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    Danny Mantyla reviewed Blue Lake Trail

    over 1 year ago

    This trail was entered into AllTrails as "blue lake trail" and while it's true that it does go to Blue Lake, it's really a combination of the Conejos River Trail and the El Rito Azul trail.

    The El Rito Azul section of the trail, which takes you from the confluence of the Conejos River with it's Middle Fork and North Fork tributaries to Blue Lake, is much more difficult than the Conejos River Trail section. It can be pretty steep in some spots but it's not extreme or anything. It begins to level out into some really beautiful meadows right before you get to Blue Lake.

    You'll need to cross the Conejos river which will be knee length or more at its maximum! The water is moving very very fast and this can get a little dangerous. Two good trekking poles is a must! And good sandals or water shoes, as you wouldn't want to soak your boots of course and it would be too painful to go barefoot.

    Once you get to Blue Lake though, it's worth it. Blue Lake is a magical place. There's LOTS of TROUT but they're SMART trout! I couldn't catch one and I tried using spinning lures.

    It took only half the day to hike from Platoro to Blue Lake but we were exhausted. We camped there and the next morning we hiked down the Continental Divide Trail and took the Middle Fork Conejos Trail back to the trail head to make it a really excellent backpacking loop. Highly recommended!

    Danny Mantyla completed Blue Lake Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Danny Mantyla updated Conejos River Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Danny Mantyla updated Middle Fork Conejos River Trial

    over 1 year ago

    Danny Mantyla updated Middle Fork Conejos River Trial

    over 1 year ago

    Danny Mantyla reviewed Conejos River Trail

    over 1 year ago

    This short trail is mainly used to get to the Middle Fork Conejos Trail, North Fork Conejos Trail, and El Rito Azul Trail - which in turn provide access to the Continental Divide Trail - in the South San Juan Wilderness. It's very popular with fly fisherman and for good reason.

    In June 2016, while the Middle and North Fork Conejos trails had too much snow and the CDT was not accessible without snow shoes, this section of the trail was perfect. There's a very excellent camp sight at the confluence of the Middle Fork Conejos and North Fork Conejos that I highly recommend!!

    Danny Mantyla completed Conejos River Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Danny Mantyla updated Conejos River Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Danny Mantyla reviewed Little Medano Creek Trail to Medano Lake

    over 1 year ago

    I did this trail last year in very early June and we had to park our SUV and set up camp only a mile or two from the dunes as the Medano Pass primitive road was blocked because of high water. The next morning we began hiking up the road and several miles later we found the Little Medano Creek trail to take us up to Medano Lake. Once on that trail it was very beautiful especially through the large Aspen trees. Only a few miles into the trail it began getting steep and, very unfortunately, snow became a problem. We lost the trail, much swearing ensued, the predictable noon thunderstorm was threatening, and we decided we had to turn around. It was a very long walk back to our camp. Total roundtrip distance was 18.6 miles. Too long and too much snow! Go later in the year than June!

    Update: I did this trail again in July 2017 and it was 99% snow free! This time we were able to start from the trailhead. Was a very long day hike but was worth it. You will absolutely need a high-clearance 4x4 with low-range gearing if you want to drive to the trailhead. Otherwise, bring a backpack!