell. It looks too good to be true. You can camp anywhere on the lake as long as your 100 ft from the water. There are times during the year you can start a fire. But call the ranger district and see if it's available. Being that this lake is tucked up so tight against Mnt Neva and the divide its not windy at all.
Keep you eyes open for moose as the moose love to frequent this lake in the morning. Lots of wildlife around this lake. Wheb you decide to leave you can either hike back up the divide or you can leave a car at monarch lake on the western side and hike out that way. No matter how you decide to get into this lake I guarantee you that you will fall in love. Indian Peaks Wilderness is amazing. Please keep it clean for many of our generations can enjoy the peace and solitude that I am offering you. Leave a review if you like it!
This is a backpacking trip. 12 mile out and back. This is part of the Indian peaks wilderness you must obtain a permit from the boulder forest service. Permits are 5 dollars for up to 14 days. This lake is amazingly beautiful. Lots of places to pitch a tent. The trail is not easy you work for it. But its all worth it when you get to the top. The directions are from the trailhead not directions to the lake. Arrive early to the trail head before 6:30am. Parking is hard during the summer but just get there early. This trail has water available along the entire trail. I only take a 1 liter bottle and filter all my water as needed.
This is an 8.4 mile out and back hike the coordinates to the trail head are 40.044400, -105.731950. This as an amazingly beautiful hike into a mountain gem. If your looking for an amazing weekend away from people in a mind blowing alpine lake this is it. PLEASE make sure and pick up after yourselves.
You must obtain a backcountry permit as this does sit in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. You can obtain these passes by going into the Arapahoe/Roosevelt ranger district either in boulder or in grand county. This lake never fills up as most people want to stay on the eastern side of the divide. But being only 2 hrs away is a perfect weekend or overnight adventure.
Its a prime location to see moose!! REMEMBER this is a backpacking hike!