Explore the most popular trails near Antonito with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Antonito, Colorado Map
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The trail is a nice walk to the dam. As of 6-15-2018 the reservoir has been drained for work on the dam. The Los Pinos stream is a good place to fly fish.

We went in the middle of July and it's infested by aggressive blood thirsty flies, most likely because of the horses defecating along the narrow trail all day long.

The beginning of the trail is very steep and hard, I don't know how this trail is classified as easy... be ready for 45 minutes to 1 hour of climbing up and up while hundreds of flies will be all over you. We came back half way because we were too tired but mostly because of the flies. Off sprayed on us would still not keep them away. The place is beautiful and peaceful though.

Beware! The reservoir is pretty empty as of July 21!!

When we went July 2018 the reservoir was pretty much all mud and empty

hiking
5 months ago

Did this hike with a heavy pack. I am not going to lie this trail challenged all my strength to get to the top. Keep in mind that I also hiked out from another lake the same morning that I made this hike. If you are a fan of fishing and I am, a fly-fisher who loves it.This was some of the best alpine lake fishing I have done so far.

hiking
6 months ago

Did this hike this morning. IMHO, the highlight of the hike was the side trail to Rough Creek Falls. Very pretty. Ruybalid Lake itself is in a beautiful location. But the view is marred by the prevalence of so many Engelmann Spruce trees devastated by the spruce bark beetle. I still think it's worthwhile to climb up to the lake. Just don't be disappointed when you discover that the reality doesn't match the pictures you might have see of the picturesque lake.
One trail-finding note. When you reach the meadow at the top of the climb, the trail towards Ruybalid Lake is not that evident. To find it. look out into the meadow, and head towards the two 6 foot posts about 10 yards apart from each other. The furthest post has the number 855 engraved at the top of the post, signifying the Forest Service designation of the Ruybalid Lake Trail. From these posts, the trail is a lot clearer.
Enjoy your hike.

I’ve hiked this trail three times, all in August. Its biggest difficulty is that the first part is heavily used by cattle, so as you are struggling up the early steeper part of the trail you must also contend with wall to wall slop. After a mile or so this is not such a problem. Overall not a difficult trail with pretty scenery. The lake is lovely, maintained by beavers. I’d give this trail 4 stars if it weren’t for the muck.

scenic driving
Sunday, November 12, 2017

We just did this drive this past June (2017) and it was well worth the extra miles to get back to Santa Fe and eventually I-25. Starting in Antonito, CO, the road travels west and follows the Conejos river for about half the distance of this trip. Lots of places to stop and wet a line if you enjoy fishing. Then it climbs up towards Cumbres Pass and goes past many more creeks and streams. You will begin to see the Toltec railroad tracks start to follow this last section now too. That is a popular train trip between the same two towns on a narrow gauge railway, and steam locomotives. This road would be awesome in the fall as there are many large stands of aspens along it. Once over the passes, then it descends to Chama, NM. Really nice country side all along here, and if you're lucky, you may catch the train leaving Chama and chugging uphill out of town. We were lucky enough to have this happen that day. Just look for the smoke from the train and find a place to pull over and watch!! If ever in south central Colorado, this is a nice easy drive covering some nice terrain in southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico.

hiking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

Recommend going with someone who has done the hike before. Just a few spots near the top where you can go in the wrong direction. This is a very challenging hike but still do-able. Kids included.

hiking
Sunday, July 23, 2017

Wow! We made it! What an experience to see a lake named by one of our ancestors. The hike was really tough - after the 26+ switchbacks, there's still a ways to go. But the lake is worth it! It's even been stocked with fish!

hiking
Friday, July 21, 2017

Made it 2.25 miles before being chased away by thunderstorm.

fishing
Sunday, July 02, 2017

This was a tough one. I didn't think I would make it. Pace yourself. The views are EPIC! Also, don't get your hopes up once you pass that 26th switchback, there's more up ahead. Prepare for mosquitoes from hell and even worse weather. We made the hike only to stand for 3 hrs in the hail! Good luck.

Friday, June 02, 2017

The hike ended up being 8 miles and that included going to the falls which is off to the side of the main trail. There are some fallen trees in the middle of the trail, a horse wouldn't be able to get around. If you're looking for your prince there's tons of frogs to choose from at the lake. Watch out for wood ticks along the way, I found 2 on my clothes on my way up. The GPS doesn't take you to the trail, if you look to the right just before turning on old bridge road there's a sign that points you in the right direction.

backpacking
Sunday, August 21, 2016

The lake is amazing. It is peaceful and unbelievably beautiful. The water from it tastes sweeter than any water I've ever tasted.
The trail is sometimes difficult to follow and isn't very well maintained. Watch closely for small cairns and be cautious you don't follow a false trail.

backpacking
Sunday, August 21, 2016

This is a fun trail with about 2500 ft of elevation gain at the front. It's beautiful and Ruybalid lake is well worth the hike. However, if you're looking to follow the trail past the lake and hook up with "No Name Lake" trail be prepared. The trail after the lake is non-existent. Even with a good map, compass, and GPS we weren't able to find the trail. We ended up bush wacking our way through marshes and thick forest to get to No Name Lake.

bonus: less than a mile up there is a detour to some of the most amazing falls I've ever seen. Definitely take it.

hiking
Wednesday, July 06, 2016

I'm reviewing to provide some up-to-date information. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to hit the entire trail but I'll definitely be back for the whole thing. The trail is pretty easy to find. From Antonito take HWY 17 to Horca and turn right onto FDR 50, a dirt road. This will take you past Rainbow Trout Ranch. Take FDR 50 to Record Bridge Road. *Note if you turn left to take Old Bridge Road following GPS you will not be able to reach the other side of the Conejos so go up one street. Pass over the bridge and there's a little parking area with a sign for the trail, #855, the San Juan Wilderness, and a couple of lakes. The trail head is just slightly to the left of the parking area. 1.3 miles into the hike are The Falls. There is a sign that marks where you can follow the trail to the falls. We took this and ended up heading all the way back over the rocks to see the falls up-close and personal. They're beautiful. The hike up to this spot is not terribly challenging, just watch your footing on the rocks and take it slow. The trail has pretty good coverage with the trees at these early spots so you're not constantly in the sun. The trail had some people on it but it was certainly not crowded.

hiking
Thursday, July 18, 2013

Great views of waterfalls, nice trail and beautiful scenery, some areas of the trail were steep, but overall it's a very rewarding and amazing area to see anytime of the year!

hiking
Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nice lake, trail was hard to follow due to the lack of use and trail markers were all torn down. We replaced them. Great meadows and flowers. No sign of fish in the lake someone even wrote no fish on the lake sign. Lots of Mosquitos.

hiking
Sunday, June 30, 2013

Absolutely loved this hike, very rewarding. The first two miles feel like your going straight up. Lots of steep switch backs but the views of the valley is amazing. Take the time to go see the waterfall on the way up it's great and only about 300 yards off the main trail. Take your fishing gear the Rainbow trout are huge. This is one of those spots you want to just hang your hammock in the tree and enjoy the amazing scenery.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

on Ruybalid Trail

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

trail running
7 months ago

hiking
Monday, October 16, 2017

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