Lost Lake and Ned, or Grizzled Old Salmon Eaters

by Heidi Obermeyer

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On my warp-speed July Colorado trip I tried to get in as much outside time as possible. I decided to branch out a bit and try out the hike to Lost Lake, which is really close to the tiny town of Nederland (just up the canyon from Boulder) and a very popular destination out of the front range. Indeed, the trail was pretty busy when I went up, but the views were amazing and the Indian Peaks Wilderness (one of my favorites) is just stunning. The Fourth of July Trailhead (where this hike, and many other favorites of mine, like Diamond Lake) is always packed, so I took a shuttle from the park’n’ride in Nederland up to the trail.

Ned is a funny place- it’s a hippie haven, but still retains that old west feel. There’s a big fancy German restaurant (a must for a good mountain town) and a bunch of shops selling crystals and all manners of goodness for your inner goddess. Definitely entertaining to check out if you get the chance.

My shuttle bus driver was a great Nederlander example- he was super friendly, and while we were waiting for others to board the bus he realized he had hit a bee on his windshield, which he promptly scraped off and saved to “identify later”. This was all accompanied by joyous whooping and discussion of the different types of wild bees.

In true Ned fashion, another grizzled old mountain man boarded and proceeded to ask his fellow bus riders how long we thought salmon would keep unrefridgerated. The bus consensus was about a week- I’m not sure how accurate that is, but this guy looked like he had probably already eaten a lot of weird old stuff out in the wilderness, so I’m sure he was fine.

The hike is short- maybe 4 miles roundtrip- so I finished the whole trip from Boulder to the lake and back in about 4 hours. Arriving at the lake, I kept with tradition and peeled off my hiking boots and socks to dip my toes in the water. It’s a real treat to get to spend some time gazing out at the mountains on a sunny day, even more so when you don’t get to see ’em all that often. I then set up my hammock at a campsite by the lake for a brief nap, which was glorious. Bringing a hammock hiking is always a good idea.

I’m about to bike to work and will hopefully miss the Pope-pacalyptic traffic that’s due to strike the nation’s capitol today. Happy Wednesday!