Venable Creek Trail is a 8.2 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 May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,732 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

scramble

snow

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

hiking
2 months ago

My wife, brother, my two kids (my son is 4, he rode in a backpack carrier, but my 6 year old did the hike) and I hiked up to Venable Falls.
According to my Apple Watch, the falls are 2.6 miles from the parking lot trailhead. There is a sign there clearly indicating the falls, and it’s a relatively easy climb down to the falls.

It was an awesome time and the falls were awesome to see.

backpacking
3 months ago

Went on a three day backpacking trip to Venable lakes. From the parking lot at the trail head, you have about a half mile of uphill until you hit the rainbow trail. You stay on the rainbow trail for an extremely short distance, about 30 meters, until you hit the Venable creek trail. From there you walk pretty steadily uphill with two or three major switchback areas. You can stop about half way up and see the Venable falls. If you stay on the high trail, there isn't much to see due to the vegetation, but if you are willing to drop low and walk back up, there is a great view from the creek. The trail sign says that the distance to the lake is 4.75 miles, however we tracked with a Garmin and from the parking lot, to where we set up camp in the lower Basin, it was about 5.88 miles.
If you are looking to fish, the lower Basin that is next to the old fallen cabin, has no fish and in fact is just wetlands. However, there are trees unlike the upper lakes and there are more camping spots available then the higher lakes and is safer with lightning and wind. The upper two lakes, the ones more prominent on most maps, have some nice fish and bite on both lure and fly depending on the day.
Overall, it's not the most beautiful sangre drainage, but it is still worth the walk in.
Great hike, beautiful views, and delicious fish!

horseback riding
3 months ago

This was my second time riding this trail. The first time we were snowed out just above the old cabin remains. It's a great ride, allbeit extremely rocky for horses. I recommend shoes. My horses have done this trail twice barefoot; however, one is a mountain mustang and the other is mountain horse stock, both of which have always been barefoot and worked over rough terrain routinely. The views are amazing and well worth the effort. If taking horses above treeline, I recommend only very experienced trail horses, as the path narrows considerably and the slope becomes very precipitous. I actually got off and led my horse for the last half mile; my partner chose to ride to the lakes. Hiking or riding this is a great trip to make.

backpacking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike. Had 3 dads and 6 kids on this trip. Spent the first night at the lower ponds. Second night was at Venable Lake. We enjoyed the views and quiet, but would not recommend being above tree line during Summer afternoon thunder showers.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful trail, I went up to the lakes yesterday 4/28. After venable falls the trail is snowed out most of the way. I used alltrails offline maps & the sound of venable creek to navigate up to the lakes.

hiking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

first half mile is difficult then levels out for easy climb through Aspen's. the last mile or so is climbing through forest but falls are beautiful. if you go another 100 yards past falls there is a great overlook if the valley.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Great hike with even better views, try and make it to the lakes.

hiking
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

This is a great hike. It is actually an 8 mile out and back (4 each way). Start at the trailhead near Alvarado Campground. From the parking area, take the trail to the right (the one to the left goes to Comanche Lakes). After about a half mile, you T into the Rainbow Trail. Take that to the right for a hundred yards, or so. Then, you come to the Venable Trail on the left. About halfway to the lakes, you come to a short spur trail that leads to Venable Falls. The falls carve a steep little canyon. You need to scramble down to see them. Then continue to the lakes. If desired, you can continue on trail, beyond the lakes, up the Phantom Terrace, then traverse behind Spring Mountain, and down the Comanche Lakes drainage / trail to make a 12 mile loop which ends back at the same trailhead.

hiking
Saturday, August 04, 2012

This hike was from 2004. Started from Alvarado Campground above Westcliffe which added 4 miles using the Rainbow trail to connect. So 15 miles RT total. Great hike. Beautiful waterfalls. Aspens forever. Dogs loved it.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
3 months ago

backpacking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
Friday, September 01, 2017

hiking
Thursday, August 17, 2017

hiking
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

hiking
Friday, July 21, 2017

hiking
Saturday, June 10, 2017

horseback riding
Thursday, September 29, 2016