The first mile of the Notch Trail parallels the Conejos River and passes through the lush grasses and willows which follow the river course. As the trail climbs from the Conejos Canyon, it passes through forests of white fir, Engelmann spruce, and aspen. A spectacular view of the Conejos River Canyon can be seen from the Notch Trail.
The Notch Trail is a fairly strenuous hike as it climbs steeply out of the Conejos River valley. The steep terrain makes trail maintenance difficult and the trail may be rugged in places. Water is not available along the route, until Elk Creek is reached. Drinking water should be treated before consumption.
The Notch Trail is well used as access to the Valle Victoria Trail #727, which continues along the ridge above the Conejos River to the northwest. The Notch Trail climbs steeply up this ridge from the Conejos River, intersects with the Valle Victoria Trail, and then descends into the Elk Creek Canyon where it meets Trail #731.
Directions from Highway 17: Drive northwest on the Platoro Road (Forest Road 250) approximately 3 miles from its junction with Highway 17 and 1.5 miles past the Rainbow Trout Lodge. The Notch Trail begins at the cow camp on the west side of the road.
May through October .