Hidden Lake Trail 

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Bob Falcone
The trailhead is .4 miles down Forest Road 250 from Highway 17. It can be difficult to find and there is no parking at the actual trailhead.
Bob Falcone
There are only a couple of markers to signify the start of the trail.
Bob Falcone
The trail is narrow, steep and rugged for the first 1.3 miles.
Bob Falcone
There are beautiful groves of aspens on the trail, making it a nice hike in the fall.
Bob Falcone
At about .97 miles there is a cistern supplied by a natural spring, presumably for horses. The trail continues to climb steeply after the cistern.
Bob Falcone
At about 1.1 miles it breaks out of the forest, and onto a wide meadow. From the meadow, there are great views of the Conejos Canyon and LaManga Pass to the south.
Bob Falcone
In late July the meadow was covered with wildflowers, including many Mariposa Lilies.
Bob Falcone
At about 1.5 miles, the trail passes this marker.
Bob Falcone
At about 1.7 miles the trail ends at a two track road, and nowhere near Hidden Lake. To get to the lake, turn left onto the road.
Bob Falcone
About a quarter mile after turning on the road, cross the cattle guard. In late July, watch for Columbine and wild rose flowers in bloom under the trees to the left.
Bob Falcone
About a quarter mile past the cattle guard, the road makes a sharp right turn. Bear left here and head for the line of trees.
Bob Falcone
After turning off of the road and just past the line of trees, there is another two-track. It is not very visible from the road. Follow this for the next .6 miles to Hidden Lake.
Bob Falcone
At about 2.6 miles, arrive at Hidden Lake. At my visit in late July. even when there was still significant run-off and monsoon storms each day, there wasn't much water in the lake. It resembled a marsh, with tall grasses and some lily pads in the center of the lake.
Bob Falcone
Hidden Lake panorama
Bob Falcone
Return by following the trail back. It is easy to miss where the trail leaves the road and cuts back across the meadow. I placed a cairn there, but you will still need to pay close attention. The trail marker in slide #8 is not visible from here.
Bob Falcone
The track for this hike. This map, from CalTopo, shows a road that does not exist, and does not show the road that the trail actually ends at, and where you make the left turn. It also does not show where the second road that leads to the lake meets the first road you turn on.
More slideshows
Bob Falcone13 images
Sean Cayton19 images
Bob Falcone19 images
Bob Falcone24 images
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Bob Falcone
The trailhead is .4 miles down Forest Road 250 from Highway 17. It can be difficult to find and there is no parking at the actual trailhead.

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