Stout Lakes Trail is a 8.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Howard, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length8.2 miElevation gain3,727 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsBird watchingLakeViewswild-flowers
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

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

Directions from Salida: Kerr Gulch Access: Traveling east on Highway 50 from Salida turn right on Kerr Gulch Road, BLM 6110. The turn is approximately 4 miles northwest of Coaldale. Drive about 4 miles to BLM Road 6117. Follow Road 6117 1 mile to the trailhead. At the trailhead (north edge of the meadow) follow the old logging road about .75 miles to the Rainbow Trail. Hike north on the Rainbow Trail .25 miles to Stout Creek Lake Trailhead. Follow Stout Creek Lakes Trail climbing steeply in some places 3 miles to the lake.This access is recommended for high clearance vehicles and dry weather only.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (30)
Photos (51)
Recordings (26)
Completed (52)
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John Taft
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking

Good signs. Well marked trail. Little bit steep, but not too bad.

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Amelia Hardy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2020
HikingOver grownRockyScramble

I’ve done this hike twice now, and it never disappoints! The trail is quite steep and rocky, but the views at the top make it so worth it! If you’re a fisherman, I highly recommend bringing a rod so you can do some fishing at the upper lake; it’s full of beautiful cutthroat trout! If you’re doing this as a day hike, get started early (we always start around sunrise) so you have a couple hours to relax at the lakes before coming down. Keep in mind that afternoon thunderstorms are typical in the summer, so be prepared with rain gear and good shoes — the trail is rocky and quite slippery when it rains.

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Allison Lilly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 17, 2020
Hiking

We started our hike around 9:30 am and reached the first lake around 12:30/1. The view was spectacular!! We did not continue up because of time. Took about 3ish hours up and 2 hours down. Lots of rocks that caused you to slow down on the way down. A few trees were down on the trail.

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Rachel Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
HikingGreat!

Camped at the trail head the night before and started the hike around 7am. Conditions were great, however there was some overgrowth on the trail. We did not see one person on the trail or in the parking lot. I assume this isn't very well known. It is a pretty difficult trail but not impossible. Great views! Make sure you go all the way up to the second lake.

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Trey Hannam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2020
BackpackingRocky

I was able to make it to the trailhead with no issues and I only have 5.7" of clearance (Mazda3 hatchback). The hike itself is exciting and it took me about 2 hrs and 40 minutes to the lakes and 1 hr 25 min to get back down. I stayed a night up at the lakes and I would recommend being wind ready since there are no trees! Although very little wind there were occasional strong winds that would have sent my tent into flight.

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Steve Kahley
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Hiking

beautiful

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jamie jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 8, 2019
Backpacking

Brutal hike but so worth it! I'm not in the best shape but if i can do you you absoluty can. I'm just gonna be sore for the rest of the week. Beautiful hike and great views. still a lot of snow towards the top but that's just how this year is going. Fishing was great. Camping was great. We brought a water filter to refill our bottles and it was by far the best water I have ever tasted.

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Mercedes Siegle-Gaither
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 6, 2018
Fishing

So hard! I’m a park ranger and hike every day, but this trail was still hard for me! Definitely not a day hike.

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Brad Lehman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 4, 2017
Backpacking

very strenuous, uphill hike. I did not make it to the lakes due to the abundance of snow about 11,000'. There were many downed trees to navigate as well. Stout creek was raging! Following the trail you don't see much of the creek but you can hear it! Pack light and wear sturdy boots.

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Brian Liles-Crabtree
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 26, 2016
Hiking

Trail was in better shape than I thought it would be. Couple areas where trees are down on the path. Other than that it was a fun time. Might take some time to get up to it, but if you pack light you can jog most of the way down.

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John Czohara
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2015
Hiking

OK... I do not have much experience with backpacking and was uncertain whether I could do this with my 13 year old son when we were invited for an overnight. I am so greatful that they (other experienced backpacker) asked and we accepted. The trial was hard, but very rewarding when we reached the top. We were able to get there in about 3 hours and made it back down in about 2 hours the next day after hiking to the upper lakes. The campsite at the top were great. Word of caution: weather is unpredictable... Weather called for sun and clear skies and we got about 3 hours of heavy rain and 50 mph winds. Plan, dress, pack appropriately. Highly recommended.

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Kathy Richardson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2013
Hiking

We hiked to the lake in 4 hours. The trail disappears in a couple of spots about half way up due to the numerous trees that blew down over the winter. We had to bush whack our way around the biggest blow down to the north and west then re-intersect the trail. Once we accomplished this the trail was reasonably unobstructed the remainder of the way with the occasional blockage from a downed tree. On the descent we stayed on the trail rather than retrace our ascent path around the blow down which turned out to be a mistake. This way led us into the heart of the blow down and made the rediscovery of the trail much harder and longer. We made the descent back to the Kerr Gulch Trail head in 3.5 hours. It turned out to be a very arduous but rewarding hike with great views, grouse and turkey sightings, and an afternoon escape from the 100 deg. heat.

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Justin Banham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 11, 2013
Camping

This trail is beautiful. It is worth it in every way. However, it is not for the faint of heart. This trail really beat me up.

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Kathy Richardson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 21, 2012
Hiking

We hiked to the lake in 4 hours. The trail disappears in a couple of spots about half way up due to the numerous trees that blew down over the winter. We had to bush whack our way around the biggest blow down to the north and west then re-intersect the trail. Once we accomplished this the trail was reasonably unobstructed the remainder of the way with the occasional blockage from a downed tree. On the descent we stayed on the trail rather than retrace our ascent path around the blow down which turned out to be a mistake. This way led us into the heart of the blow down and made the rediscovery of the trail much harder and longer. We made the descent back to the Kerr Gulch Trail head in 3.5 hours. It turned out to be a very arduous but rewarding hike with great views, grouse and turkey sightings, and an afternoon escape from the 100 deg. heat.

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James Elliott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 16, 2012
Hiking
First to Review

I was able to manage over two miles on the trail (one way) until I completely lost its path due to fallen trees and overgrowth. I did find a few places where people had started to make secondary and tertiary paths around troubled spots, but after nearly a quarter mile of hunting and scrambling around, I gave up and went back down. I do know that extreme winds in the area have caused many more fallen trees in the last few months. As far as the "Strenuous" rating for this trail, I agree. It is severe uphill grade with little mitigation. I have heard good things about the lakes at the end of this trail so I wanted to check them out. My 3-star rating is only because I couldn't continue on the trail. There were a couple of decent views on the way up (the part I was able to complete), and at 1.5 miles you cross the creek which is nice. It took me exactly two hours to go 4.2 miles up and down this trail. I will give this trail another try at another time. If you're feeling adventurous, by all means, do it!

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Kerstien Zabukovic
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Backpacking
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Kim Varney
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Hiking
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Suzanne Copping
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Hiking
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Scott Schulz
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Hiking
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Nola Hart
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Hiking
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Aly Titterington
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Hiking
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Ashley Main
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Hiking
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GAry Milne
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Hiking
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Nate McMillen
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Hiking
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Lee Kayser
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Hiking
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Charles Drake
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Hiking
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Bradley Noone
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Hiking
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Cyrus Valencia
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Hiking
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