Stage 1 fire restrictions, enacted for unincorporated areas of western Boulder County.

Hessie Trailhead

Hessie Trailhead

The Hessie Shuttle is now running. This free shuttle operates on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Learn more

The Hessie Trailhead is a busy access point to US Forest Service lands and popular trails. Boulder County provides access to the trailhead, but does not manage the trails.

Hessie Trailhead

The Hessie Trailhead is operated by the US Forest Services (USFS) and is a popular access point to USFS lands including:

  • Indian Peaks Wilderness
  • Devils Thumb
  • Lost Lake
  • King Lake
  • Woodland Lake
  • Diamond Lake trails

Visit USFS Hessie Trailhead or call 970-295-6600 for more information about recreating at these locations.

Limited Parking Along Road

Limited, designated parking is available along the Fourth of July Road (CR 111). Parking is only allowed between signs. Violators will be fined $50 or towed.

Hessie Parking Map

Free Shuttle Service

The Hessie Shuttle provides service between Nederland High School and the Hessie Trailhead. In 2024, the free shuttle service runs Friday-Sunday from May 24 through Oct. 6.

Shuttle Schedule

  • Fridays: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    Beginning August 16, Friday shuttle service will operate from the Nederland Park-n-Ride instead of Nederland High School.
  • Saturdays: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    After Labor Day, Sept. 2, the shuttle will run 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturdays
  • Sundays: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The free shuttle will have special hours on holiday weekends.

  • Sunday, May 26: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Monday, May 27: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 19: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 4: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday, July 5: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept 1: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept 2: 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Shuttle Notes

  • Leashed dogs are welcome on the shuttle.
  • Shuttles depart every 15 minutes.
  • Travel time is approximately 10 minutes.
  • No reservations or tickets are required.

Ride the RTD NB Route from Boulder to Nederland

Combine the Hessie Shuttle with RTD’s NB Route and leave your car at home. The NB provides a car-free alternative between Boulder and Nederland. The NB provides service from Downtown Boulder Station (1800 14th St. Boulder) and the Boulder County Justice Center (1777 6th St., Boulder) to Nederland High School and Nederland RTD Park-n-Ride. Free parking is available weekends and holidays at both the Downtown Boulder Station and Boulder County Justice Center.

Note: The NB Route does not offer service to the high school on weekdays. However, the shuttle will make special trips to the Park-n-Ride to accommodate NB riders on weekdays.

Overnight Parking for Backpackers

The shuttle does not run Monday-Thursday (except for the holidays listed above) and there is no overnight parking allowed in the Nederland High School parking lot. You may park overnight on CR 130/Eldora Rd in front of the baseball field or in front of the football/soccer field, but not in front of the high school parking lot. If you are starting your backpacking trip on a Friday, Aug. 16, or later, please park on-street near the high school, and flag the shuttle down at the RTD stop on CR 130 across the street from the school.

Hessie Shuttle Parking Map

Hessie Trailhead Shuttle

Visitation Numbers

Visitation by Day of Week

Bar graph showing visitation by day of the week. The most visits were on Saturday (30%) and Sunday (25%).

Visitation by Hour

Bar graph showing visitation by hour of the day for both weekdays and weekends. Noon was the busiest hour on weekends and weekdays.

Visitation by Month

Line graph showing visitation by month. July was the busiest month.

Alternative Destinations

The Hessie Trailhead is a very popular destination and extremely congested on weekends. Consider these other destinations in the area:

Brainard Lake Recreation Area

  • USFS
  • Reservation and day use fee required
  • Hiking, biking, and equestrian use
  • Dogs allowed
  • RV, bus, and trailer parking

Betasso Preserve

  • Boulder County
  • Hiking, biking, and equestrian use (Bikes prohibited Wednesdays & Saturdays)
  • Dogs allowed

Caribou Ranch

  • Boulder County
  • Hiking only
  • Closed April 30 – June 30

East Portal Trailhead (Moffat Tunnel)

  • USFS
  • Access to the South Boulder Creek Trail
  • Hiking, biking, and equestrian use
  • Dogs allowed

Mud Lake

  • Boulder County
  • Hiking, biking, and equestrian use
  • Dogs allowed on leash

Sourdough Trail Trailhead

  • USFS
  • Hiking, biking, and equestrian use
  • Dogs allowed

Contact Us

Shuttle Questions

All Other Questions
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.