Fish Lake Trail No. 574

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Length: 12.2-miles (one-way)

Trailhead Facilities: None

Short Trail Summary: This hike description is to junction with the Continental Divide Trail No. 813.

Plan for a long uphill with an elevation gain of approximately 4,000-feet in the first eight miles. This hike begins in open meadow with aspen stands before transitioning to spruce-fir forest. You are near Fish Creek, crossing it and its tributaries a few times, hikers will soon be above and out of reach of the waters. After five miles, the trail begins a switchback progression before being thrust above tree line and more switchbacks that are a trail construction benefit. Views to Gunsight Pass and the Chalk Mountains give perspective to a hiker’s small size. Reaching a saddle above Fish Lake, the trail wraps around its western edge before heading to the plateau and wide-open tundra with views wide and far. The trail continues to be easy to follow passing several small ponds, criss-crossing meadows and small tree stands before ending at the CDT.

Directions: From US 160, turn south onto US 84. Travel 8-miles and turn northeast onto Blanco Basin Road (CR 326), a gravel road. After 9.7-miles turn south onto Castle Creek Road (FS 660). Continue an additional 6.7-miles to the end of FS 660 and a parking area.

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