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

Quick Facts

Spectacle Lake Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,750 Feet (2727.6 Meters)
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 350 Feet (109.1 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,100 Feet (2836.7 Meters) Ends at junction with Notch Trail # 729
Length, One-way: 1.5 Miles (2.5 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 730
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Spectacle Lake

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Spectacle Lake trail provides an ideal day hike for those camping at the Spectacle Lake and Conejos Campgrounds because of the trailhead's proximity to the campgrounds. The trail provides hikers with an overall view of the streamside and forest environments of the Conejos River valley.

The most important use of the Spectacle Lake Trail is as an access to the Notch Trail. The river must be forded at the trailhead. Access may be difficult during spring run-off when the Conejos River is high. No boating is allowed on Spectacle Lake.

The Spectacle Lake Trail is ideal for those interested in learning about the ecosystems along the Conejos River. From the trailhead, it follows the river closely for one-half mile downstream, passing through the meadows, willow thickets, and cottonwood groves of the riparian ecosystem. The trail then climbs the western slope of the Conejos Canyon through the montane forest, dominated by Douglas fir, white fir, aspen and blue spruce. Along the trail, impressive views down into the Conejos Canyon may be seen. The trail joins the Notch Trail about halfway up the canyon slope, where the Notch Trail begins to climb steeply to the ridgetop overlooking the Conejos River and Elk Creek.

Directions from Highway 17: From Highway 17, take the Platoro Road #250 northwest approximately 4.5 miles and one-half mile south of Spectacle Lake Campground. The trailhead is on the east side of the river.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Year-round (NOTE: Winter Ice fishing on Spectacle Lake) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Spectacle Lake Trail
ICON Horseback Riding River must be forded at the trailhead

Related Activities
Conejos Campground - Conejos Campground has 16 campsites with picnic tables and fireplaces. There is public access to the Conejos River. Both day and overnight use is permitted.

Conejos River - The Conejos River provides more than 30 stream miles of high quality wild trout fishing. The Conejos River has more public fishing access along its length than any other major river in Colorado.

Spectacle Lake Campground - Spectacle Lake Campground has 24 sites with picnic tables and fireplaces. There is access to the Conejos River and Spectacle Lake.

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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