Hell Roaring Lake Trailhead is a great place for a day hike or a quick overnighter backpacking trip. There is no car camping here try Redfish Lake for that. You're going to have to carry it if you want it at Hell Roaring Lake.
Backpacking keeps the crowds down. However, we had a good amount of neighbors camping near us on both of the weekday nights that we were there.
First, you have to find the trailhead. It's fairly easy to find, yet you could make things much easier on yourself with a little knowledge.
Tip: Low Clearance Vehicles are recommended to park at the lower Hellroaring Lake Trailhead. There are several pullouts past the lower TH but you would get stuck hiking on the road. And that's lame.
Hell Roaring Lake Trailhead
Starting at the upper Hell Roaring Lake Trailhead (TH), the first mile or so is a marked uphill through a rocky trail then evens out into an almost imperceptible incline to the lake.
From the lower Hell Roaring Trailhead, it's moderate difficulty in terms of elevation gain. The out-and-back hike is 9 miles from the lower TH. If you have access to a 4WD vehicle it will cut about 2.5 miles off the total hike.
If you want to make a longer hike out of it, pass the lake and just keep hiking. The trail will take you to Imogene Lake and further for backpackers.
Backpacking with Kids
Backpacking with kids to Hell Roaring Lake is fairly easy. A medium-clearance 4WD vehicle might make all the difference in deciding if this would be the right spot. Being able to park at the upper TH cuts off 2.5 miles and the majority of the verticle gain.
Backpacking with kids is fun 4* out of 5*
Mosquitos - We got eaten alive. There were a couple of brief Rocky Mountain thunderstorms that rolled through on the 1st evening. The moisture from these rains may have contributed to the mosquito populations. Our visit was in mid-August 2022. Typically late into summer is a good time of year to avoid bugs. I'm not sure if bugs are common in this area, but my experience was that Hell Roaring Lake had bugs.