Sangre de Cristo Trails of Colorado

21 Hiking Trails

in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado


Rainbow Trail - began in 1912 to allow fire fighters access to the Sangres. It starts south of Music Pass and continues for 97 miles. It is the starting point for most of the north side and east side trails listed here.

North Side Trails:

Stout Creek Lakes - about 9 miles round trip from Kerr Gulch trailhead. VERY STEEP. Elev. gain: 2,400'.

Bushnell Lakes Trail - about 11 miles round trip from Hayden Creek Campground. LONG AND STEEP. Elev. gain: 3,000'.

East Side Trails:

Cloverdale/North Lake Creek - hike length about 2 miles round trip from 4 wheel drive road. (Need dry weather and a 4 wheel drive vehicle with high clearance to drive the road to this trailhead.) EASY. Elev. gain: easy.

Brush Creek Lakes - about 6 miles round trip from Mine at end of Route 331. (See San Isabel Ntl. Forest map.) EASY after short steep section. Elev. gain: 1600'.

Lake of the Clouds - about 10 miles round trip from Gibson Creek trailhead. STRENUOUS. Elev. gain: 2,500'.

North Taylor Creek and Meagan Lake- about 10 miles round trip from Gibson Creek trailhead or 6 miles round-trip from Forest Road 173 (a 4 wheel drive road). MODERATE. Elev. gain: 2,500'.

Hermit Pass, Hermit, Eureka and, Horseshoe Lakes - about 5 miles round trip from Hermit Pass Road (high el. veh.). MODERATE. Elev. gain: 500'.

Venable Lakes - about 10+ miles round trip from Alvarado Campground. MODERATE. Elev. gain: 3,000'.

Comanche Lake, Phantom Terrace - about 12+ miles round trip loop from Alvarado Campground with return by Venable Lakes Trail. STRENUOUS. Elev. gain: 3,400'.

Dry Lakes - about 9 miles round trip from Horn Creek trailhead. MODERATE. Elev. gain: 2,900'.

Horn Lakes - about 10 miles round trip from Horn Creek trailhead. MODERATE. Elev. gain: 2,500'.

South Colony Lakes - about 3 miles round trip from South Colony Road ( a terrible 4 wheel drive road). EASY hike but awful drive. Elev. gain: 500'.

Marble Caves - about 9 miles round trip from South Colony Road (4 wheel drive) via Rainbow Trail and Hudson Creek. HARD climb to caves. Elev. gain: 1,800'.

Music Pass to Sand Creek Lakes - about 10 miles round trip from end of Music Pass Road (4 wheel drive last 3 1/2 miles). MODERATE. Elev. gain:

800' plus 500' over pass.

Mosca Pass - about 6 miles round trip from Great Sand Dunes National Monument. MODERATE. Elev. gain: 1,200'.

Huerfano Basin, Lily Lake - about 10 miles round trip from end of the Huerfano River road (rd. 580: 4 wheel drive). MODERATE. Elev. gain: 2,000'.

West Side Trails:

Rito Alto, San Isabel Lakes - about 4 miles round trip from top of Hermit Pass road (Rd. 160: 4 wheel drive). MODERATE. Elev. gain: 1,700'.

North Crestone Lake - about 12 miles round trip from North Crestone Campground. STRENUOUS. Elev. gain: 3,000'.

Willow Lake - about 10 miles round trip from trailhead near Crestone. STRENUOUS. Elev. gain: 2,800'.

Medano Pass, Medano Lake - about 10 miles round trip from trailhead near top of Medano Pass. MODERATE. Elev. gain: 2,000'.


Information prepared by Marty Vyn Boennighausen 1/97 using the video "Sangre de Cristo Trails" by Roy McCanne. Anyone who would like to contribute additional hiking information about these or any other trails in the area can do so by emailing their information to arthurvb@sni.net. We will be delighted to enhance this hiking information!

"Sangre de Cristo Trails" is a breath-taking video. It includes 14 animals and birds, 15 mountain peaks, 35 lakes and 77 flowers identified. It also includes fascinating footage going into the Marble Caves.

A copy of the color video can be ordered from:

Hungry Gulch Press

P.O. Box 357

Westcliffe, Co. 81252

Also useful are the San Isabel National Forest and the Rio Grande National Forest maps.