The Cataract Lake Trail, 475, takes a direct route to Cataract Lake where fishing is reported to be good at times. It begins from the Cataract Gulch Trailhead about one half mile west of the Sherman townsite on County Road 18X. Expect to wade through Cottonwood Creek as you begin this hike. After this creek crossing the trail ascends into Cataract Gulch. Switchbacks bring users of Cataract Lake Trail into the gulch quickly. At the end of the first mile on the trail hikers will be following the gentle path of Cataract Creek.
When the trail rejoins the creek after the switchbacks the elevation is approximately 10,400 feet. The trail follows and crosses the creek for the next two miles ascending moderately to 12,000 feet. During the next two miles the trail enters Cataract Basin, an area of high alpine tundra below the Continental Divide. There are three lakes in this basin the largest under the highest point on the ridge. This trail is popular with motorcycle enthusiasts and horseback riders. It also provides good opportunities for dispersed camping.
Directions from Lake City: Take Highway 149 south two miles and turn right on the Cinnamon Pass Road (County Road 30) toward Lake San Cristobal. Continue on the Cinnamon Pass Road to the Sherman townsite fork, taking the left fork (County Road 18X) to Sherman. The trailhead is approximately one half mile after the bridge and is marked.