Trail Name: San Carlos Trail
Location: Southwest of Pueblo, Colorado
Date: March 1, 2020
Time at the Trail Head: 9:30 am
Trail Length: 4.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,384 feet
Elev. at Trail Head: 8,142 feet
# of Hikers Passed: 0
# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 0
# of Horses Passed: 0
We had planned on hiking near Steamboat Springs, Colorado this weekend, but it snowed pretty much every day there this week and the forecast was for snow on the weekend so we looked south once again, as the skies were mostly sunny.
I used AllTrails once again to find a trail that wasn’t to high in elevation or was to long. I finally found the San Carlos trail that looked interesting and was in an area we had never been to before
That was all we needed and we woke up early and hit the road.
Drive to the Trail
It was a beautiful sunny morning and it’s always nice to get out early before many people wake up. We headed south from Castle Rock, through Colorado Springs and Pueblo on I-25. We finally exited at Colorado City and started heading up into the mountains.
I had never been through Rye, Colorado before but the views from Rye and on up to San Isabel Lake were gorgeous.
Ice fishing on San Isabel Lake.
Even though we arrived at the trail later than we normally like to, we discovered that we were far enough away from any large city that we would have the trail to ourselves today.
My Day on the Trail
It seemed like we had to drive around 10 miles on a national forest dirt road that was covered, mostly in snow but there were some steep sections that made the drive a little more interesting in my 2-wheel drive Toyota Tundra.
We arrived at the trail to find no one else there, but we also discovered that there were no bathroom facilities, other than what we brought with us.
We were immediately concerned that we made a mistake in not renting snowshoes for this hike.
We were hoping that the snow was packed down enough so that the hike wouldn’t be to difficult, but it was challenging and we both admitted that we should have been a little more prepared for this one.
The weather was perfect and it’s just nice to get out into the mountains in Colorado to enjoy the beauty of the forests.
There were not a lot of mountain views for nearly the 1st mile on the trail but that was soon to change.
We were able to get out on several rock outcroppings where we could see some nice views of the Rocky Mountains.
We finally found an excellent opening with a view of the Rocky Mountains to the south and southwest and I think we stopped, pulled up a rock and just talked and enjoyed the weather and the views.
I’m not sure you can tell from the following picture but there is a really nice canyon below us, called the Bear Canyon where the Saint Charles River runs through.
It’s hard to explain in words, and even in pictures, how incredible the Rocky Mountains are. You just have to experience Colorado for yourself.
It was finally time to start heading back to the truck, as we knew a snow storm was approaching but we stopped for one last moment to take it all in.
This is a nice trail that takes you over a creek and has some beautiful views, but I wouldn’t call them outstanding views, compared to most of the other trails we have hiked.
The best part about this hike was the views while driving to and from the trail.
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- Paragon bindings feature a one-piece contouring strap that wraps securely around boots, for a glove-like feel that eliminates rigid pressure points, and provides easy alignment and foot control
- Ergo Televator heel lift bar flips up to increase uphill efficiency, provide help on steep ascents, and reduce fatigue
- Snowshoes measure 8 x 30 inches, weigh 4.93 pounds/pair, and can carry up to a 280-pound load; bindings fit men’s shoes sizes 4.5-15; made in the USA
Lunch in Westcliffe
We decided to take the longer drive back to Castle Rock and stopped for lunch in Westcliffe, Colorado.
We had never taken this drive before and we were glad we took it today.
You can see in the photo above that the snow had started hitting the mountains higher up in elevation.
We have driven through Westcliffe before, driving from Walsenburg to Gunnison, but this was the first time we had stopped.
Westcliffe is a nice little town, nestled in between two mountain ranges, southwest of Pueblo. We decided to take our chances on Chappys Mountain View Bar and Grill for lunch. It didn’t look like much from the outside but it was pleasant and comfortable inside.
My beer brat was exceptional but Caleb’s burger tasted more like a hot dog. Other than that, we enjoyed our lunch there in Westcliffe.
You can see a short YouTube video on the San Carlos trail below.
I would love to know if you have had any experience on this trail or have other trails you love to hike. Leave a Comment Below or send me an Email
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