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Red Lake Trail is a 6.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Chromo, 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 6.1 mi Elevation gain 990 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Fishing

Hiking

Horseback riding

Running

Forest

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Muddy

No shade

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

There are no facilities at the trail head. There is plenty of parking. Camping is available near the old trail head, about 1/2 mile from the turn off of 17.

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

Directions from Highway 17: Follow Highway 17 to its junction with Forest Road #114, one-half mile south of the summit of La Manga Pass. Follow Road #114 approximately 2.5 miles to a sharp bend in the road. This is the new trail head and is well marked by Forest Service signs.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (48)
Photos (76)
Recordings (29)
Completed (63)
Randy Orton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 29, 2020
Hiking

Anyone have any issues with the vehicles being vandalized while left at the trailhead? My brother and I went 2 yrs ago and noticed a lot of broken glass in the lot. Some family from their said they heard their was issues?

Sheryl Weber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugs

Red Lake Trail. We hiked two years ago and noticed the forest is much worse from the pine beetle. Climbing higher, we noticed less cow poo which was a real problem 2 years ago. The trail seemed to been moved a bit to reduce the swampy areas but there are still a few bogs. The views are excellent, saw a fox but nothing more for wild animals. The Red Lake is still magnificent when you cross over the final summit. We hiked to the north side for a lunch but there were mosquitos.

View Sheryl's Recording
Stephanie P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 20, 2020
HikingBugs

Beautiful trail, easy up and down with a Great lake. Go early to finish before it’s warm. Bring bug spray, the lake has mosquitoes. Mind the altitude if you aren’t used to it.

View Stephanie's Recording
Ryan Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 26, 2020
HikingFloodedIcyMuddySnowWashed out

Fun trail. Still a bit of snow. Had to cross drifts, several runoff streams and marsh like grasslands. It was beautiful though. In these conditions I would call it hard instead of moderate.

View Ryan's Recording
Anita Reeb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 5, 2019
Hiking

Overall a beautiful hike. First half mile or so is on forest road with lots of down timber, and not very pretty. But rest of hike is through beautiful open meadows with lots of creek crossings and water for doggie. Lunch at the lake is a beautiful spot.

View Anita's Recording
Sabrina Trask
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 14, 2019
Hiking

Sept 14, 2019: Apparently this is bow hunting season, because we encountered multiple groups of hunters on foot and packing with horses. Be sure to check the hunting regs/season info before you go! Most of the hunters were nice, but two groups were a little “Deliverance-esque”, just staring at us and not saying hello or smiling. We also encountered some religious women in gowns and hats, sort of Mennonite-like; we were a little unnerved by all the quiet odd people on the trail. The hike was definitely not as pretty as I’d hoped. The road is well marked and well maintained; a standard car would have no problem in dry conditions. The trail is also well-marked. The first mile is fairly steep uphill through a beetle-kill forest; once you get to the “top” the landscape opens up dramatically and the trail wanders across a gentle steady uphill through a big series of high meadows. It gets a bit monotonous, although wildflowers and numerous small ponds were pretty. Nice views back to the Sangre de Cristos if the weather is clear. The high point of the trail marks the first view of Red Lake; the view is nice all the way to the western San Juans (ignoring all the beetle kill). There were people with horses at the lake and two inflatable boats with fishermen. Luckily the bugs weren’t an issue this time of year (60-degrees, overcast, very light breeze). I think there are probably prettier hikes in the San Juans; I would prefer hiking where beetle-kill is less prominent.

View Sabrina's Recording
Eric Toledo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2019
Hiking

Would do again. May be exposed to wind on open meadow portion of trail if conditions are poor. Good place to basecamp and do day hike from. Numerous ponds and tributaries make it pleasant.

Josiah W.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2019
HikingBugs

On a sunny day it's a cool ,partly shaded, partly open meadow trail. really swampy after days of rain but gorgeous views from the top before heading 200ish ft down to the lake. way too many mosquitoes at the lake but not terribly bad elsewhere.

Brian Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2019
HikingBugs

Great hike and easy to follow trail. Bring mosquito repellent for the lake and you’ll be all set. Beautiful views above the lake.

Craig Spears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 17, 2019
HikingBugs

Tree's been moved, and road's clear to the parking lot. The trail's clear of snow now, but patches are still melting around. Beautiful area, unfortunately mosquitoes will drain you once you get near the lake. Be prepared to help bring other people's garbage out with you as well, I don't know why some people think it's okay to treat this lake as a dump.

Alex Walker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 23, 2019
HikingMuddySnow

there's a tree blocking the road to the actual parking area, so you have to park along the road. the trail itself is currently a stream/snowfield. post-holed the whole way up. trail is tough to follow in these condtions. built some stream crossings along the way.

Deborah Ulibarri
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2018

The trail is a steady incline. Beautiful views

Donnie Cannon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2018

great hike

Jody D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 27, 2018
Hiking

I’m so confused by the trail mileage all trails has here. It’s 6.2 total out and back to the lake. The trail is beautiful, short first part in trees and the rest through beautiful meadows. It was pretty windy while we were up here but towards the end around 1630 the wind died down. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. I would rate this hike as easy with a minimum of strenuous parts. There is parking at the trailhead. *update: your gps will take you to the road that will take you up to the trailhead. My guess is the extra mileage to get to ten miles is the drive up this road to the parking lot where the trailhead is. Also, this is is a well maintained dirt road, accessible most vehicles with no problems. We saw lots of sheep (sheep herding dogs were present too) and lots of cows. Only got to see some marmots up close. You can easily hang up some hammocks around the lake and chill. We didn’t have any negative experiences with bugs. Two years ago I did this trail in July. Not all the snow had melted and there was so much run off we lost the trail and had to turn back. Coming back and finishing it up was so rewarding. This lake is beautiful!

Sheryl Weber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2018
Hiking

I used to hike this trail regularly when my parents had a cabin here 20 years ago. I still love the hike! I was dismayed to see the destruction of the pine trees by the beetles—none of that had hit when I was here before. There was less wildlife and fewer lakes and streams due to the drought. There was a lot more destruction of the trail due to more cattle (Huge mounds of poo and several torn up sections of the trail). Despite all of this it was still a beautiful hike through different eco systems—

Angela Daugherty
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 21, 2018

Lots of beautiful wildflowers and well-marked.

Dustin Sasser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2018
Backpacking

This was my first backpacking trip in Colorado and it was great. I packed in with my 81 year old neighbor and stayed 2 nights. We caught some nice trout and saw a bald eagle, deer, elk, marmots, and lots of chipmunks. I am already planning on returning with my family.

Renee Atencio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2018
Hiking

Great trail with tons of wildflowers! The first part was definitely a small challenge, but once it flattened out, it was great!

Janelle Otero
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 1, 2018

Great trip. Beautiful wildflowers! Great fishing! Bring mosquito spray.

Natalie Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 21, 2018
Hiking

If you drive to the trail head and park in the nearby parking lot, then the hike is only about 6.6 miles round trip. This map shows the trail head starting much further away. When we reached the end of the trail, we spent 20 minutes looking for the rest of the trail, thinking that we still had a couple of miles to go. Alas, once we were able to get cell phone reception, we realized that we WERE at the end of the trail...where it sort of dead ends near the lake. Overall the hike was great! Lots of beautiful wildflowers. It was quite windy when we went, so I wished I had brought some warmer layers. The dogs enjoyed the patches of snow along the way. We didn't enjoy the mosquitoes as much. If we are in the area again then I would definitely hike this trail again!

Susannah Clark
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 3, 2018

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.

Allison Snyder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 30, 2017

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!

Susan Langner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2017
Hiking

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!

Lauren Pawell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2017

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!

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