The Infamous King-Devil’s Thumb Lake Loop

It’s good to be back home. After a week of pounding the pavement in Raleigh, NC, the thought of taking on the Infamous Loop west of Nederland was on my mind taking off from Dulles Friday night. Didn’t make it back in time to join up with the group, who were running ahead of me, but headed out on my own from the Hessie trailhead. I also took the shuttle in from Nederland HS due to the late start. I would recommend it.

This loop is 16+ miles with about 3,500 ft of gain and includes about two miles running on the Continental Divide. Garmin route here:

A bridge with what I thought was some sculptural qualities to it across the South Fork of Middle Boulder Creek.

That is were we are heading, to the Continental Divide. Suck it up!

This is Rollins Pass from below. Earlier this year, I had a great run from Moffet Tunnel up through Forest Lakes to this Pass. Neat to see it from both directions.

This is the single track leading to Betty Lake at about 11,400 ft. We probably only have a few weeks left of these high altitude blooms đŸ˜¦

Fortunately, one of the local Marmot’s knew how to use a Nikon Coolpix.

So this is the one of the namesakes of the loop…King Lake, with CD in the background. Climbing up that ridge is next.

The final push to the CD trail at 12,000 ft! More power hiking.

Looking down on King Lake from the CD trail.

I am glad the Marmot’s could help out with the vanity shots, so much easier than using a timer. This is the CD trail with Winterpark area in the background.

A late start means watching the sky on the peaks. Time to find the down-slope and tree cover. The cloud formations are amazing at 12,000 ft.

And check out this cloud formation. The Devil’s Thumb Lake loop breaks off at this point from the CD trail. You can see Devil’s Thumb Lake below.

Having people in the shot gives you a much better perspective. And finally…….

Back down near the Hessie trail-head, there is a Cow Moose and her baby…..I am about 300 yards away using a zoom, about as close as you want to get to these massive creatures. Off to RMP tomorrow which should be another amazing experience.

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