7 "Lost Lake" hikes in Colorado

Posted at 4:00 AM, Jul 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-14 09:53:14-04

Have you been to Lost Lake? There are actually several of them in Colorado.

1. Lost Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness

The closest Lost Lake to the Denver metro area is in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, near Nederland. The hike is popular and beautiful. Not only is there a lake, but there's a waterfall and an historic town that looks more like a ghost town.

The hike to the lake is about 1.8 miles each way from the main road with 800 feet of elevation gain. Because the hike is so popular, Boulder County offers a shuttle bus during the summer. Learn more about the hike here.

2. Lost Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Lost Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is appropriately named because few people ever see it. The lake is in a remote section of the park, accessed near Glen Haven. The trail to the lake is about 10 miles each way, which makes it a popular backpacking destination.

The bonus of this hike? If you continue past Lost Lake, Lake Husted, Lake Louise, Lake Dunraven and other lakes in the area are spectacular. Learn more about the hike to Lost Lake here and the hike beyond Lost Lake here.

3. Lost Lake, via the Gore Range Trail, near Copper Mountain

Just off Interstate 70, across from Copper Mountain, there's a faint trail heading up the hillside. The Gore Range Trail is a 45 mile long hiking trail that goes through the beautiful mountains north of Silverthorne.

Lost Lake is about five miles away from the trailhead. However, lots of people don't actually find the lake. On the summer day we hiked the trail, a volunteer ranger told us of the four groups she talked to that day, one one found the lake. And 12 of the 13 people in our group missed it! Only one person found it and she was able to get enough cell service to text us where to go.

The hike is about 10 miles roundtrip. Hopefully the directions on this website and this one will help you find it.

4. Lost Lake, Cottonwood Pass, near Buena Vista

This may be my favorite Lost Lake in Colorado. However, it to can be hard to find. In this case, it's because the trailhead is unmarked. It's just a pull-off on the side of Cottonwood Pass, near Buena Vista.

Once you're on the trail, the lake is just a short hike of 1.3 miles each way.

This Lost Lake is beautiful and it has an island and incredible mountain scenery.

At the lake, consider climbing one of the hills that surround the lake to get great pictures of the lake and the nearby mountain peaks.

Read more about the hike here. Get more details about this hike and others in the Buena Vista area here.

5. Lost Lake, Crested Butte

If you like lakes, then you'll enjoy the Lost Lake loop hike near Crested Butte. The 3.1-mile loop trail passes Lost Lake, Dollar Lake, Lost Lake Slough (which is another lake) and a waterfall called simply "The Falls."

The hike is at Lost Lake Campground on Kebler Pass. Read more about the hike here.

6. Lost Lake, Grand Mesa, near Grand Junction

Grand Mesa is known for its 200+ lakes, so it's probably no surprise that one of those lakes would be named Lost Lake.

The hike to Lost Lake is about five miles roundtrip and you get two extra lakes. The hike starts at Mesa Lake and passes South Mesa Lake, before you reach Lost Lake.

This Lost Lake is small, but it is a very unique and bright green color.

Because this trailhead is in the Mesa Lake Recreation Area, there is a fee to park here. Learn more about the hike here.

7. Lost Man Lake, Cottonwood Pass, between Leadville and Aspen

Ok, this isn't a "Lost Lake," but the name is close and the lake is in one of the most beautiful settings in Colorado.

Lost Man Lake is on Independence Pass, a scenic highway between Leadville and Aspen that is only open during the summer.

From the trailhead, expect a steep climb up and over the mountain range to this lake. The scenery is stunning in every direction and the hike can be turned into a loop to see even more beautiful views. Learn more here and here.

8. Lost Lake, Vail

This is next on my Lost Lake list of hikes to do. Have you been to this lake? Am I missing any others? Let me know! Email me: