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Moderate Hike to Diamond Lake in the Indian Peak Wilderness

  • This location is shown only to members

  • Distance: 5.3 miles

    Start-End Elevation: 10,172' - 10,940' (10,957' max elevation)

    Elevation Gain: +768' net elevation gain (+1,222' total roundtrip elevation gain)

    Skill Level: Moderate

    Carpool: at Wooly Mammoth Parking lot, AA at 7:30am.

    Dogs: must be on a leash at all times

    Diamond Lake is located 2.65 miles from the Fourth of July Trailhead in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. It's one of the area's most popular alpine lakes, celebrated for abundant wildflowers.

    Directions to trailhead:

    From Denver take 36 to Baseline Rd exit in Boulder take broadway to Canyon Dr turn left this is CO 119. take this to Nederland. From downtown Nederland, go south on Highway 72 for .5 miles to County Road 130 and make a right. You will see a sign for Eldora Ski Resort at this junction. Continue on Highway 130 through the town of Eldora, just past which it becomes a dirt road (4 miles). Continue on the dirt road (past the Hessie Trailhead) another 4.8 miles and take the right fork at the Buckingham Campground up into the designated parking area. Though suitable for most 2WD cars in good condition, the road between the Hessie turnoff and Fourth of July Trailhead can be rough. High clearance vehicles are recommended.

    About the Hike:

    Diamond Lake is located 2.65 miles from Fourth of July Trailhead in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. It's one of the area's most popular alpine lakes, celebrated for abundant wildflowers, excellent fishing and numerous backcountry campsites.

    Social trails circle the lake with panoramas of the basin and Continental Divide, and up the lake's north shore to its inlet, where a moderate x-country route leads to Upper Diamond Lake:

    The trail rises steadily past the Indian Peaks Wilderness Boundary (.4 miles : 10,385') to a series of pitched switchbacks (.55 miles : 10,461').

    In .8 miles (10,595') the trail levels across steep, open slopes with southerly views of Mount Neva (12,814') and its distinguished east ridge.

    A waterfall across the valley - Diamond Lake's outlet - reveals its location, and useful perspective on the route you'll take to reach it. Wildflowers on this stretch are famously abundant by mid-July.

    The trail narrows across the midsection of a steep waterfall (1 mile : 10,650') and climbs to the Arapaho Pass - Caribou Pass Trail split (1.15 miles : 10,752').

    The Diamond Lake Trail turns south to cross the valley and drops briskly to a bridge over The North Fork of South Boulder Creek (1.7 miles : 10,602'). A few steps upstream lead to good views of a turbulent waterfall.

    Wood planks run over a marsh just past the creek (1.85 miles : 10,585'); once through, the trail turns sharply uphill in a dark, north-facing forest. This steep, twisting segment may be obstructed by deadfall and lingering snow well into summer.

    The .65 mile, 350' climb abruptly levels in a damp meadow on the northeast edge of Diamond Lake (2.5 miles : 10,937'). Raised wooden planks skirt the meadow to the Devils Thumb Trail split (2.55 miles : 10,939') and north shore of Diamond Lake (2.65 miles : 10,940').

    For more information:

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  • Ray

    ...uhum....I have a parks pass....(hint-hint)..

    June 18

  • cathy p.

    Hi everyone , listen if you are not able to make this hike please let us know as soon as you can because there is a waiting list . Thanks so much .

    August 1, 2015

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