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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Rio Grande National Forest > Conejos Peak Ranger District

Quick Facts

Middle Fork Conejos River Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,250 Feet (3195.1 Meters)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,150 Feet (358.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,400 Feet (3553.6 Meters) Ends at Divide Trail 813
Length, One-way: 4.4 Miles (7.33 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 712
Usage: Moderate to Heavy
USGS Maps: Summit Peak, Platoro


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General Description

The trail, also in the South San Juan Wilderness, is a continuation of Three Forks Trail 712, and starts at Three Forks. The trail continues to follow the Middle Fork of the Conejos River Valley. Less than 1/2 mile up the trail is the junction of the North Fork of Conejos Trail 714.

The trail follows the edge of an alpine meadow and only briefly passes through stands of Engelmann spruce and alpine fir. A few miles up the trail, the valley begins turning to the west and offers a spectacular view of the Continental Divide with a glacial valley in the foreground. To the west, Gunsight Pass can be seen on the horizon.

Following the edge of the meadow, the trail enters a stand of conifers and begins to climb. It is another 1/2 mile to Conejos Falls. The Falls are within 200 feet of the south side of the trail. Shortly after passing the Falls, the trail comes back into a meadow. The hiker can again see the rocky peaks of the Continental Divide. When the hiker reaches the trail's end he has the opportunity to hike north or south along the Divide.

Backpackers may want to camp near this junction or hike up the drainage to Lake Ann. Lake Ann is due west 1/2 mile from the junction. There is a trail going to the lake on the north side of the river. The first half of the trail is steep with loose talus slopes. Lake Ann is above timberline and offers very little protection during inclement weather. Fishing at the lake is good.

Directions from Forest Road 247: This section of Trail 712 is a continuation of the Three Forks Trail 712. The junction is 1.9 miles from the parking area trailhead, which is at the end of Forest Road 247.

Directions from Continental Divide Trail #813: Continental Divide Trail 813

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend (NOTE: Campground alternates with Aspen Glade Campground in closing November 15th.) .



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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Undeveloped; along the trail
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Middle Fork Conejos River Trail
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Easy to moderate
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery Continental Divide view ; Conejos Falls within 200 feet of trail
Yes



Related Activities
Blue Lake - Located in the South San Juan Wilderness, access is by foot or horse travel only. This scenic lake is heavily used. Brown and brook trout can be caught here.

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.

Continental Divide - Cumbres Pass to Blue Lake Tra - This is a short segment of the entire Continental Divide Trail but the terrain differs considerably from that of most of the divide.

El Rito Azul Trail - The El Rito Azul Trail #718 begins in Three Forks Park and follows El Rito Azul to Blue Lake. The visitor passes through stands of spruce-fire alternating with open meadows. Magnificent views await the visitor at trails end.

Lake Ann - This scenic lake sits just below the Continental Divide.

North Fork Conejos River Trail - This trail is entirely within the boundaries of the South San Juan Wilderness Area. The trail rises steeply through several switchbacks and then back into a meadow, eventually viewing the Continental Divide.

Three Forks Trail - The trailhead starts from the parking area at the end of Forest Development Road # 247.



More Information

Visitor Information:

South Fork Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 12 , South Fork, CO, 81154, Phone: 719-873-5512

Rio Grande County - South Fork, Del Norte, Monte Vista, P.O. Box 577 , South Fork, CO, 81154, Phone: 800-571-0881 or 719-873-5512, Fax: 719-873-5693, www.southfork.org

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