The Lake Fork Trail begins with a difficult task, crossing the Cochetopa River. Depending on the time of year, this can be most trying. Probably the best spot is about 1/2 miles past the private land on the Skyline Trail. The river winds, bends and flattens out a little, permitting a ford. Once across, a formidable climb begins. For the next 1/2 to 1 miles follow the old jeep road up the side of the canyon to the Lake Fork Valley. The trail then follows the valley bottom and is the easiest part of the hike (1-2 miles). Soon though, a long steady climb of about 2 miles begins the ascent to the Continental Divide. Several long switchbacks are the final obstacle to the Divide (about 1 mile).
Directions from Gunnison: Take Hwy 50 east to Hwy 114. Go through Cochetopa Canyon and then turn right on the access road to Dome Lakes and the Old Agency Work Center. After about four miles, turn right to go to the Old Agency work Center and Forest Service Road #790 or go a few miles more and turn right just after Upper Dome Reservoir to get on Forest Service Road #794. Either road (#790 or #794) will take you to the Stewart Creek Road. Take the Stewart Creek Road about 5 miles until you see the sign for the Stewart Creek Trail.