After departing from the main Ute Trail, this trail immediately crosses Middle Ute Creek and proceeds up an open meadow at a mild grade before making a very steep ascent to an open grassy ridge above main Ute Lake. The trail will then make a short steep descent toward Ute Lake before meeting the Continental Divide Trail immediately above Ute Lake.
Beautiful views are possible in all directions from this trail. Opportunities to see elk are usually good.
Fishing is good at the lake but only one or two small camping areas are available near the lake shore. Since Ute Lake is above timberline, camping with tree cover is only available at areas near the trail below the lake. Firewood may be in short supply in the lake area.
Directions from Creede, Colorado: Travel southwest on Colorado Highway 149 for 20.1 miles to Forest Road #520 (Upper Rio Grande River Road). Then, go approximately 16.0 miles to the Ute Creek Trailhead. Hike up the main Ute Creek Trail #819 for approximately 10.0 miles to the Ute Lake Trail #905 junction. The junction is clearly defined by the merging of the two trail heads. Signs may not be present. Ute Lake Trail #905 crosses Middle Ute Creek within 200 yards of the trail junction.
Late June through September .