Big Lake Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near La Jara, CO that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible from May until October.
Directions from Monte Vista, Colorado: Proceed south on the Gunbarrel Road, State Road 15, for 12.0 miles. Turn west onto Forest Road # 250 for 15.0 miles. Turn south onto the Silver Lakes Toll Road #260 for 1.0 mile to trailhead.
I think this is a great trail. I would not rate it difficult, cause I just hiked it with my 8 month old in a child carrier and my other 3 kids-ages 3, 7, and 10. (2015) The first part of the trail is a lot of up and down and mostly in the tree's. After that it smooths out a bit and you are in meadow with a few spots of shade.
There are fences (barb wire and old posts) through out the trail that need open and closed if you have a large pack--or can be climbed under if small pack and you are flexible. With fences comes cows. We saw a large herd, but it moved as we got closer--my son blew his whistle at them and they really moved. But it can be muddy because of this reason.
After the 1st lake you can find a trail to the left--after a small hill climb you find an easier trail-than if you would have gone straight. You do have to 'jump' a small stream/mud (I put a rock in the middle and with two large steps got over it that way) if you go this way.
The lake is catch and release, but easy to fish. There are a few camping spots, but a lot of the wood has been used up so don't plan on a roaring fire unless you bring a way to cut the dead wood around (we had a small hatchet).
We hiked in Friday-got rained on most of the late afternoon and into the night, Saturday was beautiful, and Sunday was also beautiful. If I remember I will try to upload photos