Kit Carson Mountain Via Willow Lake Trail is a 12.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Westcliffe, Colorado that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

12.3 miles
6,289 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips




8 months ago

I did this in one day. It was pretty hard on the feet, especially on the seemingly endless descent. But it was an incredible experience overall! Lots of beauty up there!

I knocked one star off for the somewhat nasty, slippery trail up Challenger. Be careful! Trekking poles help! Rocky Mountain Field Institute was up there building another trail in 2017, in what looked like a much more solid region, so it might be much better now.

Be careful when descending Kit Carson that you come down the same way you went up, as it is very easy to end up too far east and to miss the avenue and go too far down, into hazardous territory. Avoid the temptation of following the cairns that you might see up there, as they apparently belong to a trail that goes over to Columbia Point. Use GPS to make sure you hit the avenue's entrance. Mark it on the ascent.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Cool peak in a beautiful area. I approached from the east and camped near south colony lakes. Makes for a long hike, but it was well worth it. Looks like you could play football on the bears playground.

4 months ago

5 months ago

7 months ago