We went on Oct 5 when snow had covered the trail. It was cold and windy in parts, but much of our route was well shielded. The views from the continental divide trail were spectacular.
Note: the coldest and most windy part was on the overlook itself. The trail is actually more friendly, from a wind perspective.
Great views and amazing flowers. My son and I hiked back about three miles before the clouds (and thunder) started rolling in. It's mostly downhill, so prepare for the uphill trek back to the microwave station. It's a quad burner back up for sure....But well worth it.
The lake is amazing. It is peaceful and unbelievably beautiful. The water from it tastes sweeter than any water I've ever tasted.
The trail is sometimes difficult to follow and isn't very well maintained. Watch closely for small cairns and be cautious you don't follow a false trail.
This is a fun trail with about 2500 ft of elevation gain at the front. It's beautiful and Ruybalid lake is well worth the hike. However, if you're looking to follow the trail past the lake and hook up with "No Name Lake" trail be prepared. The trail after the lake is non-existent. Even with a good map, compass, and GPS we weren't able to find the trail. We ended up bush wacking our way through marshes and thick forest to get to No Name Lake.
bonus: less than a mile up there is a detour to some of the most amazing falls I've ever seen. Definitely take it.
Shawna H. on Zapata Falls Trail
This is the second time I've been to the Falls. The hike wasn't bad. I was in my low healed, open toed sandals and thought it was doable! I went barefoot into the water to get to the falls. My first time going, the "cave" walls were covered in thick ice and the stream was more shallow. This time, no ice and deeper, faster water.
Me and a group of 3 friends from Dallas decided to tackle this trail during a week in Colorado.
It literally almost killed us. We made it to lake como after all day of hiking. It was a cathartic new birth, which has changed my whole appreciation of and perspective on life.
Just a note: there are very few people who actually do the whole climb to Como in one day. Much less who go up and come down in a single day. Even the locals will generally take 2 days to hike up to Como. Coming down in 1 day is not a problem.
So, unless you are an elite endurance hiker, who is fully acclimated to super high altitudes, etc. expect to camp at least 1 time up the journey to Como.
The trail itself is gruelingly difficult. most of it is made of medium to small sized rocks. The danger of falls is great.
However, it is a great experience, and Lake Como is an amazing reward. Not to mention the possibility of bagging one of the 14ers. We plan, God willing, to train all year and return in July to hike the trail again, and hopefully actually summit Mt Blanca.
Lastly, there are two good streams to filter water from. If it is hot you will probably need to have this ability, unless your superman. Some of whom are.
The hike to Tobacco Lake wasn't too bad. Saw deer and elk along the way. Awesome views and some decent snow banks still piled up (late June). The fishing in the lake wasn't so good. Saw Cut Throat but only managed to catch one. The continued hike to Conejos was much more challenging. The views from the top are a wonderful reward. Will make this hike again for sure.
This is mentioned as an easy, 0.1 mile trail, but a couple of miles before the trailhead, the road becomes very rough. So you either must have a vehicle with 4WD and decent ground clearance or hike a few miles. Also, be aware that there is no designated parking, or even clear trail markings at the beginning of the offroad area. Plan accordingly.