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Nederland, Colorado, United States

Devil's Thumb Pass

Devil's Thumb Pass from the Hessie Trailhead

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 13.3 miles / 21 km
Duration: Full day
Overview: The hike to Devil's Thumb Pass is a wonderful hike for those who are able to make the journey. Although there are other, much shorter routes to the pass, none offer the scenery that you will encounter on this particular route. It is rated as moderate due to the length of the hike and the fact that you will ascend approx. 2400 feet (add another 800ft if you choose to climb to the top of the pass).

I've also rated this as a full day hike as you will definately want to take your time so you don't miss any of the wonderful sights this trail has to offer.

Bring your camera, an extra battery, and several memory cards (extra film if you still use film) as there will be plenty to take pictures of.

Tips: As this is a rather long hike, pack plenty of water and something to eat as a snack. Hiking in late July or early August will provide a wonderful view of many wild flowers.

From Nederland, take CR-130 to Eldora. Continue on Hessie road which will take you to the parking area just before the trailhead.

Points of Interest


Hessie Parking

There is limited parking at this spot, so you will need to arrive early if you don't want to walk very far. As it is, you will have a 1/2 mile hike to the trailhead from this point.

Hessie Trail Head

Here is where the hike "officially" begins. Depending on the time of year and how much rain has fallen, you may have to work your way around some standing water from the creek flooding. It shouldn't present any major problems and making to the trailhead is a faily easy task.

Jasper Creek Waterfalls

This hike, although it is 13.3 miles round trip, is one that you will want to take the time to look around. Not far into the hike you will come across a beautiful waterfall from Jasper Creek. You will need to leave the trail to get a good look at it, but it is definately worth taking the time.

Devil's Thumb Bypass

THe Hessie Trailhead is the starting point for many destinations. As such, several times along this hike you will come across trail junction markers. Keep to the Devils Thumb Trail and you will have no problems.

Not long after reach this point you will enter a valley that offers some wonderful views of where you are going as well as some interesting trees.

Woodland Trail Junction

Another marker to be aware of. Keep your eyes open at all times along this trail as you never know what you will see. We were fortunate at this point on our return trip to see not only a deer, but also a full grown bull moose. What a day!

Diamond Lake Junction

The trail marker was just tall enough to lean on and catch our breath. As you can see, the trail is well marked and you should have no problems finding you way. Just a reminder to take in the views along the way.

Jasper Lake

Jasper Lake is a great place to stop and have some lunch. Make sure you look to the far side of the lake to see the levels of waterfalls. They are indeed a sight to behold.

The water is also so clear that you will be able to see any lake trout that swim by. We were fortunate enough to see a couple of big ones.

Devil's Thumb Lake

Don't be fooled by the name of this lake as its not the final destination. Devil's thumb pass is a ways on ahead. However, this is another good place to stop and take in the scenery.

Alpine Pond

Alpine Pond is just a short walk beyond Devil's Thumb Lake and will take you to the Pass at the top of the divide. Upon until this point the ascent has been fair gradual. But if you want to continue to the pass, be prepared for a short, but steep walk. We were unable to make it all the way as we were running short on time and it looked as if an afternoon storm might set in.

Whatever you choose to do, you will not be disappointed by the view all around.
Pictures in this guide taken by: montyfox
loved this... going there again next week with my family

by planetwi36 on Oct 19, 2014

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