Vehicle access ends on a flat bench overlooking Heart Lake which lies down in a bowl just below timberline. The road is closed beyond this bench and down to the lake. Fishing and camping access to the lake is by foot only down a steep hill 1/3 mile to the lake.
The old road down to the lake has been closed to prevent further environmental damage to the steep hillside leading down to the lake and to prevent further vehicle impact along the shore. Please obey and respect this road closure and report any vehicle violations of the closure you may see to the Forest Service. Remember that violation of road closures are punishable by fine.
Heart Lake lies nestled in a bowl just below timberline and got its name from its heart-like shape. Good trout fishing and beautiful mountain scenery greets any visitor. Good campsites exist both on the flat bench at the end of the road and in the timber surrounding the lake below.
Carson Road #518, which provides access almost to Heart Lake, generally poses no problems for jeeps and other types of vehicles when the road bed is dry and firm. There are a few rough and steep sections along the route, however. Portions of the road can become soft and slick during periods of rain or snow, making travel more unsure and risky.
Directions from Creede, Colorado: Approximately 23.7 miles west of Creede on Colorado Highway 149, turn west on the Hermit Lakes Road #515 directly across the highway from South Clear Creek Falls Campground. Travel approximately 4 miles on the Hermit Lakes Road to the junction of Pearl Lakes Road #516. At this junction, turn right (northwest) onto the Pearl Lakes Road and travel approximately 4 miles to the junction of Carson Road #518. Turn left (west-southwest) onto Carson Road #518. Travel slightly over 4 miles west-northwest along the Carson Road to its junction with the Heart Lake Road.
Late June-Early July through October .