Venable-Comanche Trail

MODERATE 27 reviews

Venable-Comanche Trail is a 12.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Westcliffe, 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 November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

12.3 miles
3884 feet

dogs on leash





horseback riding

trail running







wild flowers




old growth


washed out

1 month ago

When I was younger I used to run up this trail! Now I hike up and carefully run down. It is quite difficult in spots. The lower Venable portion can be very dusty and torn apart by horse travel, which can get muddy during (practically daily) Summer rains. The higher you go the more beautiful it gets! There is a broken down cabin towards the top. The views at the top are awesome! My lovely (ha!) profile picture was actually taken at the lower Venable Lake at the top! At the very top there is this portion of the trail called “Phantom Terrace” and the trail just disappears into the scree... let me tell you one thing... I would not want to ride a horse over it! The Comanche side of the loop is more forgiving and not as difficult.

3 months ago

great trail and not as steep as many of the other trails in the area

5 months ago

I'm old, fat, and broken. Did the loop in two days. Camped near one of the lakes then did the hard part on day two and to the car around three pm. Seen some 80 year old white haired women doing this, so anyone under age eighty should have no problems. Good warm up for Humboldt peak.

5 months ago

Highly recommend for experienced hikers/backpackers. Views are incredible.

The trail is not for the faint hearted and in my opinion it should be rated as hard. If you are scared of heights, easily fall/trip, or have a hard time keeping your balance, don’t recommend the hike from Comanche Lake to Venable Lake due to Phantom Terrace….the hike is along a narrow mountain ridge.

You will need suntan lotion and prepare for some really steep climbs.

On my record tracks pinned 2 really good campsites.

If you have any questions, I’m on Facebook Messenger.

6 months ago

I hiked to Comanche Lake and back. I didn't do the loop. It took me two hours to get to the lake. Fishing was great up to 12:00 PM.

6 months ago

Spectacular challenge with elevation gain , wildlife, views, clear water !!

7 months ago

I'm not sure it gets more Colorado, than this trail. Aspen groves and pine forests, massive elevation gain potential, slightly sketchy traverse, and beautiful Alpine lakes with trout in them. One of my favorites for sure

7 months ago

Beautiful. Hiked this trail in the fall. The aspen trees were bright yellow, chill in the air. It was glorious.

7 months ago

Beautiful trail, good fishing, lots of wildlife.

7 months ago

Completed the loop today (Up V, down C). Conditions and the trail were both fantastic. Lots of wildflowers, and, with the exception of one ~150 meter stretch near Comanche lake, the trail was dry. Lot of bugs in the lower elevations.

8 months ago

In late june, there was quite a bit of snowmelt on the Comanche side. Phantom terrace is something you don't want to miss. Hiking up venable lake side and down comanche is the way to go. Hard to catch fish in the high winds, but there are fish in the lakes

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Monday, June 29, 2015

amazing trail with waterfalls, lakes, summit views and aspen groves
easy to reach with a sedan to the trail head
its actually closer to 14 miles round trip
things i wish i knew ahead of time:
1) go late summer, we went end of june and there was still a lot of snow melt, the trails were very wet and muddy towards the top and the snow obscured a lot of trail which made for interesting guess work
2) bring bug spray, the comanche side is mosquito filled, you will get eaten alive
3) go up venable and down comanche (comanche is much steeper)
4) towards the top of venable lake the trail splits, right brings you to the lake and left brings you to phantom terrace to complete the loop. EASY TO MISS. dont miss it, this will make your life hard because phantom terrace is named because the trail is hard to find and doesnt look like it exists.
5) once over the first saddle take the trail veering left along the ridge to find comanche lake

it was beautiful and one of my favorite hikes ever

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Great track lots of elevation gain. Two Great Lakes, water falls, ridge pass, fun and challenging day hike!

mountain biking
Friday, August 23, 2013

Bike it. You'll love it. Very pretty area. Trail is not busy. Watch for bear. Loose rocks too make for a fun ride. Lots of climbing

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Not too hard and very pretty

1 month ago

3 months ago

4 months ago

5 months ago

Load More