St. Charles Peak 

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Bob Falcone
The parking lot is a very short distance past this sign. Parking is on the right, the trailhead across the street.
Bob Falcone
The parking lot can hold a handful of cars.
Bob Falcone
Informational kiosk and sign-in log at the south end of the parking lot.
Bob Falcone
The trailhead.
Bob Falcone
The trail starts out as a gentle trail for a short distance... enjoy it while you can. After that, this is what much of it looks like, for about 4 miles.
Bob Falcone
At about 4 miles from the trailhead, the trail breaks out of the trees, with majestic views to the west.
Bob Falcone
After breaking out of the trees, the trail runs along the west side of the mountain. The actual summit is still about a half mile away, and is visible in this photo, just above the tree line in the distance.
Bob Falcone
At just under 4.5 miles the trail crests its highest point, marked with this log structure (maybe a hitching post). To get to the summit, turn left here and climb up the hill.
Bob Falcone
The view up toward the summit from the trail. No, that large rock is not the summit.
Bob Falcone
Continue straight up the hill, past two large rock formations and look for this pile of rocks, which marks the actual summit. On my visit, I could not locate an official summit marker, but my GPS and the COTREX app both showed that this was the summit.
Bob Falcone
Panoramic view to the west from the summit, with the Sangre de Christo mountains visible in the far background. To return to the trailhead go back down the hill and turn right onto the trail and re-trace your steps. If you've arranged for a car-shuttle or to be picked up at Lake Isabel, turn left at the trail. The trail to Lake Isabel is about 6 miles with more than 3100 feet of descent.
Bob Falcone
GPS track of the hike, from the trailhead to the summit and back. Total distance is just over 9 miles.
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Bob Falcone
The parking lot is a very short distance past this sign. Parking is on the right, the trailhead across the street.

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