Explore the most popular forest trails in South San Juan Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

My favorite trail in Pagosa! If you catch it right there are some beautiful fairy flowers end of May early June.

I’ve hiked this trail three times, all in August. Its biggest difficulty is that the first part is heavily used by cattle, so as you are struggling up the early steeper part of the trail you must also contend with wall to wall slop. After a mile or so this is not such a problem. Overall not a difficult trail with pretty scenery. The lake is lovely, maintained by beavers. I’d give this trail 4 stars if it weren’t for the muck.

I’ve hiked this trail 3 times, all in August. It is a religious experience to me, to be up under the sky on those miles of grassland. No bugs, but even in August there’s still a bit of a detour around that one marshy area. Not difficult except the first 3/4 mile if you’re not used to the elevation (10,000 feet). I’ve never met anyone in the trail except a sheep herder named Rego from Oaxaca and his horse.

If this hike was easy, would hate to see hard. Fairly steep in places with some very narrow passages on the edge. Beautiful except for all the dead pine trees. The "creek" is almost a river and the wildflowers were lovely. Highly recommend, but not if you aren't in reasonable shape. Not sure where turnaround was. We hiked over 2 miles and trail kept going.

Wonderful hike. Moderate, not too hard. Does require some stream crossing. We go sun, rain and hail all in late July AND there was still snow on the ground at 10,600 feet. Beautiful trail with lots of wildflowers and gorgeous views!

Beautiful panorama. The climb is gradual and relatively smooth. The last couple hundred yards up to the peak is freeform scrambling over rocks. We felt unsure in spots.

Our round trip time was about three and a half hours including a lengthy lunch on the top

Beautiful trail. Great rewards for a not too hard hike. The views are beautiful to bad for the pine Beatles killing ALL the trees

hiking
9 months ago

Connector trail, runs from Fish creek trailhead to Opal lake trail. Connects to Opal lake trail approximately 1/4 mile north of the lake. Sign is very weathered for the trail where it splits off from the Opal lake side entry point.

This hike was great! I was visiting from Phoenix and was looking forward to this hike. The trail is well maintained making it easy to follow. The best part is the very end where you have to climb to the top over a bunch of boulders. Definitely make sure you do this because the views are worth it! After taking a handful of stops to enjoy the many views along the trail and eating at the top, i would say it took us about 3hrs round trip.

Loved this hike! I'm 6.5 months pregnant so it was a little strenuous for me on the incline. We made it up and back in 3 hours with several stops for photo ops. The views were spectacular, and even did the scramble to the summit. I think most people of average Fitness could do this hike. Views were definitely worth it!

Great hike with a gradual incline. Wildflower switchback corridor takes you half way, then you have great views on your way to the peak. Will definitely be a regular summer hike.

Nice moderate hike to a great view at the peak! We started at sunrise, summited and got back down in under 2 hours. You will gain most of the elevation through the woods with switch backs in the first mile, then the trail is less steep and you will be rewarded with views. My favorite part was walking along the ridge with a great view to the north. Plenty of wildlife, we saw deer, marmots, squirrels, and tons of wildflowers. Right off the highway too!

hiking
10 months ago

Made it 2.25 miles before being chased away by thunderstorm.

Amazing hike. Not much wind before the early afternoon rain. We got a little wet on the decent, but hardly even noticed. Great views'

hiking
10 months ago

Great short hike but you can go further than the map says, which we did and ended up with 4.2 miles total. The trail ended at a stream leading to the river. We saw lots of fresh elk droppings and some scat too. The river wasn't as close or gentle for our dog to drink much from but there's a few spots for them to wade in. We went in the late morning so we could avoid the afternoon thunderstorms. Only saw two other groups there. Since some of it is in a burned section, there's quite a bit of sun - use sun block and bug spray. Long pants would be nice too since there's a couple thorny plants along the trail.

Really enjoyed this trail, with fun scramble to Alberta Peak with impressive view.

Well groomed, mild grade, and pretty! Managed to make it to the continental divide post before turning around. (Small dog was tired). 5 stars if the views continue improving as the trail goes on around the rim, just didn't get to see.

Eady to moderate. A few downed trees, and it rained pretty hard which made for some slippery areas, but it was a beautiful hike.

fishing
10 months ago

Used this trail to access the middle fork. I wanted to make it up to Lake Ann but wasn't able to go all the way up due to a afternoon thunder storm. Lower part of the trail is in pretty good condition although there are a few deadfalls that you have to go around. Lots of water still so the trail is muddy in places but there are a lot of neat little waterfalls. The upper trail intersects with a lot of animal paths but is still fairly easy to follow. The water fall was pretty neat. Fishing access is pretty good along the entire trail but is most accessible before you get to the three forks split.

Love this trail for a morning hike!

hiking
10 months ago

Probably one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done! I felt kind of like singing songs from The Sound of Music as I walked along. The various little lakes are beautiful, with frogs croaking away, so many different textures of beautiful different green colors, like a carpet! Red Lake was placid and beautiful, and we saw quite a few people fishing. I do have to add, however, the mosquitoes were fierce. If you have a hard time with mosquitoes or do not cover yourself completely this can be a very unfun hike in the lower areas. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

backpacking
10 months 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!

backpacking
10 months 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!!

10 months ago

Beautiful trail, very few people on it, magnificent views. One of my favorite so far in Colorado. Plus, the hike is rather leisurely. Bring some snacks for a picnic...you won't get better surroundings!

Didn't make it to the top; the snow got too deep about 1.7 miles in. Ended up walking part of the ski slope, then reconnected to the trail above the chair lift, but the deep snow started shortly thereafter. The views at that point were incredible, however, and made the hike worthwhile. The trail, when it does clear, has a lot of downed timber, so be prepared to scramble!

Easy to Moderate and well marked

hiking
11 months ago

This was an awesome trail. The dogs liked it a lot just cause they can stay hydrated and cool cause the water flows damn near 60% of the trail. Only bad thing is a lot of peeps seem to turn around at 2.21 miles cause the trail is hard to see but we managed to make it to a cage with a stick in it. Wasn't for sure what it symbolized. The hike back to the trail head was easy and fast. In the end gps said we did 7.99 miles.

backpacking
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Beautiful, magnificent trail. Being from Texas, I don't get to experience any mountainous trails such as this one, so I tagged along with a friend from Colorado and backpacked here for a few days. I recommend picking a time during the summer where the snow has melted to a manageable level, as it was quite difficult last year in early June.

Even though there wasn't snow anywhere else, this trail was 90% snow. It wasn't very steep, views were amazing, and not very hard to find. Other than the snow, the one downside was that we lost the trail and ended up finding a ski resort instead.

This is one of my favorite quick hikes, it offers so much to both the seasoned and casual hiker. I highly recommend.

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