Heart Lake - Camping

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This hike through the James Peak Wilderness is ten miles of awesome.

Written by

Courtney Johnson


10.0 miles

10 miles out and back

Destination Distance From Downtown

123.9 miles


3 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

6 hours


Spring, Summer, and Fall

All seasons though winter can offer difficult navigation

Dog Friendly


Land Website

Heart Lake



Situated just below the Continental Divide and close to Winter Park, the hike through the James Peak Wilderness to Heart Lake is ten miles roundtrip. Be prepared to get the feet wet as there are multiple creek crossings. Some crossings will have boards or a bridge. 

What Makes It Great

Set up camp at Rogers Lake at 4.5 miles in and catch your trout dinner for the evening. Heart Lake is just a short half mile away and you can also camp there. There are no facilities at either campground.  If camping between the months of June through September a permit is required. You must camp at least 100 feet from water. Fires are permitted in some locations. Check the fire ban status before you head out. All water pulled from local sources on the trail must be treated. Afternoon summer thunderstorms are common. Bears are common in the area, so take proper precautions. 

Who is Going to Love It

Campers looking for a nice backcountry retreat not far from the city will enjoy the relatively easy access and established trails to Heart Lake. 

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Beginning at the Moffat Tunnel in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, this trail gets crowded especially on the weekends. Plenty of parking is available at East Portal, where Moffat Tunnel begins. 

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Heart Lake- James Peak Wilderness

Boulder, CO,
39.767265, -107.32501

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