DISTANCE
7.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,148 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

hiking
2 months ago

An okay hike for this area, I would just say this is normal Colorado beautiful hike, not a San Juan’s beautiful hike. A few hot tips:

1. Wear waterproof boots as this trail has several creek crossings and was pretty wet (during monsoon season).
2. The directions app will stop you short of the trail head. As long as you have a 4x4 or AWD keep driving up the road. There is a shallow creek to cross. If you don’t want to cross it, there is parking on the other side of the creek crossing.
3. There are reviews that this trail can be hard to find in places. Check your GPS tracking often to make sure you don’t accidentally go off trail up to the lakes. There is one boulder field where I could not find a trail but found it on the other side.
4. Once you pass Highland Mary’s 3rd lake, the trail is actual pretty good except in one spot. The trail map suggest you walk to the 4th lake, walk along the edge and then hike up. This is wrong. Go to the 4th lake (as it’s really nice and worth the effort) and then go back where you came from to hike towards the CDT. This part of the trail is marked by large wood poles. When you are hiking towards the 4th lake you will see a large wood pole to your left and one that leads you to the 4th lake. You want to come back to this spot to hike on the path to the pole on the hill. From this area, the trail is well marked and traveled. I personally didn’t do this and just hiked up the gully to get back on the trail.
5. You will come to a sign towards the end of the hike to go back to Highland Mary TH or go to Cumberland Gulch. Despite logic go to Cumberland Gulch to do the full loop. Either way you will make it back to the TH.