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Fishing: Colorado > Rio Grande National Forest > Conejos Peak Ranger District

Quick Facts

Los Pinos Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,800 Feet (3366.6 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 900 Feet (280.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,700 Feet (3647.1 Meters) Ends at La Manga Stock Driveway, Trail # 725, near Red Lake
Length, One-way: 2.0 Miles (3.33 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 736
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: Cumbres

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, from Chama, NM at Cumbres Pass
Copyright: Jim Hughes - US Forest Service
Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, from Chama, NM at Cumbres Pass
The valley of the Rio de los Pinos ("River of the Pines") is a picturesque glacial valley whose scenery has attracted tourists from afar. The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad passes through the valley below Highway 17. Above the highway, the valley has been developed as a recreational area, including Trujillo Meadows Campground and reservoir, a popular fishing spot. The wildlands of the upper Rio de los Pinos valley are accessible only by trail and offer quiet and solitude to the hiker and backpacker.

Trail 736 passes through the uppermost two miles of the Rio de los Pinos valley. Subalpine forests of spruce and fir cover the slopes of this U-shaped glacial valley. Wide meadows stretch along the valley bottom and are covered with colorful wildflowers in the summertime. The valley rises gradually to Jarosa Mesas, from which spectacular views into the Rio de los Pinos, Elk Creek, and Rito Colorado drainages may be seen. The jagged peaks of the Continental Divide are visible across the alpine tundra.

The trail gives access to the upper reaches of the Rio de los Pinos, a popular fishing stream. The Trujillo Meadows campground offers campers an ideal day hike to the alpine country of Jarosa Mesa. Red Lake, popular for fishing, can easily be reached by this trail. Atop Jarosa Mesa, these trails are often overgrown by vegetation. Rock cairns mark the trails but it is highly recommended that a topographic map and a compass be used in this area.

The South San Juan Wilderness is entered near the rim of the canyon. Beyond this point motorized equipment is prohibited.

Directions from Highway 17: Take the Trujillo Meadows Reservoir turnoff from Highway 17, approximately one quarter mile north of the summit of Cumbres Pass. Follow Road #118 to the reservoir. Beyond the reservoir, Road #118 is a primitive jeep road. Discretion should be used before driving further. It is suggested that vehicles with low clearance be parked at the reservoir. The trailhead is at the end of Road #118, approximately 4 miles from the reservoir.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Mid-June through September .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Camping Trujillo Meadows Campground nearby
ICON Cold Water Fishing Red Lake and the upper reaches of the Rio de los Pinos
ICON Hiking & Walking Los Pinos Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Upper Rio de los Pinos valley offers quiet and solitude
ICON Viewing Scenery Glacial valley of the Rio de los Pinos

Related Activities
Continental Divide - Cumbres Pass to Blue Lake Tra - This is a short segment of the entire Continental Divide Trail but the terrain differs considerably from that of most of the divide.

Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway - The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad is a 64 mile, steam-powered narrow gauge railroad located in the Rocky Mountains along the CO/NM border. Built in 1880, it now operates during the summer and early fall.

Red Lake Trail - Beginning at an elevation of 10,300 feet, the Jarosa Trail follows La Manga Creek through subalpine forest and meadows, passing numerous beaver ponds popular to fishing. The mesa reaches an elevation bordering the alpine and subalpine ecosystems here.

Red Lakes Trail - The Red Lake Trail climbs the La Manga Creek Valley to Jarosa Mesa. Red Lake, sitting in a bowl at the head of the Rito Colorado, is popular for fishing and camping.

Trujillo Meadows Reservoir - This is one of the few lakes or reservoirs with road access located in Conejos Peak Ranger District. Small motorized and nonmotorized water craft are allowed

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Conejos Peak Ranger Station, 15571 County Road T-5, P.O. Box 420 , La Jara, CO, 81140, Phone: 719-274-8971, TTY: 719-274-3139


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