Devils Thumb Loop, Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forests

Enjoy diverse terrain amidst the beauty and grandeur of elk-inhabited meadows and views of the snow-capped Divide in this breath taking section of the CDT. This prominent feature of this loop hike is Devil’s Thumb, the granite spire formation that rises over 12,000 feet above Devils Thumb Lake, which bestows its name to the trail, the lake, and the pass.  During winter, the Devil’s Thumb Trail is a hub for backcountry skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts. Loop opportunities abound in this area and this particular loop allows adventurers to journey along High Lonesome on the CDT, as well as Devil’s Thumb and King Lake Trails. Contact:  CDTC at 1-720-340-CDTC (2382) or the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest’s Sulphur Ranger District 970-887-4100 or Boulder Ranger District 303-444-6600.

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 14-mile loop

Directions: Hessie Trailhead: For easy access to the Divide from the Front Range, drive on CO 119/72 out of Boulder towards Nederland, turn west on County Road 130, located just south of the roundabout in center of the town of Nederland and follow signs for Eldora Ski Resort and the town of Eldora. At the fork in the road, keep right, through the town of Eldora. At the end of town, continue westward as the pavement ends, following to the left at the next road fork for Hessie Trailhead. Devils Thumb Trailhead: For access to the Trail from Fraser, drive on Hwy 40, take the first right out of town onto #8 Lake Cabin Meadow Road. Continue east approximately 5 miles to the  junction on Grand County Road #81 (Aqueduct Road).Continue north on this road for 2miles to the Devils Thumb Spur. Turn east and go ¼ mile to the Devils Thumb Trailhead.

Maps:  USGS 7.5 Quadrangles: Nederland, East Portal. Trails Illustrated #102 Indian Peaks, Gold Hill

Other Information: Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forests – http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/arnf/