South Colony Lakes Trail

HARD 19 reviews
#18 of 95 trails in

South Colony Lakes Trail is a 9.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Westcliffe, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
9.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2230 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

fishing

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

From Westcliff, go south on hwy. 69 to Colfax Ln.,go south on this road to South Colony Rd., turn right(west) and follow this road to the end where the trailhead is located.

backpacking
1 month ago

Backpacked this on September 23-24, 2017. The drive from the first parking lot to the closer parking lot is indeed 4WD, but it does save you a good 2-2.5 miles. There's one particular section with a deep rut and steep climb and many portions are private property, so there are few options to park.

Started off our hike around mid-afternoon and it was warm, but we knew rain was in the forecast. It didn't started raining until halfway into our hike. Halfway through our hike, we could also finally see the beautiful mountain peaks and they were foggy, but didn't appear to have much or any snow on them. We ran into a couple of different groups on their way down. Only one guy said he made it to the top of Humboldt earlier in the day. Another guy said it was extremely windy and their group turned back.

We camped about half a mile down from the lower south colony lake and we were wet and very cold. By the time we opened our tent an hour later, there was a thin layer of ice and snow where there hadn't been any before.

It sleeted/snowed until about midnight and we woke up to a bit more snow/ice than the previous day. The surrounding peaks had a good amount of snow on them. Thought about trying to summit Humboldt, but it was definitely too cold when we woke up. Trip was still worth it for the amazing views in that basin.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Trail is not well maintained but manageable. If you don't have 4 wheel drive then you have to hike 2.5 miles to the trail head which is straight up. Challenging but awesome hike. Lots of Bighorn sheep when you get up to the peak.

backpacking
2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

We were told you couldn't drive to the trail head so we parked at the bottom. After hiking up 2.5 mi we saw everyone parked there which was frustrating. So, we hiked an extra 5 miles so app 14 mi all total. That being said, once we got to the lakes it was beautiful. Great views of the Crestones. Had we started at the trailhead, it would have been a very moderate hike and well worth it. I will do it again!

4 months ago

any snow remaining?

fishing
4 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

Awesome hike. Access road to the trailhead is 4WD high clearance. To take this to the top of humbolt it is 16 miles round trip. Great wildlife, wildflowers, waterfall, lakes, this trail has it all.

backpacking
9 months ago

Done this one a couple times, not that bad physically, till you get up to the Lakes - uphill from there. Climbed Mt. Humboldt and have snow shoe'ed in during winter months always quite and remote. Plenty of snow and Beautiful views, lots of timber down low but just keep climbin' timberline awaits !

hiking
9 months ago

One of the most epic and flower filled hikes I have EVER done if not #1. do it in the summer/late spring

fly fishing
Thursday, September 15, 2016

Awesome!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Tough hike. Made it to the upper lake but not to Humboldt Peak due to heavy wind and rain. Got a ride to the trailhead. Will be back to attempt Humboldt again.

backpacking
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

hiking
Saturday, August 01, 2015

I absolutely loved the view at the lower South Colony Lake! However, THIS IS NOT AN EASY HIKE. I've been doing backcountry hiking for years all throughout the Rockies in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado, and this is the hardest hike I've ever done. I think if my expectations had been on target it wouldn't have been so frustrating. I will say it would be a bit easier if you have 4 wheel drive and can drive up to the first trailhead, but if not, honestly don't go. We had to park at the very bottom before you get into the trees, which added almost 3 miles into the already 4 or 5 mile hike. Also, it's ALL incline to the lake so it's exhausting.

From where we parked we hiked almost 3 miles up a road to a parking lot for those with 4 wheel drive. Then from there it's 3 or 4 miles to another trailhead that splits into 2 directions. We went to the left and couldn't even make it to the lakes before dusk, so we found a camping spot maybe half mile from there. In the morning we hiked about a mile to get to the lower lake and it was GORGEOUS! We were too tired to make it up to the upper lake and had the whole hike back down.

It's a great view, but be prepared and learn from my experience! Only go if you have the vehicle that can get you up to the second lot! Again, I would rate this at least a medium, but definitely a hard when you are hiking in with gear.

Monday, June 15, 2015

it was a very pretty hike, unfortunately we got rained out a mile away from the lake and had to come back. The trail is about 3.5 miles one way to the lake but getting to the trailhead is hard unless you have a high clearance vehicle with 4 wheel drive, there is private property between the base (parking for those of us in small sedans) so you cant try to make your way up and pulll over somewhere to park. From the parking lot to the trail head is maybe 3-4 miles. the whole trail is pretty rocky but there are spectacular views going up and tons of aspen groves.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

This trail starts a few miles up South Colony Road where the road ends and the trailhead begins. You walk up the road a few more miles to where the trail begins. The trail heads up to the lower lake, where there is a nice waterfall below the lake. We have seen Bighorn Sheep around this area also. The trail continues on up to the upper lake which sits at the base of Crestone Needle and Crestone Peak, with Humboldt Peak to the other side, all 14er's. The lakes have good fishing for cutthroat trout. The whole area around the Lakes are very scenic with other trails to the top of the three 14er's.