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The trailhead does serve as an access point for the Continental Divide trail, so while we saw many hikers in the first mile of the hike, virtually none of them made their way down to Crater Lake itself. See this panorama in full width here. A day hike to Glacier Lake is a possible alternative. Hiking Colorado's Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas, by Donna Ikenberry, $17. Wilderness mean good business! Quartz Lake Trail #568. The highlights of the trail are the two massive, thundering waterfalls. A day hike to Glacier Lake is a possible alternative. Day 2: Continue west through the South Fork Narrows, then up Cañon Rincon to a high camp near Twin Lakes (11,700’). Day 3: Weather permitting, day hike a loop of 7.9 miles to Conejos Peak, highest in the wilderness at 13,159’, returning to camp via Glacier Lake on an unmaintained trail. Multiple seasonal waterfalls were cascading into the lake from the snowfields melting above on the Continental Divide, and the countless signature ripples from trout feeding at the lake's surface were immediately noticeable. The hike to Crater Lake does not require a big expenditure of energy for its scenic rewards. Wilderness Areas: San Juan National Forest encompasses 4 Wilderness areas which make the perfect backpacking experience. Map of Proposed Crater Lake Wilderness Winter? The South San Juan Wilderness is located in the San Juan National Forest, east of Pagosa Springs, in southern Colorado. We drove south into the San Juan Mountains, passing through Ouray and Silverton, before arriving at Andrews Lake and parking in the upper lot. Lobo Overlook. This would be a great opportunity for us to scout for new elk hunting areas and do some hiking and tout fishing along the way. San Juan Mountains, Weminuche Wilderness, CO - Buy this stock photo and explore similar images at Adobe Stock. I expect that most hikers will reach this point within about 1 hour from the trailhead. [OC] [4000x3000] Suitable campsites are available at Crater Lake, but otherwise are quite limited. One woman making camp wile backpacking near Andrews Lake, Molas Pass, on the way to Crater Lake by the Twighlight Peaks. The weather forecast for the day was your typical monsoon pattern for this area with a 50% chance of afternoon storms. A sobering uneasiness about your place in the local food chain notwithstanding, you can trek an incredible 26-mile circle route by stitching together five trails within this 158,790-acre wilderness. Crater Lake Trail #562 is a 2.12 mile one way hike with 46 feet accumulated elevation gain. The trailhead for Crater Lake is a fair distance off any major highway - roughly 18 miles off of US Highway 160 - in close proximity to relatively unknown Elwood Pass (Forest Road 380). Silverton / Ouray, Region Information: The hike can be extended to the saddle beyond the lake and/or a scramble to the top of North Twilight.Read Full Description. (or send him an e-mail here). Be the first to leave a review! adventures and follow local regulations. All Rights Reserved. South San Juan Wilderness, CO 1/11 Tucked deep within a glacial bowl beneath two rugged 13,000-foot peaks, Crater Lake is one of the more accessible subalpine lakes in the Southern San Juans. Hike, hiking, backpacking, trail, gps track, images, photos, photographs, gallery Permits & Regulations No permits required, but LNT camping is a must. The wilderness boundary extends from south of Hwy 160 to just north of Hwy 17. Nestled deep in the South San Juan Wilderness near Pagosa Springs, Colorado, Fish Lake is a beautiful, deep glacier tarn located just below the Continental Divide in the headwaters of the Blanco River. At this point, the Continental Divide trail will merge together with the Crater Lake trail for a short distance of about 1/2 mile. 7.6 mi away. Note: there may be a small seasonal tarn in this area as well. Meadows, beginning of Crater Lake Trail Continental Divide Trail (is very close but Crater Lake is not exactly on the CDT) Crater Lake is not very well known. Distance from Trailhead: 11.8 miles (round trip) Ending/Highest Elevation: 11,770-ft. Elevation Gain: 1,000-ft. For panoramic views of the peaks to the west and south of Molas Pass along with a restricted view of the Needles, hike to the obvious saddle (11,770-ft.) southwest of the lake. Take in the scenery while enjoying scenic drives, hiking through forests, road biking, and exploring our IMBA Gold Level Ride Center recognized mountain bike trails. 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". Suitable campsites are available at Crater Lake, but otherwise are quite limited. Along the ridge, there is somewhat of a "triangle" junction of trails (along with several other social trails in the area) but coming from this direction, you should simply be able to continue straight on the trail you are on (do not veer left onto the CDT). Learn more about this beautiful location in my ebook, Capturing Colorado Hiking & Photographing Lakes of the San Juan Mountains. Crater Lake to the Saddle. Saturday & Sunday, July 13-14, 2019. Conejos Peak Loop, South San Juan Wilderness, CO Situated in the south east corner of the wilderness, this 22.2 mile hike in the Conejos Peak (pronounced coe-NAY-hoes) area offers a mix of wooded valleys, alpine meadows and huge herd of elk. As you continue to round the ridge, the peaks behind Crater Lake will begin to emerge. This is the only trail penetrating this segment of the wilderness. Wilderness Areas: San Juan National Forest encompasses 4 Wilderness areas which make the perfect backpacking experience. It is a remote lake, in a remote wilderness area, in a remote part of Colorado. Located 67 miles east of Durango Colorado. I've spent countless nights in the Colorado backcountry, and while we did not see a bear during our stay, the signs of active bears around this lake were vastly greater than any other location I've visited in Colorado since 2004. The South San Juan wilderness is located in southern Colorado near the towns of Pagosa Springs, South Fork, and Antonito. Have you done this adventure? Nestled in a basin on the east side of a rugged ridge that is dominated by Twilight Peak (13,158 feet) the scenic lake is fishable for cutthroat trout using flies and artificial lures. Crater Lake Institute is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization. It is the main feature of Crater Lake National Park and is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. Click on the "Add To Cart" link to add this photo to your cart or click on a keyword to find similar photos. Has anyone been there in winter? One of my favorite places in the world: Crater Lake. Platoro Cabin 1 is located downtown in the small mining town of Platoro, Colorado, at an Originally designated as wilderness by Congress in 1980, it is a component of the National Wilderness … Keep in mind, as well, that at least 1 hour of the hike (in the middle of it) will be at, or above, treeline - so, do factor that into your timing if thunderstorms are in the forecast. Located 67 miles east of Durango Colorado. It is a remote lake, in a remote wilderness area, in a remote part of Colorado. Blue Lake Loop, South San Juan Wilderness, CO. © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. The South San Juan Wilderness encompasses the southeastern extent of the San Juan Mountain Range, including a segment of the Continental Divide. — at South San Juan Wilderness. I'm gonna guess it's a bit harder to reach (that's the view from Wolf Creek Ski Area. Southwest Colorado. On September 23, 1979 a sow grizzly was killed near Blue Lake by a bow hunter. The San Juan is a stunning forest full of adventure! (Note: this is not the route shown on the older USGS map that goes around the north and east side of the lake.) Crater Lake is located in the Weminuche Wilderness Area of the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! If you visit Crater Lake, please do your part to keep that from happening in the South San Juan Wilderness - every person and animal who visits the area will appreciate your effort. Hike the Weminuche Wilderness to Fourmile Falls. As a measure of time, we caught our first glimpse of the lake itself about 40 minutes after we passed the wilderness boundary sign on the Continental Divide - so, roughly about 1 hour and 40 minutes from the trailhead. Great day hike in the Weminuche Wilderness area, San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado. Several deer approached our camp from time to time and we only saw three other people at the lake over the next 48 hours before packing up camp - a definite rarity over 4th of July weekend in Colorado! This trail actually descends, beginning from a good dirt road near Elwood Pass in the mountains south of South Fork. ... Forest San Juan Wilderness South San Juan. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your A 4 day backpacking adventure into Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness. Crater Lake is located in the Weminuche Wilderness Area of the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. See a list of businesses and organizations from all across the state that support the Crater Lake Wilderness proposal. Another trail will veer left, remain left of the creek and continue along the lake's eastern (left) edge into a network of social and game trails (many, many fresh bear tracks and scat were spotted in this area). elevation of 10,000 feet in the Rio G... Overview Colorado's South San Juan wilderness. Has anyone been there in winter? Recreation. After meandering across the tundra above the pass it descends steeply, for a total of 2.1 miles to Crater Lake. Access to the wilderness is mainly from the north via Hwy 160 or from the east through the town of Antonito. Best lake trails in South San Juan Wilderness, Colorado 127 Reviews Explore the most popular lake trails in South San Juan Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. This gorgeous lake is just below timberline, at 10,900 feet, and offers great fishing and camping. Some believe that it is still home to a few grizzlies, but there is no sufficient evidence yet to prove this. This 5.5-mile hike is on the western fringe of the wilderness, and offers only moderate elevation gain as it climbs to a pretty mountain lake brimming with fish. Contact San Juan National Forest: (970) 247-4874. Visitors are requested to contact a Forest Service Office for the regulations governing use of the Continental Divide Trail which passes through the South San Juan Wilderness Area. Overview Additionally, from the end of the trail at Crater Lake, there is a well-worn path that leads to North Twilight Peak and other undeveloped destinations in the West Needle Mountains. San Juan National Forest, CO Blue hour at Crater Lake in the South San Juan Wilderness near South Fork. In summer it's a modest 2.5-mile hike. This was the last documented grizzly in Colorado. The lake lives up to its name - it supports a healthy cutthroat trout population thanks to its depth, adequate drainage area, and remoteness. This weekend I wanted to finally get out on our first backpacking trip into the mountains for the season. In winter they close Elwood Pass 17 miles below the trailhead.) The lake partly fills a nearly 2,148-foot-deep (655 m) caldera that was formed around 7,700 (± 150) years ago by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. We just returned from an incredible 5 day backpacking trip to the South San Juan Wilderness in SW Colorado. Blue Lake Loop, South San Juan Wilderness, CO. Crater Lake Trail #562 is a 2.12 mile one way hike with 46 feet accumulated elevation gain. 180.0 mi . — at South San Juan Wilderness. 3. 0 Alternative ... South San Juan Wilderness Trails. The extra day to play always seems to be challenged by the expected crowds of competition for your sought after spots. Weminuche Wilderness Area, San Juan National Forest, near Silverton in Southwest Colorado, North Twilight Peak (13,075) and its reflection in the waters of Crater Lake, A scenic hike to a pretty lake nestled beneath North Twilight Peak (13,158). The 1.8 mile path (TR 1975) to Crater Lake and other places beyond leaves the Maroon Lake scenic loop at the far end of the lake and soon crosses the boundary of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.It heads up the densely wooded slope on the north side of the canyon, through a … While taking the Hwy 550 north to Silverton, Ouray and Montrose is one of the finest road trips in the USA, it is getting off the road, lacing up the hiking boots and walking the … Platoro Cabin 2 is located downtown in the small mining town of Platoro, Colorado, at an elevation of 10,000 feet in the Rio Gra... Overview Looking down on Crater lake from Montezuma peak. 8.0 mi away. Created on December 22, 1980, when President Carter signed Public Law 96-560, the 127,721-acre South San Juan Wilderness is a geographically remote and primal territory. Set up at least 100 feet from water, disperse wastewater, and ask rangers about closed lakeside sites and other local restrictions. The Outbound Collective The South San Juan Wilderness is located in the San Juan National Forest, east of Pagosa Springs, in southern Colorado. Visiting the South San Juan Wilderness | Fine art landscape photography | Nature images and pictures | Photography tips | Arizona | Colorado | Utah | New Mexico This would be a great opportunity for us to scout for new elk hunting areas and do some hiking and tout fishing along the way. The road ends at the trailhead on the shoreline .6 miles down the road. Shortly after you begin descending, you will see a sign for the South San Juan Wilderness boundary. Once through the junction, you will begin what becomes a moderate-steep 1200' descent down into the Crater Creek drainage. Continue for another 10 minutes on a moderate grade through open tundra meadows up to about 12,040' - the trails may become faint at spots or covered in snow drifts in this area, so, if you're challenged with alpine navigation, be sure to keep a map, GPS or some other resource available. From the saddle, a class 3 scramble up the east ridge of North Twilight Peak provides bird’s eye views of the Needle Mountains and the Grenadier Range to the east. In 1870, gold and silver was discovered in area, which lead to a small boom i... Treasure Falls is reached via short .4 mile walk from the parking lot on highway 160 about 15 miles outside Pagosa Springs (which is home to the worlds deepest hot springs). Jwahely46 said it right, "God's Country". Photo Credit, courtesy of: R. Scott Rappold. We got our gear together and were on the trail by noon. Hiking Colorado's Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas, by Donna Ikenberry, $17. Photos and trail descriptions of 'Backpack to (the other) Crater Lake in the South San Juan Wilderness' and more, submitted by the Outbound community. Contact San Juan National Forest: (970) 247-4874. 9 miles Watch the mountains and valleys turn gold with the changing Aspen trees. Hiking Crater Lake: This magical mountain lake is a beloved destination for hikers, runners and backpackers in southwestern Colorado. Despite its remote location, the roads into the trailhead in both directions are generally well maintained and (by Colorado standards) were easy for us to navigate during snow-free months. If fishing for dinner is your game, you should have plenty of opportunities.The biggest piece of advice that I can offer if you're camping at Crater Lake is to be highly bear aware. 3. Fortunately for those of us who prefer quieter pastures, Colorado's 3.5+ million acres of wilderness still hold plenty of hidden gems. Mar 20, 2019 - Blue hour at Crater Lake in the South San Juan Wilderness near South Fork. Sun 6:55am - 4:51pm Official Route . Located in the San Luis Valley of south central Colorado, this beautiful piece of BLM land is a place loved by locals and most Colorado climbers. Starting at 10,770-ft. the trail traverses a rolling terrain of meadows and forests with great views of the surrounding peaks, gaining a net 1,300-ft. in 5.5 miles. Crater Lake, Weminuche Wilderness. South San Juan Wilderness The last known grizzly bear in Colorado was killed in the wilderness in 1979. Several trees are well suited for hammock setups, if a tent isn't your thing. Created on December 22, 1980, when President Carter signed Public Law 96-560, the 127,721-acre South San Juan Wilderness is a geographically remote and primal territory. 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