Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails in Sangre de Cristo Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Lovely hike, saw some wildflowers and the view of the valley is great.

on Lakes of the Clouds

15 days ago

Totally worth the hike!!! will definantly be back to this one but this time with plans to camp at the top.

off road driving
2 months ago

Hell of a road! Super fun

So beautiful! We did this hike in November and the frozen waterfalls were awesome!

hiking
3 months ago

When I was younger I used to run up this trail! Now I hike up and carefully run down. It is quite difficult in spots. The lower Venable portion can be very dusty and torn apart by horse travel, which can get muddy during (practically daily) Summer rains. The higher you go the more beautiful it gets! There is a broken down cabin towards the top. The views at the top are awesome! My lovely (ha!) profile picture was actually taken at the lower Venable Lake at the top! At the very top there is this portion of the trail called “Phantom Terrace” and the trail just disappears into the scree... let me tell you one thing... I would not want to ride a horse over it! The Comanche side of the loop is more forgiving and not as difficult.

This trail was awesome. The views were incredible a little cold but we hiked it in December no big deal. The top of the trail was definitely the hardest! If you are trying to come in the winter make sure you prepare for some cold weather and high winds up top! Loved it overall.

I went in December 2017:
Okay- the good and bad:
1. This trail is 11 miles off highway 50 on a 1 lane dirt road. You need a high profile vehicle or you won’t make it. It took us about an hour to reach the trailhead via the road. It’s rocky, ruts, washboards, washed out, etc. I probably drove around 4-6mph the whole way
2. The trail is pretty much straight up. It was well maintained, but a lil tricky and it will get your heart racing for sure. There aren’t switch backs, just up up up (you are climbing a mountain, after all). The hike down was a bit slippery it’s so steep. It had just dusted snow when we were there.
3. The view is incredible. The trail is gorgeous. I can imagine you’ll likely be the only one there, it is remote! The silence is incredible. The lake at the top is worth it!!!! True gorgeous nature.

on Lakes of the Clouds

5 months ago

normally a moderate hike. 3/4 of the hike was over snow. Definitely a trying hike but absolutely beautiful. took 5 hours in and right at 3 hours back. well definitely try to make it again before too much accumulation. our 6 year old hiked it like a champ.

Great trail! Started hiking at 8am. Enjoyed the views. A bit confused by the open meadow that you backtrack before entering trees again and start climbing in elevation. Also struggled to find the first creek crossing since it was November and the creek was pretty froze up. The creek crossing is on the trail and it raises quickly from the drainage valley where you would expect it. Then struggled again to find the switchbacks at the camp site mostly because of the snow on the ground. So ate lunch around 11am just where the switchbacks start and headed back. Arrived back at the truck by 2pm. Enjoyed the day!!

great trail and not as steep as many of the other trails in the area

Would like to come back in the spring when the falls will be really running.

epic. saw elk. Aspens were yellow and great did it in about 4 weeks ago. lakes were clear and amazing. snow on the peaks.

fishing
6 months ago

Is it awesome? Yes.
Should you attempt it? No.
Hands down scariest summit ever.
Once was enough for me.

epic trail, the lakes area is incredible. some snow at the peaks. colors of autumn, saw 2 bull elk near beginning.

I'm old, fat, and broken. Did the loop in two days. Camped near one of the lakes then did the hard part on day two and to the car around three pm. Seen some 80 year old white haired women doing this, so anyone under age eighty should have no problems. Good warm up for Humboldt peak.

backpacking
7 months ago

Highly recommend for experienced hikers/backpackers. Views are incredible.

The trail is not for the faint hearted and in my opinion it should be rated as hard. If you are scared of heights, easily fall/trip, or have a hard time keeping your balance, don’t recommend the hike from Comanche Lake to Venable Lake due to Phantom Terrace….the hike is along a narrow mountain ridge.

You will need suntan lotion and prepare for some really steep climbs.

On my record tracks pinned 2 really good campsites.

If you have any questions, I’m on Facebook Messenger.

hiking
7 months ago

The trailhead shown on the map is actually the Gibson Creek trailhead. at the termination of County Road 172 (Not hermit Road which hits Rainbow trail much further south. Hermit road is a continuation of County Road 160. The best description of the trail directions is at the San Isabel National Forest website.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/psicc/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=12756&actid=50

fishing
8 months ago

I hiked to Comanche Lake and back. I didn't do the loop. It took me two hours to get to the lake. Fishing was great up to 12:00 PM.

Spectacular challenge with elevation gain , wildlife, views, clear water !!

backpacking
9 months ago

I'm not sure it gets more Colorado, than this trail. Aspen groves and pine forests, massive elevation gain potential, slightly sketchy traverse, and beautiful Alpine lakes with trout in them. One of my favorites for sure

hiking
9 months ago

Wrote a detailed blog post. You can read it here http://wp.me/p7ZycW-2l :)

Beautiful. Hiked this trail in the fall. The aspen trees were bright yellow, chill in the air. It was glorious.

Beautiful scenery, and I guess "moderate" is accurate, but they didn't give it that rating with 62 year old guys in mind. Consistent climb over rocky terrain and easy to miss the trail on the downhill leg. Trail marker at base of Rainbow Trail by my gps and my body was totally in accurate. From Gibson trail head, this is a 9-10 mile round trip.

The route shown on this app, is not the best route in my opinion. There is a route if you turn left (walking from the parking lot, to the trail on the app) following the Forest service signs, that is shorter and more scenic. I went up on the shorter route, and back on the longer route. The longer route has nothing to recommend it, again this is the route shown in the app, as it bypasses both of the impressive waterfalls I enjoyed on the way up, and the added mileage is almost entirely on an ATV track that is not particularly scenic.

9 months ago

Beautiful trail, good fishing, lots of wildlife.

backpacking
9 months ago

Hiked Lilly Lake trail numerous times from June through Sept.
The lake itself is a great place with generally low traffic. Mount Lindsey attracts most of the attention and that trail leaves Lilly Lake trail about a mile in to the left.
The first part of the trail after leaving the trailhead parking drops into a gorgeous valley! After the split mentioned above, the trail ascends by traversing the slope without switchbacks for about a mile giving sweet views of the valley and Upper Huerfano River.
After about a mile there are spectacular camp sites at the edge of the slope looking into Blanca Basin and the rising peaks of Blanca and Ellingwood Point are in your face!
In June there are numerous snowmelt waterfalls to add an even wilder atmosphere.
Beyond this the trail turns to the slopes just below the lake making several switchbacks with a few more nice camp sites.
The lake itself is a beauty with, dare I reveal it, good size cutthroat trout in abundance.
An upper lake is situated about a half mile or so through fairly tough talus and boulder fields. There are fish there as well, as I understand it.

Great day, beautiful hike. Saw only 2 other hikers.

Hidden gem!

Completed the loop today (Up V, down C). Conditions and the trail were both fantastic. Lots of wildflowers, and, with the exception of one ~150 meter stretch near Comanche lake, the trail was dry. Lot of bugs in the lower elevations.

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