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Beautiful day and scenery!!! The hike up is an incline, just be prepared and have water!!! :)

hiking
30 days ago

We took trail #261 for a 8.5 mile there and back from the second trail head. Actually you start on #254 then turn right on #261. That trail is not officially maintained and not on trail maps. It is beautiful and not overly challenging. You do have to clamor over downed trees but it doesn’t slow you down too much. After following #261 for several miles you rejoin with #254. After half a mile you juncture with Skyline trail. Go right and reach the lake after about half a mile. Lake is beautiful and worth the effort. We did this first day at altitude and didn’t find it to be too much. It was a beautiful warm day with no clouds and the wild flowers were lovely. Highly recommend.

Amazing hike. Very beautiful

on Stewart Lake Trail

2 months ago

Great trail with the lake as a reward at the end.

Absolutely great! completed it with our 5 year old son and he just loved the stairs and slick rock areas. We found it better to go to the left as you leave the visitors center. It has you climbing the stairs first and puts you at the top of the trail, letting you come down the long switchbacks to inscription rock. For us, that was easier, but both routes are good. Hope everyone enjoys this trail!

One of my favorite hikes in Capital Reef. Very easy and very scenic.

Great views. Easy hike.

backpacking
2 months ago

Park at cowles camp and walk down the main road to the right a bit to find the trailhead. Elevation was a bit challenging for a Texan coming from sea level with a 40lb bag. Not too bad if you can take your time though. Some great valley views along the way. Camping on lake Stewart was secluded and amazing. Had an accessible water creek right next to camp. Day hike to lake katherine the next day was amazing, but even steeper (6 mile round trip). Beautiful ridge! We did it as a loop and took Windsor trail back down the mountain on 3rd day. Beware if you do there are 2 trails, Windsor creek (shorter, but sign said closed) and Windsor to the right (a few miles longer, epic aspens, but you’ll get to a different parking lot and have +1 mile back to cowels). Great trip.

hiking
2 months ago

Good Hike in. Ended at the hot springs before we turned back. No trail head marker, “Private Property” vehicle gate marks the start. Talked with property owner and perfectly fine with hikers passing through. Very green, nice river the whole hike up following the trail. For us it turned to 10 Miles not 8.

Beautiful trail. Beautiful area.

The Truchas lakes are my favorite destination in the Pecos. Skyline trail is absolutely beautiful. The treck is a difficult one but it’s totally worth it.

hot bring lots of water but worth it

backpacking
3 months ago

The lake area was totally free of snow this past weekend. The hike length in was just right for my seven-year-old daughter. (She was beginning to complain in the last mile before we got there, but she still had the energy to explore the lake.) We spent the night and headed back the next morning. Note that signs along the trail do not direct you to Stewart lake. Instead they tell you the trail name and/or the trail number. If you know the trail numbers to get to Stewart Lake from the Cowles parking lot (Trail #271 and #251), you should be able to find your way. Also, you come to a small pond on trail #251 right before you reach Stewart lake. You need to go another, say, 0.25 miles to reach Stewart Lake.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail with some great views and moderate climbing. Some very cool inscriptions which provide historical perspectives. Would recommend a lunch on top and possibly stopping at el Calderon as well.

backpacking
4 months ago

trail condition is good in early April.

Nice easy walk/hike. Beautiful views of the surrounding areas. Wish I would've packed a lunch so I could've had lunch at the very top. The weather was a little hot but still perfect. I highly recommend this stop. Great visitor center and mini gift shop. Everyone working was very helpful.

I started at Elephant hill and stayed overnight at Devils Pocket. This was my favorite campsite ever. So secluded and peaceful. If you’re looking to feel remote and alone, this is the spot. You have a beautiful scene all to yourself. I sat on a rock right in front of camp and watched the sunset. This was the quietest and most peaceful place. I highly recommend staying here and if you can, leave and head towards Chester park and the joint trail. I stayed at CP4 the next night and it was also amazing.

Although on here it says that it is a camping spot, there are clearly marked signs that say it is a private property and that there is no overnight parking or camping. The beginning of the trail you walk past 4-5 signs that say no trespassing and you are walking down basically some ones driveway. Extremely Misleading information which can lead to a 5,000-10,000$ fine for trespassing and camping in non designated areas.

We hiked the entire entire trail to all three bridges. We were the only two hikers out there the entire day. It was an amazing experience for us. Challenging trail, lots of ups and downs, quite a bit of elevation change and you will need to do this hike on a cool day and bring lots of water and snacks, a good sandwich. Be prepared for it to take longer than you expect. Great views the entire time, especially when you go up on the canyon. We had a little bit of trouble seeing/finding the cairns on the trail and therefore, we got lost towards the end of the hike and that extended our hike to a total of 11 miles. We passed by a beautiful native american ruin down in the canyon.

This was the Sipapu to Kachina trail. A lot of reviews here seem to include the extended trail to the third bridge.

Did this Memorial Day weekend 2017 and had a good time. We parked at the Kachina bridge, hiked the top to the Kachina Bridge and worked our way down, and through the canyon. We made the mistake of not hitting the trail until about 11:00 am. It was already getting very hot in May in the canyon bottom. There was no water when we hiked, so plan on bringing a lot of water (3-4 liters). The trail in the canyon is essentially the wash, and the sand really zaps energy from your stride. It's a beautiful hike though, and if you're prepared, you should have a good time!

We did the entire loop under all three bridges. Great bridges - definitely recommend it but we don’t need to do it again. Took us 10.5 mi in under 5 hrs. Maybe about a mile of that was doubling back, trying to find the trail between Owachomo and Kachina bridges. Frustrating.

We parked at Sipapu and headed clockwise on the trail beginning with the Mesa - in case the winds picked up in the afternoon (they didn’t) - and so we wouldn’t have a 2.5 mile slog back to the car after climbing out of the canyon - and because we wanted to climb out of the canyon at Sipapu and descend into the canyon at Owachomo. There’s much more elevation difference at Sipapu than Owachomo and we’d prefer to climb than pound our quads on a long descent.

We lost our way a number of times between Owachomo and Kachina bridges. As others have noted, the trail is poorly marked - but we knew going in that the trail was unmaintained. Perhaps the trail is easier to read counterclockwise.

At one point around 3+ miles, we followed footprints and stayed too high on the east (right) side of the canyon. After a couple tenths of a mile, the “trail” would have required a little too much downhill scrambling for us to believe it really was the trail. And we hadn’t seen a cairn in awhile so we retraced our steps to find one, and figured that the trail had headed down to the streambed at that point. We were glad we backtracked to find the cairn.

Also, someone had stacked two beautiful cairns in the middle of the streambed at some point in there, leading us to believe the trail went there! Turns out the trail was elsewhere but since we weren’t confident about it, we left the cairns as we found them.

Part of our trouble may also be that a ranger warned us not to miss a left turn at the Knick-point pour-off (but she didn’t know what the pouroff was - FYI, it’s.a waterfall (when water is present) and is obvious when we passed it and looked back at it from the north side.). So we spent a lot of time not wanting to miss the turn, but when you’re going counterclockwise, that part of the trail turns out to be easy to find. Stay on the east side of the canyon and you’ll see the parking lot overlook rail high above you to the right. Way beneath the rail is a sign where the Kachina trail from the parking lot meets the loop trail in the canyon. Follow the sign

off road driving
6 months ago

Easy trail. Lots of beautiful views.

Easy and instructional trail. Highly recommend the stop.

Nice trail with some very good views of the National Monument.

This place is wonderful because of its beauty for sure, but the history of it makes it even better. At the top of the bluff, there are ruins dating back to 1200CE. Below, there is a small lake that later provided water for travelling Spaniards and pioneers settling the West. There are ancient petroglyphs and beautiful inscriptions carved in Spanish and English. Its a very cool place.

excellent interesting trail with a rewarding overlook

I did South Truchas in a day and had to go off trail at the end of skyline, but all above the treeline and clearly visible. skyline is one of the most beautiful trails I've ever been on!

Petroglyphs are visible and they give you a booklet to go along with it. Very interesting! You can also hike to the top to see the ruins. If you're camping, they have a free campsite across the street with water and restrooms.

backpacking
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

One of the few trails that open early in the Pecos Wilderness due to the southern exposure on Winsor Ridge. Beautiful aspen stands and some Gambel's oak for fall colors, and I've seen coyotes, deer, elk, and grouse, so it's a great trail for wildlife viewing. I've also heard turkey's in the trees. Stewart lake is beautiful, but not many places to camp because of the F.S. regulation of not being able to camp in the lake basin.

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