Middle Fork Lake Trail

MODERATE 57 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Middle Fork Lake Trail is a 4.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Red River, New Mexico 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.

DISTANCE
4.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1240 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

3 minutes ago

The road to the trailhead is a well-maintained gravel road, but still a little rough. We did see a Prius back there, but high clearance is probably a good idea. The trail is really just a set of switchbacks without much to see. However, it is well-maintained and shaded most of the way. About half-way to the lake you cross a creek with a beautiful set of cascades. The switchbacks aren’t too steep, but the altitude left me a little winded. The lake at the end is definitely worth the hike. It was gorgeous and we had the place to ourselves. Dogs loved it.

4 days ago

There are 22 switchbacks. Mostly shade, lots of wildflowers, dragonflies, and beautiful lake at the top. The mileage we clocked was 5.4 miles.

hiking
25 days ago

This trail is a series of switchbacks. It is not one of the prettier trails in my opinion. However once you get to the lake it’s a beautiful view. This is also one of the shorter trails. I have done this trail several times and have seen people of all ages on the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

I did this hike on 5/19/18 and it was perfect. Great weather, great trail conditions (no snow or ice) just perfect. The trail is nice and wide but it’s definitely uphill and switchbacked most of the way, and the rock is loose so going down takes more time than you’d think. There were some fallen trees, some of which were fresh, so be careful. Also, the last mile to the trailhead is rough driving so a 4WD is recommended. The town of Red River is super cool and worth a stop after. The lake at the top is totally worth the effort.

1 month ago

So beautiful!

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked toward the end of April. Beautiful walk the whole way. Half the walk was on loose pack dirt but the other half was in slushy snow. Waterproof shoes were useful at this point in the season with wet snow. Gorgeous lake area still mostly frozen. A very hike short hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Super fun trail. Lake at the top is beautiful. Hiked at the end of July and the temp was awesome. Coming back to take my dog soon.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful! We did it in the winter and it was pretty icy. In two spots we had to cross frozen rivers. Definitely worth it though! Just be prepared and take it slow.
We did it in tennis shoes and it was fine, you just had to be careful

5 months ago

very beautiful, went up dec 26th and the lake was frozen!

7 months ago

love this trail and all the offshoots. however, it is a steep climb with ice and loose rock.

7 months ago

Beautiful and lots of different scenery. trail was pretty rocky and a straight up and down.

hiking
8 months ago

Conquered Middlefork Lake Trail again! We actually went a couple of miles out of the way but overall it was a great trip!

9 months ago

It was a very strenuous uphill Hike (for me who is an avid Zumba fan), with lots of switchbacks, small Creek you have to cross logs to continue on; however the lake at the top is spectacular! Well worth all the hard work to get there.

10 months ago

nice hike. have to cross small streams bring extra socks.

fishing
10 months ago

This trail was challenging for us TX flatlanders, however, it was really fun...we took it slowly and practiced some fly fishing at the lake (no bites today, but great fun)

10 months ago

Pretty lake at the end of the hike. It's worth hiking to a cliff overlooking the lake to get an overall view.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice little weekend trip. 1.5 hours up with a 40lb pack. Only 1 hour back down to truck. Lots of day hikers but we had the lake to ourselves at night. Perfect for first timers.

11 months ago

This will forever be my all time favorite camping ground. Been all over Colorado and New Mexico, and this takes the cake. I also love hiking to Wheeler from here too.

hiking
11 months ago

Easy trail for young and inexperienced hikers. Wide trails are easy to follow since it used to be drivable years ago. Plenty of opportunities to pick up water as long as you bring a filter!

Beautiful lake at the top!

Leave No Trace!

hiking
11 months ago

Really amazing hike! Save a little energy for the lake at the end! You can hike around lake if your up for it or partial and come back!

11 months ago

Loved the trail--nice and shady for the most part in the morning, with many switchbacks so the elevation gain was very manageable. Beautiful waterfall half-point; gorgeous little lake at the top. Warning: there is a toilet at the lake, but it was not useable--the one at the trailhead was fine!

hiking
11 months ago

Our group of five hiked to Middle Fork Lake a few days ago, and it was awesome! Even with a wide range of fitness levels, we managed quite well. We did wish for a jeep, truck, or ATV to drive the mile from the end of the road to the trailhead, but even that walk by the creek was pretty. Since we started out at 3 pm, the afternoon sun was perfect for photos at the waterfall and the lake. We hiked all around the lake, then headed back down the mountain, arriving at our vehicle before dark. The cold, clear lake and surrounding trail were truly spectacular and made us wish we had planned to camp out there for the night! Next time!

hiking
11 months ago

My 11 year old daughter and I did this trail with a small group. The group was of varying levels so it took us 1.5 hours to make it up to the top. Left around 10:30 from the trailhead and picnicked about 12. The lake was beautiful and well worth the trip! The trail itself was easy for footing and a nice grade so you didn't feel winded going up. Waterfall at midway point was a nice rest break and also the intersection for the Lost Lake Trail.

11 months ago

We love this trail and do it every year! Great for families. Wonderful view at the top and a great place for a picnic.

hiking
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Middle Fork Trailhead is actually in Red River NM, not Questa.

hiking
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 2016. We used to go frequently on dirt bikes and have not been up here in about 15 years. Now closed to all motorized vehicles. Still as beautiful as I remember. Great hike and worth the effort. If you are not used to the altitude, take your time, you will not be disappointed. Don't forget to dress in layers as you will get hot going up. The lake can be breezy and chilly. Brief rain showers are always a possibility. Water and snacks are a good idea as well. Save access to the lake. PLEASE DON'T CUT THE TRAILS!

hiking
Wednesday, October 05, 2016

We hiked to the lake in July 2016. It is a beautiful hike. It is steep in some parts, "we did not follow the old road.". The lake at the top is worth the hike. We followed the water all the way back down. I have hiked all over the Red River NM area and this will be on our list every time now.
Like some of the others said. You follow 578 through the valley until the pavement ends. You can park there, or drive back about a mile to the little parking area. The road is rough.
Thumbs up.

mountain biking
Saturday, May 07, 2016

One of the best trails around this area. Has a awesome lake. This trail is located close to Red River NM not Questa.

snowshoeing
Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Good snowshoe trip.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Great hike. Strong trails and consistent climb. Well worth the effort at the top.

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