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Backpacking: Colorado > Pike and San Isabel National Forests > Salida Ranger District

Quick Facts

Hancock Lake Trail

Beginning Elevation: 11,600 Feet (3616.0 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 11,660 Feet (3634.7 Meters)
Elevation Gain: 470 Feet (146.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,615 Feet (3620.6 Meters) Hancock Lake
High Point: 12,070 Feet (3762.5 Meters) Chalk Creek Pass
Length, One-way: 3.0 Miles (4.8 Kilometers) from Salida
Recommended Season: Summer
Trail Number: 1422
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: Garfield

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Hancock Lake Trail is 3 miles one way. It leads from Hancock Lake Trailhead on Hancock Road south to Middle Fork Road and Highway 50. Hancock Lake is a very good fishing lake, that is stocked every two years. The average size of the cutthroat is about 13 to 17 inches. Past the lakes the trail continues over Chalk Creek Pass, elevation 12,070'. This is an old trail used by miners to carry supplies by mule to the mining camps. It connects with Forest Developed Road 230 at the Middle Fork of the south Arkansas River. Chalk Pass is not open to motorized vehicles.

Because the lakes are above timberline, with fragile vegetation, care should be taken to camp below timberline. Campsites should be located well away from lake shores, streams and trails to avoid crowding and damage to fragile wetland areas.

Directions from Nathrop: Drive west on County Road 162 14 miles; and then drive south on County Road 295 for 4.5 miles to trailhead.

Directions from Salida: From Salida take Highway 50 west to Garfield. Turn north on Forest Developed Road 230 (Middle Fork Road). Drive 3.5 miles and park where the road ends and the trail begins. This is a high-clearance 4WD road.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Late May through September .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Hancock Lake Trail - Continental Divide Trail
ICON Hiking & Walking Hancock Lake Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Hancock Lake Trail

Related Activities
Hancock Lake Trail #1422 - The Hancock Lake Trailhead is located approximately 2.5 miles south of the Hancock Townsite. The trailhead is the terminus of the Hancock Lake Trail and lies .25 miles north of the lake.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Salida Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service, 325 Rainbow Blvd. , Salida, CO, 81201, Phone: 719-539-3591, Fax: 719-539-3593


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