Length: 3.8-miles (one-way)
Trailhead Facilities: Vault toilet
Short Trail Summary: This hike description is to junction with the Leche Creek Trail No. 576.
This hike can be connected to various other trails for a point-to-point hike including the Opal Lake Trail No. 575, Leche Creek Trail No. 576 or Navajo Peaks Trail (west) or south No. 577.
A diverse hike beginning in the drier landscapes south of Pagosa Springs proper. The first mile and a half will gain just over 1,000-feet and elevation as it winds it way away from the cow grazing permit to the wilderness boundary. En route, the trees will band as various stands of aspen before cresting over the lip of the V Mountain to an oversized plateau than can be wet in early season.
Trail bends north onto the uppermost edge of the ridge before winding back on itself in oversized grassy meadows choked with marsh marigold, iris and harebells. The trail will wind around an unnamed knoll before descending through dying spruce/fir forest to the junction with Leche Creek Trail No. 575.
Directions: From US 160/US 84 junction, turn south onto US 84. Travel 19-miles and turn northeast onto Buckles Lake Road (FS 663), a gravel road. Road ends at 7.8-miles in a large trailhead with shared trail accesses.