Betty and Bob Lakes, Hessie Trailhead, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, Colorado
Betty and Bob Lakes - 12.0 miles
|Round-Trip Length:||12.0 miles (includes both lakes)|
|Start-End Elevation:||9,009' - 11,422' (Betty) & 11,570' (Bob)|
|Elevation Change:||+2,561' net elevation gain (+2,663' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Betty and Bob Lakes - 12.0 Miles Round-Trip
Betty Lake and Bob Lake are accessible from the Hessie Trailhead in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The lakes are located half a mile apart in the open tundra of an isolated offshoot in a gorgeous alpine valley. Visitors will enjoy light crowds and pristine landscapes on the hike to Betty and Bob lakes:
The trail begins on a steep dirt road that merges with the South Fork of Middle Boulder Creek at the King Lake - Devils Thumb Bypass Trail split (.85 miles : 9,455').
It continues beside the creek to the Lost Lake Trail split (1.1 miles : 9,582') and eases into a meadow at the King Lake - Woodland Lake Trail split (1.3 miles : 9,600').
The trail enters a mixed pine forest and climbs steadily for the better part of 2.5 miles with little variation up the south flank of Woodland Mountain. A dense forest limits views but never fully envelops the trail. The South Fork of Middle Boulder Creek is audible much of the way, but its location remains elusive through the timber.
Travel moderates in a meadow beneath Guinn Mountain's (3.85 miles : 10,437'), past which the creek and trail merge in a thinning forest.
The trail abruptly banks right up a steep ridge on switchbacks (4.75 miles : 10,904') that level off near treeline at the King Lake - Bob and Betty Lakes Trail split (5.0 miles : 11,108').
The trail turns sharply north and twists steeply through tangles of krummholz, willow, and forbs. Be patient with route finding and help minimize erosion by staying on the trail. A good map with an eye on Betty Lake's outlet stream should guide you in lieu of a clear path.
The trail levels on the southeast shore of Betty Lake (5.5 miles : 11,422'); it continues beside it before scaling a faint but intuitively followed path to Bob Lake (6.0 miles : 11,570').
The open tundra is fairly easy to explore and offers sweeping views of the upper-valley, King Lake cirque, and Lonesome Dove areas. An unnamed 12,307' peak stands over Bob Lake, behind which the High Lonesome Trail runs along the Continental Divide.
- N39 57.100 W105 35.696 — 2WD Parking Area for Hessie Trailhead
- N39 57.278 W105 36.192 — Hessie Trailhead
- N39 57.330 W105 36.780 — .85 miles : King Lake - Devils Thumb Bypass split
- N39 57.265 W105 37.000 — 1.1 miles : Lost Lake Trail split
- N39 57.251 W105 37.193 — 1.3 miles : King Lake - Woodland Lake Trail split
- N39 56.962 W105 38.698 — 2.75 miles : Travel up-valley in dense forest
- N39 56.839 W105 39.435 — 3.45 miles : Travel continues up-valley in dense forest
- N39 56.719 W105 40.228 — 4.2 miles : Trail closely follows creek
- N39 56.608 W105 40.753 — 4.75 miles : Begin switchbacks up steep ridge
- N39 56.599 W105 40.902 — 5.0 miles : King Lake - Betty and Bob Lakes split
- N39 56.693 W105 40.842 — Trail mark #1 to Betty Lake
- N39 56.855 W105 40.789 — Trail mark #2 to Betty Lake
- N39 56.919 W105 40.788 — 5.5 miles : Betty Lake
- N39 57.116 W105 41.078 — 6.0 miles : Bob Lake
- The picture shown here was taken from the east shore of Betty Lake. Bob Lake lies just over the small ridge to the west, beneath the glacial ice.
- King Lake is located .4 miles (+322') from the Betty and Bob Lake Trail split.
- This is a heavily used trail artery and popular destination. Get an early start to secure parking and avoid crowds.
- Storms can organize quickly over the Continental Divide. Monitor skies closely and get below treeline before storms develop.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Permits are required for all overnight campers June 1 - September 15.
- Permits are required year-round for day and overnight use by large groups (8+) or organizational groups such as scouts, churches, schools and hiking clubs. Group size is limited to 12 people or people and packstock combined.
- There are no designated sites in this travel zone - dispersed camping only. Camping is prohibited within 100' of lakes, streams and trails.
- Campfires are prohibited east side of the Continental Divide, as well as Caribou Lake, Columbine Lake, Gourd Lake, Crater Lake and in the Cascade Creek drainage above Cascade Falls.
- Pets must be on a handheld leash at all times.
- Packstock is prohibited in the Four Lakes Backcountry Zone, in the Cascade Backcountry Zone above Cascade Falls and on the Diamond Lake Trail #975.
Directions to Trailhead
Betty and Bob Lakes are accessed from the Hessie Trailhead in the Indian Peaks Wilderness near Nederland, Colorado.
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). 2WD drive conditions end 4.8 miles from the Highway 72 turnoff. 4WD vehicles may veer left at this demarcation and continue another .5 miles to the trailhead. Others will have to park at one of the limited roadside spaces and walk the 4WD road to the Hessie Trailhead.
Boulder Ranger District
2140 Yarmouth Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301