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

hiking
3 days ago

Agree with the last poster that the first 2/3rds are very hot with little shade if you park at the base of the mountain. Next time I will rent a jeep and go up further up to the larger tree area. Hiked up and saw multiple shallow lakes all the way to Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point. Beautiful. Little Bear peak is also in the same vicinity, but more technical. Camped out with perfect weather with low pressure system keeping the smoke out. Did not run into bears but saw big horn sheep and the usual suspects (marmots, deer, etc.). Definitely do this trip, but if you can start a bit higher than I did from the base.

Amazing hike. I bit more challenging than anticipated, especially coming from sea level. Started 7:00am at the campground trailhead. Made it to the lake by 11:20am. Back to campground by 3:00pm. Bring lots of water and sunscreen. The Sun is very strong. Also, thunderstorms started moving in around 1:00pm.

backpacking
10 days ago

A moderately challenging hike with some steep sections. Beautiful views at the lake though!

Amazing views on the way! We started very late about 5 pm and went to the falls first started to trail from the falls around 6 pm and went uphill for about another 2 hrs and turn around at 8 pm. We didn’t finish the trail but my gps told me we went about 3.4 miles so we were about 1.2 mile short of finishing the trial. It’s totally doable and worth it. Amazing views of sunset and the valley

This hike is moderately difficult but STEEP once you're about a third of the way up. These mountains are powerful and the San Luis Valley can create some wild weather, so don't forget to keep your eye to the west once in awhile (the view is worth it!). When we attempted this hike during early June of 2016, there was still plenty of snow remaining on the last third of the trail, causing us to miss part of the trail that went south at a creek crossing; we instead entertained ourselves with a fairly large boulder field and eventually met back up with the trail. You're getting right up underneath some amazing, high peaks once at South Zapata Lake. Love this section of mountain ranges for the magic it still has in it!

Beautiful scenery. We went a bit beyond Lake Como and turned back at Blue lake. Be advised that the "road" leading to the lake can be a bit treacherous due to the loose rocks and gravel. If you are doing this hike in the summer, go early because the first two thirds have very little cover and it is very hot.

Went there on june 24th. We came around 830 AM and saw very few people. Can get windy and cold at the lake, but the views are amazing!

This lake is stunning! It sits just below Blanca Peak which was really neat. Most of the hike is through a forest but towards the end, the trail levels out in a beautiful valley just above treeline. It was cloudy and misty when we went, but the views were still incredible. I kept stopping for photos and to just marvel at how great it was. We started early in the day (on a Sunday in June) and saw very few others on the trail. This trail is somewhat challenging with a consistent uphill grade and a few steep sections, but nothing overly demanding if you are used to hiking//are in good physical shape. And it is easy to follow.

The flowers right now are amazing--so many Columbines, more than I have ever seen on a trail before, and everything else is very green. Highly recommend if you are in the area!

At the trail head there is a sign posted warning of the difficulty of the trail and advising hikers to not "recreate beyond their abilities." I will say that was a very fair warning. The hike is beautiful, the trail leads you back to the farthest and highest point of the valley at which South Zabata Lake is located. However, almost the entire hike is uphill. Very physically challenging (as much on the way down as the way up). Bring lots of snacks and water, you will need it! It took us about 8 hours total. Fun but intense, make sure you are prepared.

This is an amazing hike. But sorry, everyone who seeks to be debating... it is 5.7 Miles EACH WAY. So you’re going to come in just under 12. That is FROM THE TRAILHEAD. Now onto the hike itself.

This trail offers amazing views, and the lake and bowl at the end are incredible. It is, however, relentless. Loose, sharp rock from the first 1/4 mile, a quite a few steep, loose, technical ascents and then descents. If you’re use to 14ers and such, you could do this in trail runners. For the average but avid hiker, I’d recommend a sturdy hiking show or mid boot and certainly one or two hiking poles would be nice, mainly for coming down.

A wonderful backpacking trail with some nice areas to camp right at tree line near the lake, but brutal as a day hike. Took us about 4 hours up and 2.5 down (lots of short stops both ways - we had a dog with us and I was having some trouble with the altitude on the ascent).

Absolutely stunning end destination and worth it - but our group of four agreed that it’s just about the toughest thing we’d done in Colorado aside from a fourteener. So be prepared and enjoy!!!

We hit Zapata falls at the end and boy did that frigid water feel amazing on our throbbing feet!

on South Zapata Lake Trail

1 month ago

This hike was exactly 10 miles round trip from the parking lot.
Very steep, suggesting hiking poles but the reward is sweet. Beautiful scenery throughout the hike.

I don't know what is wrong with these wimpy Colorado folk below me. This is definitely not a hard trail, and the moderate rating is appropriate. And the guy claiming it is 8 miles both ways is just spreading misinformation. It is 4.4 both ways. The trail is easy to follow, has a persistent but mild upward grade, and only a few short stretches of steeper climbs, although there are some very rocky bits and scree fields to cross. I would have been well served to wear stiffer-soled shoes and to remember a trekking pole. There's wonderful tree cover for most of the way. Took me 2.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down.
Love the inquisitive marmots and the Alpine tundra wildflowers above the timberline!

hiking
1 month ago

As the others said already, the Lake Como road is horrible. It is basically destroyed by the off-road vehicles, there are loose rocks everywhere, so it is difficult to walk. It is also very dusty hence unpleasant. The trees along the road are damaged by the vehicles too which is very sad. Why to destroy the nature??? There is a marker at 4.0 mile to the lake. The next marker is only at 1.5 miles to the lake (so don't get discouraged). Hiking in the morning is quite pleasant as the road is in a shade, however when descending in the afternoon you will have sun directly in your face (bring a ton of sunscreen). Lake Como itself offers epic views on Little Bear Peak, but the surroundings don't look particularly appealing. There are pieces of burnt wood scattered everywhere... Off-road vehicles continue to drive all the way to the waterfalls under Blanca Peak destroying the trail and the surrounding nature (I am not getting that....). Wildflowers are awesome in this time of the year :-)

As the other reviewers have said, this is more of a “hard” hike as it is quite long and fairly steep in certain areas. We only saw 2 people on the trail! The views are absolutely amazing, you can see so much of the San Luis Valley and the Sand Dunes! Unfortunately, we weren’t able to complete this hike on that day. We started around 12:30-1pm (admiring Zapata Falls for half hour before that) and we were just past the halfway point around 3:30-4 not to mention we had to drive back to Denver later that evening. TIPS; take plenty of water OR a filter/UV light and snacks, make sure your shoes are comfy, and start EARLY. The trail sometimes isn’t marked well, follow your instincts! The road to the trailhead is about 2-2.5 miles of rocky terrain so make sure your tires are in good shape. I will be going back more prepared to see the lake in the future!

nature trips
1 month ago

First of all, moderate MY ASS. This hike is a killer climb and it’s not for the faint of heart. It is not 4.5 in and 4.5 out. It is 8 Miles in and 8 Miles out. It is a wonderful challenge, but don’t be fooled and don’t be cocky. This trail will kick your butt. Worth it but I will never do it again.

Really great trail but be prepared it’s a long one because of the incline and elevation. Took us about 6-7 hours and really is more of a hard as we clocked in around 11-12 miles because we went to the falls first. It was a little snowy in the basin, but the lake is halfway melted. Beautiful hike and view just be prepared!

Lots of camping spots along the way. Saw hardly anyone

Beautiful hike! If you feel up to it, continue on up to the summits of Twin Peaks. The views of Blanca, Ellingwood, and Little Bear are amazing!

Backpacked our way to the campsite right before treeline. Made it to Zapata lake the next day. Did this early june. Snow still present

Steeper than I expected but worth it.

hiking
10 months ago

trail(road) leading to como is horrible, def get your workout in for the day. Como is very beautiful once you make it there. 4x4 will help get you further up the road. 3 stars due to the trail but Como Lake is a 5 star.

hiking
11 months ago

This hike is lightly trafficked and I would say slightly more challenging than moderate. It is steep most of the way, however it is very rewarding. The view of the lake and the 14ers that surround it are unbeatable. We brought our dog, he was off leash the entire time, and he did wonderful. I do recommend bringing plenty of water, maybe even a small filter and snacks. Start early, the clouds seem to always move in around noon. Enjoy this beautiful hike!

hiking
11 months ago

One of the best views on this trail is at the trail head parking lot before you start. You can hear the river but seldom see it. The trail is very rocky with little to look at other than at an occasional clearing.

backpacking
11 months ago

The Lake Como Rd is called the "Worst Road" in Colorado for a good reason. From Highway 150, a regular car can drive about 1.5-2 miles up the road. A stock jeep or truck about 3 miles. Specialty vehicles can drive all the way to Lake Como (lots of videos on Youtube). On a recent backpacking trip we measured 5.8 miles from our start to the western shore of Lake Como resulting in a 4,000 ft climb. This is an "ankle-breaker" trail and not a good walking surface as long stretches are almost entirely softball to basketball sized boulders. Around mile 4.3 we crossed the only convenient water source, Holbrook Creek. There are a fair number of individual campsites dispersed along the trail.
Lake Como is beautiful and the western end has lots of campsites and can accommodate a large group. There is also a small cabin if you need a quick shelter. I saw two bear cables. These sites are heavily used as shown by the amount of trash and excessive number of fire rings. For better campsites I recommend walking to the southern shore. Misquotes, chipmunks, and people are abundant.
From Lake Como you can go for the higher lakes or the summit of Mount Blanca, about 2.8 miles one-way.

The Lake Como Rd is called the "Worst Road" in Colorado for a good reason. From Highway 150, a regular car can drive about 1.5-2 miles up the road. A stock jeep or truck about 3 miles. Specialty vehicles can drive all the way to Lake Como (lots of videos on Youtube). On a recent backpacking trip we measured 5.8 miles from our start to the western shore of Lake Como resulting in a 4,000 ft climb. This is an "ankle-breaker" trail and not a good walking surface as long stretches are almost entirely softball to basketball sized boulders. Around mile 4.3 we crossed the only convenient water source, Holbrook Creek. There are a fair number of individual campsites dispersed along the trail.
Lake Como is beautiful and the western end has lots of campsites and can accommodate a large group. There is also a small cabin if you need a quick shelter. I saw two bear cables. These sites are heavily used as shown by the amount of trash and excessive number of fire rings. For better campsites I recommend walking to the southern shore. Misquotes, chipmunks, and people are abundant.
From Lake Como you can go for the higher lakes or the summit of Mount Blanca, about 2.8 miles one-way.

backpacking
Monday, July 03, 2017

Beautiful, very tough hike. We got eaten alive by mosquitoes though.

I did this trail last year in very early June and we had to park our SUV and set up camp only a mile or two from the dunes as the Medano Pass primitive road was blocked because of high water. The next morning we began hiking up the road and several miles later we found the Little Medano Creek trail to take us up to Medano Lake. Once on that trail it was very beautiful especially through the large Aspen trees. Only a few miles into the trail it began getting steep and, very unfortunately, snow became a problem. We lost the trail, much swearing ensued, the predictable noon thunderstorm was threatening, and we decided we had to turn around. It was a very long walk back to our camp. Total roundtrip distance was 18.6 miles. Too long and too much snow! Go later in the year than June!

Update: I did this trail again in July 2017 and it was 99% snow free! This time we were able to start from the trailhead. Was a very long day hike but was worth it. You will absolutely need a high-clearance 4x4 with low-range gearing if you want to drive to the trailhead. Otherwise, bring a backpack!

hiking
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Very scenic trail. Several steep sections.

hiking
Thursday, June 01, 2017

The trail starts off very wide and this section of the trail is heavily trafficked. About a half of a mile in you reach Zapata Falls, the trail to the lake breaks off to the right. From here on the trail is much narrower and less traveled, think any normal hiking trail. There are several hills but overall it is a moderate hike. There is snow near Zapata Lake. Pack snowshoes or plan to scramble for ~1/2 miles to reach the lake.

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