Venable Creek Trail is a 8.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Westcliffe, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO
This is a great hike. It is actually an 8 mile out and back (4 each way). Start at the trailhead near Alvarado Campground. From the parking area, take the trail to the right (the one to the left goes to Comanche Lakes). After about a half mile, you T into the Rainbow Trail. Take that to the right for a hundred yards, or so. Then, you come to the Venable Trail on the left. About halfway to the lakes, you come to a short spur trail that leads to Venable Falls. The falls carve a steep little canyon. You need to scramble down to see them. Then continue to the lakes. If desired, you can continue on trail, beyond the lakes, up the Phantom Terrace, then traverse behind Spring Mountain, and down the Comanche Lakes drainage / trail to make a 12 mile loop which ends back at the same trailhead.
This hike was from 2004. Started from Alvarado Campground above Westcliffe which added 4 miles using the Rainbow trail to connect. So 15 miles RT total. Great hike. Beautiful waterfalls. Aspens forever. Dogs loved it.