Trail Running – High Lonesome Trail Loop, Hessie Trailhead

Tilden Running on Devil's Thumb Pass Trail
Tilden Running on Devil’s Thumb Pass Trail

On Saturday, Tilden and I ran the High Lonesome Trail Loop; up Devil’s Thumb Pass, across the Continental Divide, and then down the King Lake Trail. It took us about 5.5 hours, with an average rate of 20 minutes per mile (including the uphill portions!).

Clare at Devil's Thumb Lake (11,100 ft)
Climbergirl At Devil’s Thumb Lake (11,100 ft)

I was very happy with the run, as I haven’t been running in a while, outside of the occasional 20 minutes in the gym. My knee was bothering me a little bit on the way down, but other than that, no other problems.

Also, bonus points for Tilden. He brought his water filter, so we never had to carry more than a liter of water which really made the run go more smoothly. Not having to carry the extra weight was super nice!

High Lonesome Loop TOPO Map

The High Lonesome Loop is roughly 16.4 miles with several thousand feet of gain, in an amazing alpine setting. I would estimate about 85% of the run is on single track, with the rest being on a gravel road.

Start at Hessie Trailhead
Start at the Hessie Trailhead at 7:35am

On The Way to Devil's Thumb Pass
Taken about 1 hour from the TH. Gorgeous trail!

Higher Up Devil's Thumb Pass Trail
MOTS (More Of The Same)

Pond on Devil's Thumb Lake Trail
View of Devil’s Thumb Point from pond below Devil’s Thumb Lake

Water Stop on Devil's Thumb Pass
We stop for a break to filter water.

Devil's Thumb Lake
Looking Back at Devil’s Thumb and it’s Eponymous Lake

Ascending Devil's Thumb Pass
Looking up at Devil’s Thumb Pass, from the same spot as the picture above!

On Continental Divide, Looking Towards Devil's Thumb Pass
On the Continental Divide. It took us 2 hours 45 minutes to get here from Hessie TH. Looking back at Devil’s Thumb Pass.

View Towards Winter Park From Continental Divide
Looking forward as we contour the Continental Divide. We see Winter Park and the James Peak Wilderness, in the distance!

Betty Lake and King Lake Drainage
Betty Lake and the King Lake Drainage…sneak peak from the Continental Divide. We’re going to go down that drainage next! Yay!

View Towards James Peak
A closer look at James Peak Wilderness and Winter Park. How pretty!

King Lake Drainage Trail
King Lake Drainage Trail. It took us about 3 hours 45 minutes to get to this spot.

Descending from King Lake
Descending King Lake Trail was fantastic!

Foot Dangle Over Waterfall
Foot Dangle off the edge of a waterfall.

Tilden Crossing a Waterfall in King Lake Drainage
We crossed the stream way above the waterfall! From here, it was about another 1.5 hours back to the car. I had to go a little slower than normal, downhill since my knee was hurting a bit.

High Lonesome Trail Run Complete
Back at the car in just under 5.5 hours. Super psyched!

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