Hikers can gain access to the Stout Creek Lakes Trail from the Rainbow Trail. At the trailhead (north edge of the meadow) follow the old logging road about .75 miles to the Rainbow Trail. Hike north on the Rainbow Trail .25 miles to Stout Creek Lake Trailhead. Follow Stout Creek Lakes Trail, climbing steeply in some places, 3 miles to the lake. The trail begins on the eastern boundary of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness and leads west into the wilderness. No bikes or motorized vehicles are permitted in the wilderness area.
Stout Creek Lakes provides good cutthroat fishing. It is best in early July and late August. Upper Stout Creek Lake has some of the best fishing in the area. The lakes lie in a narrow, steep-sided valley near the top of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. Hikers will find some beautiful waterfalls along the creek below the lakes. This trail is difficult, very steep in some areas, and it is recommended that this trip be done as an overnighter. Campers should pick campsites well away from lake shores, streams and trails to avoid damage to fragile wet areas.
Directions from Salida: Kerr Gulch Access: Traveling east on Highway 50 from Salida turn right on Kerr Gulch Road, BLM 6110. The turn is approximately 4 miles northwest of Coaldale. Drive about 4 miles to BLM Road 6117. Follow Road 6117 1 mile to the trailhead. At the trailhead (north edge of the meadow) follow the old logging road about .75 miles to the Rainbow Trail. Hike north on the Rainbow Trail .25 miles to Stout Creek Lake Trailhead. Follow Stout Creek Lakes Trail climbing steeply in some places 3 miles to the lake.This access is recommended for high clearance vehicles and dry weather only.
June through Mid-October .