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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests > Sulphur Ranger District

Quick Facts

High Lonesome Trail II

Beginning Elevation: 11,670 Feet (3637.8 Meters) at Rollins Pass
Difficulty: Easy to More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,010 Feet (626.6 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,660 Feet (3011.2 Meters) at junction with High Lonesome Trail
Length, One-way: 6 Miles (10.0 Kilometers)
Other Maps: Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest Map
TI Topo Maps: #103, Winter Park, Central City, Rollins Pass
Trail Number: 7
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: East Portal




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

ATTRACTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS: The High Lonesome Trail ll, #7, is located east of Winter Park and Fraser. It leads from the south end of the High Lonesome Trail at Devil's Thumb Park, over Devil's Thumb Pass, to Rollins Pass. The trail can be accessed from either end. A main attraction of this trail is the Devil's Thumb, a popular protrusion for climbing enthusiasts which juts up from the Divide near Devil's Thumb Pass. The thumb can be reached either by climbing the steep trail from Devil's Thumb Park, or by hiking the 3.5 miles from Rollins Pass along the Continental Divide. This latter route allows a very level grade and offers spectacular scenery, making it an excellent choice for day hikers.

Warm clothing, including a hat, should be carried as strong winds usually prevail along the tundra walk. A full water bottle is an additional necessity.

The best campsites for backpackers are near Devil's Thumb and Jasper Lakes, or above the beaver ponds in Devil's Thumb Park.

NARRATIVE: This trail begins at its junction with the High Lonesome Trail in Devil's Thumb Park. Its path meanders through the park, frequently crossing the trout filled streams and beaver ponds of Cabin Creek before climbing steeply (2,000 feet in less than 2.5 miles) through a thick spruce-fir forest to Devil's Thumb Pass.

As one approaches the saddle of the pass, the distinctive finger-shaped rock outcropping known as the Devil's Thumb comes into view. The "thumb" can be reached by hiking northward along the Divide about a quarter mile from the pass.

Back at the pass, the trail turns sharply south, while another trail, the Devil's Thumb Trail, heads down the steep eastern slopes of the Divide to Devil's Thumb Lake and Jasper Lake.

The remaining 3.5 miles of the High Lonesome Trail II is an easy traverse across the western exposure of the Continental Divide to Rollins Pass. Rock cairns mark the intermittent path across the delicate alpine tundra. Cleverly camouflaged ptarmigan can frequently be discovered upon close examination of the lichen covered tundra rocks.

From the trail, forests interspersed with meadows can be seen below as well as the Fraser Valley to the west. The view to the east is limited as the trail traverses just below the Divide.

One-third of a mile before Rollins Pass and at the point where the path becomes a jeep road, another trail takes off to King's Lake and Bob and Betty Lakes which are visible below.


Directions from Winter Park: Take the Rollins Pass road (Moffat Hill Route, County Road 80) across the highway from Winter Park Ski Area. Drive 15 miles to the parking lot at the top. Follow an old jeep road uphill to the northwest. You are on the right trail if you come to an "Indian Peaks Wilderness" sign after a few hundred feet.

Directions from Fraser: On the north side of Fraser, take County Road 8, which runs into Forest Road 128. Drive 7.8 miles and turn right on a short road which ends .3 miles at a dam. Take the trail, which shortly turns into a four-wheel drive road and reaches Devil's Thumb Park in about 1/2 mile. There are blazes on the trees in the park, which is a maze of beaver ponds. Those to the left are for the High Lonesome Trail. Stay to the right. Use the "thumb" to sight on.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Winter (NOTE: Accessibility depends on snow depth and weather.) .



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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking High Lonesome Trail ll and connecting trails.
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking High Lonesome Trail ll
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding High Lonesome Trail ll
Yes



Related Activities
High Lonesome Trail - The High Lonesome Trail is located northeast of Fraser. It leads from the Monarch Lake area to Devils Thumb Pass. It can be accessed at various points.



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