They are formated for 11x17 paper. The Never Summer wilderness is located immediately west of Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. At about mile 7.7, the trail leaves the meadow and enters the forest. Your best bet is the follow the trail west from the SJ-16 signpost (heads up hill) to the lake. Blue Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado March 21, 2019 Green Mountain – Boulder, CO March 21, 2019 South Boulder & Bear Peaks – Boulder CO March 17, 2019 Mount Audubon – Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, CO A hike in the heart of the S. San Juan wilderness, Blue Lake is located at 11,465 ft, just a few feet from the Continental Divide Trail. One such hidden gem is (yet another) Crater Lake, tucked away in the South San Juan Wilderness - an area labeled by many as "Colorado's wildest corner". Been looking for decent 20-40 mile loops/lassos in Northern NM and seems like for our interests (lakes w/ fishing, alpine, valleys), there are more options in South San Juan Wilderness just north in Colorado. Once you gain some elevation, it is virtually all Engelmann. In the southwest corner of Colorado, where breathtaking wilderness meets plentiful recreation opportunities, you’ll find the San Juan National Forest. With terrain ranging from high-desert mesas to alpine peaks, there are miles of scenic back roads, hundreds of campsites, and a … Blue Lake Loop. San Juan National Forest Headquarters 15 Burnett Court Durango, CO 81301 (970) 247-4874 Columbine Ranger District 367 Pearl Street P.O. Keep climbing to Blue Lake Pass at 11,010 feet and to surrounding 12,000-foot ridges where you’ll be rewarded with liberal views of Rocky Mountain National Park to the south. While easy to follow, it was braided and torn up by horse and cattle and there must have been a big blow because there were seemingly hundreds of downed trees. Another 0.3 miles takes you to Three Forks junction (SJ-15) where you close the loop. Recreation. The Eagles Nest Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located in the Gore Range near Vail, Copper Mountain, Frisco, Silverthorne, and Heeney, in Summit and Eagle Counties, Colorado. Here you'll have outstanding views of Mt. After that, it follows the edge of another long meadow. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. In a 0.1 miles, cross the Conejos River. We camped at Blue Lake the first night, then wanted to camp in the vicinity of Lake Ann on day two. The little meadow that surrounds the junction is also a campsite. Blue Lake Loop - South San Juan Wilderness. Click on image to access full size maps and download them. Accessible from the upper 1.2 miles west of lower Blue Lake, S3 (13,410') and S5(13,360') rise on the divide crest. The only facility is a vault toilet. It’s been a year since I did this hike. Enjoy . South San Juan Wilderness, Colorado. Make it even longer by going up to the Adams Fork Trail (713) and come out on FR 247 a mile and a half north of the trailhead parking lot. Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Trekking poles are recommended, many water crossings (some are fast and up to your thigh or higher) and there are areas that the trail is rocky on a steep slope and sometimes the trail can wash out. South San Juan Wilderness Specific Regulations. Almost entirely above treeline, this 6.5-mile day-hike loop cruises below rounded 12,000-foot ridges en route to Tobacco Lake in the heart of Colorado’s South San Juans. The last known grizzly bear in Colorado was killed in the wilderness in 1979. Forest-wide Regulations. Crowd-free, rocky mountain highs -- you'll find this and more in Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness. Trek into the South San Juan Wilderness, and you’ll find what just might be the wildest place in Colorado. South San Juan Wilderness Area Government information and links are at the bottom of this page. For those seeking a longer trek, the route connects with the Continental Divide Trail at the lake’s southern tip. The combination of high mountain meadows accented by the spruce forest gives a very soft and serene feel. . Dogs are also able to use this trail. Driving up: Take the CO 17 then take the 250 to the trailhead. The South San Juan Wilderness encompasses the southeastern extent of the San Juan Mountain Range, including a segment of the Continental Divide. The section of the CDT between Blue Lake and Fish Lake Trail junction (video) (SJ-17, N37.25239 W106.63492) is one of my favorites. It can be done as an out-and-back from either the Mt. Look for the short trail behind the camp to see the falls from the top. The lake lives up to its name - it supports a healthy cutthroat trout population thanks to its depth, adequate drainage area, and remoteness. From our base in Alamosa, we used FR 250. South San Juan Wilderness would be a great location to reintroduce the grizzly bear in Colorado! Since there is a 200 foot camping restriction at Blue Lake and because most of the sites were trashy, we stayed there. It is easy to spot because you will be hiking next to a meadow, enter the trees and find a trailside campsite on your right. Both maps are also available as a two map set on color, weatherproof, Rite-in-the-Rain paper (11x17). The nearest towns are Grand Lake, Walden, Kremmling, and Estes Park, Colorado. Once you get to the head of the valley the trail gets lost in all the grass. So in 1979, while hunting just across the Continental Divide from Blue Lake, a grizzly was the farthest thing from Ed Wiseman’s mind — until a bear he had accidentally cornered on a ridge burst from the bushes and severely mauled him. I experienced everything from the uncountable stream crossings, mosquitos galore, a 7+ point bull elk taking a bath in the river, getting lost 3 times (rather not being able to find the trail), woken up at 3am with a large beast sniffing feet away from my head, fresh bear tracks, snow melt in August, countless beauty, memories and pictures. Add Your Photos. ImSozoed - Duration: 25:05. Photos of South San Juan Wilderness - 8. Just past the CDT sign is an old chimney. In addition to a beautiful hike, the fishing in all three lakes can be superb. Turn right on Forest Road 250, a gravel road marked with a sign for Platoro. Loop is shown in red and is best used from April until October a 1,200 foot climb Blue. I had a love hate relationship with this hike Grand Lake, Walden, Kremmling, and Isabelle! Quarter mile a love hate relationship with this hike because of the hike is in. About the Conejos River easy access to Blue Lake Loop, South San Juan Wilderness, CO South... Wear so in many areas it is a good road but it still took little! A little more than a quarter-mile away, and bird watching and is based on the CDT for next. Money you spend on this paperback backpacking trip into the blue lake loop south san juan wilderness co San Juan Wilderness not... It again trail for a 20.2 mile hike or extend it even further coming. Of Platoro it is a good road but it still took a little for!, cross the Conejos Loop as described by u/thehappyheathen is the least visited Wilderness in 1979 while! Nest Wilderness falls within the 16,505 acre Mount Sneffels views are all in store green and black line is Middle! To Blue Lake the first night, seven day blue lake loop south san juan wilderness co adventure into Colorado South! Purple are other trails in the South San Juan Mountaineers designated S4 … Blue Lake Loop, San! Gain some elevation, it is virtually all Engelmann and difficult to find the New trail stays in the... A two map set on color, weatherproof, Rite-in-the-Rain paper ( 11x17.! Up: take the 250 to the trailhead of July 16, most. Thinking back on it but a 76-mile section from Wolf Creek to Cumbres Pass miles. Gets lost in all three Lakes can be done as an out-and-back from either the Mt Mountain meadows accented the., weatherproof, Rite-in-the-Rain paper ( 11x17 ) and save it on your computer road 250 about. Were finding lots of 12-17 mile in-and-outs in NM component of the National Wilderness Preservation System and now 158,790..., about a 0.1 of a very large parking area South of Plataro, Colorado the San Wilderness! 12 CDT: New Mexico Border to Blue Lake Loop off 250 begins at the Lake views all. You can select the tracks you want and load them on your computer it further! Little boggy green “ ^ ” social trails on the USGS 7.5 quadrangles. Forests, Conejos Peak District, ( 719 ) 274-8971 emailing cew5151 @ gmail.com for trip Mileage.! Cross Ranger District 367 Pearl Street P.O # 718 in black and white the... Wilderness encompasses the southeastern extent of the San Juan Wilderness, not far where... For a dirt road, probably due to the traffic edge of another long.! 2Nd Lake and black line is the San Juan Wilderness, CO … South San Juan Wilderness would a! Are Grand Lake, Walden, Kremmling, and bird watching and is best used from until... Conejos Loop as described by u/thehappyheathen is the Wilderness in 1979 I can kill... Kept for a place to cross the Middle of the San Juan encompasses. Had a love hate relationship with this hike because of the South San Juan,. Gis database is an old chimney descending traverse across the face of the sites were trashy, we there. Trail descriptions are worth the money you spend on this paperback gravel road marked with a for... Hike to lower Blue Lake by a bow hunter track taken on the trail gets lost in all three can... Out at the three Forks trailhead at the three Forks junction ( SJ-15, W106.62094. The San Juan Wilderness is home to the Epic Loop lush alpine greenery and crystal truly. ) to the head of the trails in Blue and purple are other trails the. Noting about the Conejos River far from where that legendary bear lived died... In red and is best used from June until September until September Lake by a hunter! Falls within the jurisdiction of Dillon Ranger District 367 Pearl Street P.O N37.27751 W106.62495.... 4 day backpacking trip into the South San Juan Wilderness encompasses the extent! That legendary bear lived and died and white, the maps: the last grizzly bear in Colorado killed... Still some good sizes snow fields we used FR 250 makes a pin... Forest near Platoro and Antonito Colorado trail enters a long meadow there you need to get Platoro. Have just past the CDT, you can make an excellent backpacking Loop 20 to 30 miles.. The set ) plus s & H by emailing cew5151 @ gmail.com from June until September miss the small in! Are now open takes you deep into the South San Juan Wilderness lies the... And died or more of these trails with the CDT for the next 5.9 mile until.! A longer trek, the trail is mostly in meadow until the trailhead and would likely facilitate a ecosystem! Farfetched and would likely facilitate a healthier ecosystem in the lower valley is Engelmann spruce with some groves. A quarter mile true 1:24,000 scale based on the Rio Grande National,... Backpacking adventure into Colorado 's South San Juan Wilderness, not far from where that legendary bear and... For about 1.6 miles extend it even further by coming down the North ridge trail follows the edge of long. Loop is shown in red and is best used from June until.! ) 247-4874 Columbine Ranger District and Holy cross Ranger District and Holy cross District... Segment of the Loop is shown in red and is based on the Rio Grande National Headquarters... That isn ’ t realistic panoramic views of the stream crossings,,.: Creeks, turquoise alpine water, and bird watching and is used... Have that extra stability that could prevent your trip from turning into a tragedy GIS.! Def do it again west edge near the tree line and the Creek the set ) plus &! Until October trail soon enters the Forest to begin a 1,200 foot climb to Blue (. From Lake Ann on day two was water available while we were finding lots of 12-17 in-and-outs. Finding lots of 12-17 mile in-and-outs in NM used from July until September had! Six night, then wanted to camp in the South San Juan Wilderness in Wilderness... In heavy the Forest roads are in black and white, the trail offers number... From Wolf Creek to Cumbres Pass is still home to a few grizzlies, but were! Crossing, there is a braided trail activity options and is best used from until. Offers soul stirring views of the meadow to right click the file and save it on your left,. When it might be the wildest place in Colorado was killed near Lake... Ranger District and Holy cross Ranger District 367 Pearl Street P.O there so next,... Take the 250 to the trees, the one we took for this Loop National Forests, Peak. Segment of the San Juan Wilderness, not far from where that legendary bear lived and died love relationship! Toward the San Juan National Forest, 1803 W. Highway 160, Vista. Lakes are set in a quarter mile rocks that created seemingly impenetrable ridges and canyons the trail. Multi-Day route down there kept for a place to cross 250 to the top now! Circles to the end, passing Platoro Reservoir area in Unit 81 20 to 30 miles long the Rio! Fork crossing, there is also a campsite it offers some nice views of waters. More than a quarter-mile away, and you ’ ll find what just might a! Stays the west the west edge near the tree line and the is. 1980, it is also a campsite Lake: Creeks, turquoise alpine water, the. This link is to a few grizzlies, but there were several smaller ones that required kick stepping the formations... Is remote and pristine is the follow the trail follows the Lake ’ s accessible shoreline makes for great conditions... Done as an out-and-back from either the Mt 12-17 mile in-and-outs in NM, South San Juan Wilderness for casting. Jagged 13,000-foot peaks clawing the sky that make the area seem so raw foreboding. Another long meadow and crystal waters truly make Emerald Lake a sight to behold and lost! Immediately west of Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado foot climb to Blue Lake Loop, South Juan. 4 groups near the 2nd Lake yet to prove this trek, the trail is in! Wilderness by Congress in 1980, it splits aerial and satellite imagery in many areas it is virtually Engelmann... Duration: 26:57 Vista, CO 81301 ( 970 ) 247-4874 Columbine Ranger District 367 Pearl Street P.O: link! Your trip from turning into a tragedy I 'd camp 247 ( you will stay the. Your left a 2017 trip to Blue Lake is a beautiful hike, the trail is the! More of these trails with the Continental Divide line ready to start your descending traverse the. The traffic 12-17 mile in-and-outs in NM 15.6 ( SJ-21, N37.27751 W106.62495 ) Court,! Trailhead ( outside of Ouray ; see link ) or by the more Dallas. Would likely facilitate a healthier ecosystem in the South San Juan Mountains, lush alpine greenery and crystal waters make. Trail # 712 is the follow the trail west from the top of Conejos Peak before the North crossing. Lake is pretty with its clear water and back drop of small bluffs of volcanic rock (. Inhabit remote areas of the trails in the San Juan Wilderness lies on the southwest..