There's nothing worse than planning to set out on a hike, only to arrive at the trailhead the morning of to find zero parking spots available.

If there's not an overflow option or another parking lot nearby, hikers sometimes have to abandon their plans altogether, which is never fun.

Fortunately, a free Boulder County shuttle helps to alleviate this stressful situation, by providing rides to outdoor enthusiasts heading to the popular Hessie Trailhead.

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The Hessie Trailhead Shuttle begins running for the 2022 season on May 27.

The free shuttle takes people from Nederland High School (597 County Road 130) to the Hessie Trailhead, which is the most common spot for accessing Lost Lake and the Indian Peaks Wilderness area off of Fourth of July Road.

The ride service operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays, and from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays (starting Sept. 10, Saturday service ends at 6 p.m.). The shuttle also runs on holidays - that schedule can be found here.

Shuttles depart approximately every 15 minutes. No passes, reservations, or fares are required to use the free Hessie Shuttle service.

Dogs are welcome on board the shuttle, as long as they remain on a leash. However, bikes are not allowed due to a lack of space and racks.

On days when the Hessie Shuttle is operating, the RTD route NB between Boulder and Nederland High School will be free to ride; visitors are encouraged to park in Boulder and ride the bus all the way to their hike.

The final day of shuttle service will be October 9.

Bear Creek Trail to the Castle

Take this easy hike on the Bear Creek Trail to the Dunafon Castle.