Big Lake Trail

MODERATE 3 reviews
#14 of 26 trails in

Big Lake Trail is a 5.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near La Jara, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
5.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1259 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

lake

views

There are fences (barb wire and old posts) through out the trail that need open and closed if you have a large pack--or can be climbed under if small pack and you are flexible. With fences comes cows and the trail can be muddy because of this reason. After the 1st lake you can find a trail to the left--after a small hill climb you find an easier trail-than if you would have gone straight. You do have to 'jump' a small stream if you go this way. The lake is catch and release, but easy to fish. There are a few camping spots, but a lot of the wood has been used up so don't plan on a roaring fire unless you bring a way to cut the dead wood around.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

I hiked this 5/27/17. For an asthmatic Floridian who lacks cardio, it took me about 2 and a half hours to reach the lakes. As it was threatening to rain after I'd chilled for over an hour, I got back to the trailhead in just over an hour.

The trail is practically entirely uphill going out. Towards the very start, there are two creeks to cross--the first one is fairly deep and got the insides of my half-ankle-high boots wet. You can likely avoid getting wet on the second one. It's a gorgeous hike with two small meadows. You're primarily in a mix of aspen and pine. There's many fallen trees around, but only one obstructed the trail. Towards the beginning of the trail, you can hear a waterfall to your right (if going out) and walk on a sort of obvious trail to see part of it and a beaver dam.

When I was at the lakes, a pair of hunters in a jeep entered the area from the opposite side and shot some ducks. I don't think they saw me (I was at the tree line), but they left quickly. Certainly watch yourself out there, but I doubt they meant harm except to ducks.

The trail is fairly rocky at times, and there's a few mud spots towards the end from snowmelt, but you should be fine if you watch your footing. It's gorgeous out there.

Also, be weary as there is no cell service in this part of the forest. It doesn't matter to some, but someone was worried for me since I hadn't replied all day since letting them know I had left.

hiking
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I think this is a great trail. I would not rate it difficult, cause I just hiked it with my 8 month old in a child carrier and my other 3 kids-ages 3, 7, and 10. (2015) The first part of the trail is a lot of up and down and mostly in the tree's. After that it smooths out a bit and you are in meadow with a few spots of shade.
There are fences (barb wire and old posts) through out the trail that need open and closed if you have a large pack--or can be climbed under if small pack and you are flexible. With fences comes cows. We saw a large herd, but it moved as we got closer--my son blew his whistle at them and they really moved. But it can be muddy because of this reason.

After the 1st lake you can find a trail to the left--after a small hill climb you find an easier trail-than if you would have gone straight. You do have to 'jump' a small stream/mud (I put a rock in the middle and with two large steps got over it that way) if you go this way.

The lake is catch and release, but easy to fish. There are a few camping spots, but a lot of the wood has been used up so don't plan on a roaring fire unless you bring a way to cut the dead wood around (we had a small hatchet).

We hiked in Friday-got rained on most of the late afternoon and into the night, Saturday was beautiful, and Sunday was also beautiful. If I remember I will try to upload photos