One woman making camp wile backpacking near Andrews Lake, Molas Pass, on the way to Crater Lake by the Twighlight Peaks. Crater Lake is located in the rugged West Needle Mountains, an area added to the Weminuche Wilderness Area in 1993. Suitable campsites are available at Crater Lake, but otherwise are quite limited. On September 23, 1979 a sow grizzly was killed near Blue Lake by a bow hunter. Rate this Adventure 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). In winter they close Elwood Pass 17 miles below the trailhead.) At this point, the Continental Divide trail will merge together with the Crater Lake trail for a short distance of about 1/2 mile. From this point, continue downhill into the spruce/fir forest, which should begin at around 11,600'. On September 23, 1979 a sow grizzly was killed near Blue Lake by a bow hunter. [OC] [4000x3000] Wilderness mean good business! The South San Juan Wilderness is located in the San Juan National Forest, east of Pagosa Springs, in southern Colorado. Be the first to leave a review! The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. Looking down on Crater lake from Montezuma peak. Narrative: The trail leaves the Elwood Pass Road #380, passing through scattered sub-alpine forest. Several trees are well suited for hammock setups, if a tent isn't your thing. Has anyone been there in winter? The hike can be extended to the saddle beyond the lake and/or a scramble to the top of North Twilight.Read Full Description. A day hike to Glacier Lake is a possible alternative. Hiking Colorado's Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas, by Donna Ikenberry, $17. 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. We just returned from an incredible 5 day backpacking trip to the South San Juan Wilderness in SW Colorado. See here for TOPO Map and more detail. Elwood Cabin sits in a saddle along the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Areas: San Juan National Forest encompasses 4 Wilderness areas which make the perfect backpacking experience. (or send him an e-mail here). It takes a great amount of many people neglecting their backcountry responsibilities for that kind of situation to emerge. — at South San Juan Wilderness. oppo... Overview Learn more about this beautiful location in my ebook, Capturing Colorado Hiking & Photographing Lakes of the San Juan Mountains. This is the only trail penetrating this segment of the wilderness. 1780 ft gain The lake lives up to its name - it supports a healthy cutthroat trout population thanks to its depth, adequate drainage area, and remoteness.  - Out-and-Back Trail. The visitor quickly reaches timberline. 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). One of my favorite places in the world: Crater Lake. 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. 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. The Outbound Collective Quartz Lake Trail #568. Narrative: The trail leaves the Elwood Pass Road #380, passing through scattered sub-alpine forest. Situated south of Platoro Reservoir, this 17.7 mile hike offers a mix of wooded valleys, alpine meadows and a an exhilerating stretch of the Continental Divide Trail. 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. Turn left onto Andrews Lake Road. Contact San Juan National Forest: (970) 247-4874. Shortly after you begin descending, you will see a sign for the South San Juan Wilderness boundary. 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. 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. 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 … Great day hike in the Weminuche Wilderness area, San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado. — at South San Juan Wilderness. After meandering across the tundra above the pass it descends steeply, for a total of 2.1 miles to Crater Lake. Colorado's South San Juan wilderness. In regards to setting up camp, the campsites on the north end of the lake are all well defined and rest loosely amongst mature spruce and fir trees. Saturday & Sunday, July 13-14, 2019. 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. 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. As a general rule, at this junction, anything continuing along the Continental Divide will veer left, so as long as you veer right and funnel downhill towards the Crater Creek drainage, you will remain on the correct trail. 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. Find rock climbing routes, photos, and guides for every state, along with experiences and advice from fellow climbers. 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. South San Juan Wilderness The last known grizzly bear in Colorado was killed in the wilderness in 1979. Suitable campsites are available at Crater Lake, but otherwise are quite limited. 7.6 mi away. Mar 20, 2019 - Blue hour at Crater Lake in the South San Juan Wilderness near South Fork. | Fine art landscape photography | Nature images and pictures | Photography tips | Arizona | Colorado | Utah | New Mexico The San Juan is a stunning forest full of adventure! See this panorama in full width here. As you approach the lake, one trail will veer right to dip down to Crater Creek and cross the creek to access the lake's northern shoreline (an area with campsites). 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. See here for TOPO Map and more detail. Learn more about this beautiful location in my ebook, Capturing Colorado Hiking & Photographing Lakes of the San Juan Mountains. In winter they close Elwood Pass 17 miles below the trailhead.) Hike the Weminuche Wilderness to Fourmile Falls. Map of Proposed Crater Lake Wilderness Photo Credit, courtesy of: R. Scott Rappold. Basecamp(s) Information: The last known Grizzly bear ever spotted in Colorado was found in the South San Juan Wilderness back in 1979, so, that alone, should tell you all you need to know about its suitability as bear habitat.From there, enjoy the lack of crowds and, by today's standards, some relatively unspoiled Colorado wilderness. 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. © HikingWalking.com. Permits & Regulations No permits required, but LNT camping is a must. 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. Permits & Regulations No permits required, but LNT camping is a must. 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. From this point, you will begin a descent down a short section back down to the official Continental Divide itself (just above 12,000'), where the Crater Lake trail then breaks back off from the CDT. As you continue to round the ridge, the peaks behind Crater Lake will begin to emerge. Sun 6:55am - 4:51pm Official Route . 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. Some believe that it is still home to a few grizzlies, but there is no sufficient evidence yet to prove this. (Note: this is not the route shown on the older USGS map that goes around the north and east side of the lake.) Call Senator Ron Wyden at (503) 326-7525 and encourage him to protect the Crater Lake Wilderness. A 4 day backpacking adventure into Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness. Originally designated as wilderness by Congress in 1980, it is a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System and now maintains 158,790 acres. Camping: Camping is permitted in the Weminuche Wilderness but there are restrictions to camping close to Crater Lake. The lake lives up to its name - it supports a healthy cutthroat trout population thanks to its depth, adequate drainage area, and remoteness. Camping: Camping is permitted in the Weminuche Wilderness but there are restrictions to camping close to Crater Lake. In summer it's a modest 2.5-mile hike. 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. 180.0 mi . Some believe that it is still home to a few grizzlies, but there is no sufficient evidence yet to prove this. Crater Lake is located in the Weminuche Wilderness Area of the San Juan National Forest near Silverton, Colorado. Have you done this adventure? adventures and follow local regulations. Day 2: Continue west through the South Fork Narrows, then up Cañon Rincon to a high camp near Twin Lakes (11,700’). For the next half mile, you will meander downhill in and out of forest and meadow, down to about 11,100' feet where the trail will begin to curve left, around Long Trek Mountain's northwest ridge. It soon turns to a wide dirt trail and heads south working its way up the hillside on a few switchbacks. Day 2: Continue west through the South Fork Narrows, then up Cañon Rincon to a high camp near Twin Lakes (11,700’). On September 23, 1979 a sow grizzly was killed near Blue Lake by a bow hunter. Crater Lake, Weminuche Wilderness. You can camp further up the trail but you soon break treeline and with the frequent afternoon storms it … The South San Juan Wilderness encompasses the southeastern extent of the San Juan Mountain Range, including a segment of the Continental Divide. Blue Lake Loop, South San Juan Wilderness, CO. 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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