The Valle Victoria Trail provides access to the high country between Elk Creek and the South Fork of the Conejos River. This area is characterized by numerous lakes and interspersed subalpine meadows and forests.
The Valle Victoria trail traverses the subalpine lake country lying between the Elk Creek and South Fork Conejos River drainages. The interspersed subalpine meadows and forest provide habitat to a wide variety of wildlife species, including coyote, black bear, and large herds of elk. Although several of the lakes in the Valle Victoria area do not support fish because of winterkill, fish can be found in some of the streams draining the lakes. The area is also popular for elk hunting. Further use of the trail is made by ranches herding their sheep and cattle that graze the plateau country.
The trail is well used and hikers should be able to follow it easily. The trail may disappear temporarily in wet meadow areas. Water sources are abundant along the entire route, but water should be treated before consumption.
By traveling a short distance off the beaten track, you may reach the heads of numerous spectacularly scenic canyons that descend to Elk Creek or the South Fork Conejos River from this plateau: Canon Escondido, Victoria Gulch, and the upper reaches of Elk Creek. Adventurous hikers may desire to hike down one of these canyons to join the trails following these streams, although established trails may not exist.
The South San Juan Wilderness is entered a short distance from the start of the trail. Beyond this point, motorized equipment is prohibited.
Directions from Notch Trail: Valle Victoria Trail may be reached by way of Notch Trail #729 from the Conejos River or from Elk Creek. (See Notch Trail description). Follow the Notch Trail to the top of the ridge separating the Conejos River and Elk Creek valleys. The Valle Victoria Trail joins the Notch Trail on this ridge and continues to the northwest.
June through September .