This hike was absolutely beautiful. We drove 10 miles Southwest of Nederland, Colorado to hike the 4th of July Trail on the 4th of July, but unfortunately, it was a 4 mile hike just to get to the trailhead from where we parked. We didn’t feel like hiking 8 additional miles, so we tried Hessie Trail to Lost Lake on a whim with no regrets. At 9000 feet, the views did not disappoint.

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Rocky Mountain Columbine: Our state flower, growing in the wild

A gorgeous field of wild sunflowers

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Started from the bottom now we here: From the Hessie Trailhead to Lost Lake
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This part of the river emitted a strong, misty breeze to keep you cool.

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At least we had our ponchos!!

By the end of our hike, it started to drizzle and the altitude sickness hit me out of nowhere. And then realized I hadn’t hiked at such a high altitude in months–June limited my free time, and my lungs weren’t used to the lack of oxygen. We paused several times, because my vision was blurring and I felt incredibly dizzy. My heart was racing despite the decline, and I could barely catch my breath. I drank plenty of water but to no avail. I was totally unprepared to hike 6 miles at 9000 feet.

All that’s to say, pictures can be deceiving. And sometimes you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. But overall we made the most of this hike, and I would likely do it again. In the last three weeks, we’ve hiked three different areas, and one was above the treeline, so I think I could handle Hessie Trail next time.

Friendly reminder: Always do your research and assess if you’re truly ready for such an intense hike!!