Explore the most popular birding trails in Carson National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The directions to the trail head goes onto private property and they have gated the access to the trail. Best to go onto the trail at the El Nogal parking area a little further up the road off of 64.

Great moderate hike. Beautiful views.

Nice quick hike

hiking
22 days ago

great trail, fairly uphill the whole way but absolutely worth the view. you start hiking from the parking lot by some skiiers and then split left. would definitely do again but yak tracks made all the difference, bring em!!

Fantastic trail! Easy for the elevation. 3/22/18 the snow is pretty packed down, but the freeze-thaw cycle means you probably want some kind of traction like yaktracks. It's a beautiful hike in the snow - cozy forest climb that opens up to a breathtaking bowl with the frozen lake.

I had a blast here! Very pretty easy going Trail.. spent the night by the lake.. well worth the climb!

**Dogs ARE allowed here** Great hike, though hard to follow the trail sometimes. Definitely needed the AllTrails map to follow. I was also glad I'd thrown my snowshoes on my back as when I needed them, I really needed them. Beautiful quiet trail, especially with the fresh snow!

So beautiful- was looking for a trail run and this was more of a steep walk/jog for the first half uphill , then a nice, rapid downhill. Not very technical, just steep and high altitude for someone who’s been living in Texas for 5 years :)

Great spring hike, but do wish there was better signage along the way...thank goodness for snow and footprints to let us know we were still on the right path. If I was to do it again this time of year, I'd take my snowshoes.

off road driving
1 month ago

Great trail and beautiful views at the Lake. Did it in a lifted 4Runner. No problems at all. Very fun and rewarding trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked in early-march. Trail was very well marked. Snow was well packed on the trail, which was about 3-4 ft. wide. If you stumbled off of the trail, the snow would rise past your shins. Views were remarkable, even with the lake frozen. Trekking up the mountain was moderately challenging due to the elevation, the way down was a blast. Dogs loved the trail.

Did this as the loop and 164 had sections of ice and snow. There was nothing technical about the hike at all. Beautiful scenery along the way but harder to see at the peak because of denser trees. Biggest cairn ever and stone chairs let you know you made it.

Trial itself is nothing to write home about but the site is very interesting with pottery artifacts all over. You need a lot of imagination because there are no ruins.

We started the hike going down La Junta (wow, just wow on views and trail). Went to the end of La Junta at the confluence of the rivers for lunch, then hiked along the River Trail to Big Arsenic Trail back up to the top and then hiked the flat Riconda Trail back to the car at the La Junta parking lot. Would not change a thing about the route. La Junta down was amazing and the trail between Little Arsenic and Big Arsenic was the prettiest part of our hike. We chose not to hike the additional mike os switch-back down to seek out the pictographs that may or not be easy to find since we have seen in other areas of the Southwest. Glad we didn't ton save energy for the flat walk back to the car. No regrets and glad we did it.

1 month ago

Love the camp sites
Looks like the bridge to get to the picnic tables was washed out?

The water is gorgeous at the bottom and the hike back to the top makes drinking a cold one at the end totally guilt free

Very pleasant short hike. Unspoiled.

First time hiking this trail and absolutely loved it! Climbed out into the river to enjoy the sound of the water.

hiking
2 months ago

Always a favorite trail to hike with a beautiful lake!

Fantastic Trail- As you climb the grade is very reasonable and the view from lakes is truly spectacular. If you only do 1 Hike in the Pecos this would be it!

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great trail. Instead of attempting the steep drive in my Honda Civic, we parked in the ski valley and hiked up one of the ski runs to the trail head. Go through the ski village and head left along the chair lift. The run curves to the right and follows the river to your left. Cross the river again at the Phoenix restaurant / Kachina chair lift, and you're at the true trail head. This was about 8 miles round trip and relatively steep, but do-able even without hiking poles.

Steep climb up, but once you're there it's breathtaking.

hiking
3 months ago

Somehow only hiked 5.75. But enjoyable without being difficult. Saw elk and mule deer.

Awesome walk, wore runners and was fine, minimal snow on be trail. The lake at the end is simply stunning!

Great hike today. Beautiful views

The trail was great but you better be good at navigating around off the trail. Towards halfway of the trail you lost site because of fallen trees everywhere. Be sure to expect delays but the end and getting to the lake is well worth it.

backpacking
3 months ago

I am trying to plan a 4 day backpacking trip into Sante Fe Wilderness and this area along with the Middle Fork area looks beautiful Anybody know how one may create a loop trail that hits both these beautiful areas?

My brother and i hiked this in late December.. The weather on the ascent was just lovely at 40-55F. I had to take off my outer layer to keep from burning up on ascent but glad i had it on the descent. The last 20% or so of the trail on way to lake is tougher due to lots of slick ice in spots and slightly deeper (1-2 ft or so) of snow, plus slight incline and a few spots you have to cross ice on logs. All doable though. Bring more water than you need and energy bars or fruit and rest awhile at the top. I made the mistake of forgetting food and i started burning out about 1 mile from top. The grassy area surrounding the lake is perfect for a power nap. Gorgeous views and a hike that tests your stamina more than anything if you are in decent shape. I wouldn't ever advocate traveling in the dark but we had a full moon and with headlamp getting down was easy at 1.5 hrs vs 2.5 hours going up. Truly a gem!

hiking
3 months ago

Fun hiking trail! It is on the sunny side of the mountain, so it’s warmer on winter days than trail 164 which is shady and cooler in the AM. The trail is wide and mostly dirt and rocks.

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