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.
Late May through September .