Uncompahgre National Forest

Woods Lake Trail (USFS #406)
Woods Lake Trail
Trail Beginning: Elevation 9,400 feet at the trailhead, which is 100 yards north of the cattle guard at the entrance to Woods Lake (T42N, R11W, Sec 23).
Trail Ending: Elevation 11,560 feet on the ridge at the San Juan Forest boundary approximately 1 mile from Navajo Lake (T41N, R11W, Sec 2).
Length: 4 miles or 6.6 km
Mode of Travel: Hiking, Horse, Biking
Recommended Season: Late May to early November. Winter use not recommended due to difficulty of access and potential avalanche danger.
Use: Moderate
Difficulty: Moderate
USGS Maps: Little Cone, Dolores Peak

The trail enters the Lizard Head Wilderness about one mile from the trailhead. It leads to junctions with Elk Creek Trail (#407) and Navajo Lake Trail. Limited numbers of campsites are available, primarily below timberline.

The trail starts climbing gradually as it traverses around the east edge of Woods Lake. It climbs up through conifer and aspen forest to the wilderness boundary at about one mile. The trail continues climbing, with occasional switchbacks past several small creeks and springs. It also passes through small meadows with excellent views of Dolores Peak and Little Cone. At about two and a half miles it switchbacks more steeply up a drainage to timberline and a junction with the Elk Creek Trail (#407). From there it traverses across the tundra, crossing several small gullies to a saddle and the San Juan Forest boundary. The saddle provides extensive views of the southwestern edge of the San Juan range, along with the Four Corners area. From there it switchbacks down to a junction with the Navajo Lake trail, which leads to Navajo Lake or down to the Dunton road just above Burro Bridge campground.

Access: Two miles southwest of Placerville on Hwy. 145, turn right on Fall Creek Road (#618). Follow the road for 8 miles to Woods Lake, Beaver Park junction, near a bridge. Take the road straight for one mile to Woods Lake. Trailhead is on the left at the picnic area.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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