Waterdog Lakes Trail


The Waterdog Lakes trail is a popular day hike for local residents and visitors to the area. The hike to the lakes is a steady climb. The lower lake is relatively small with few fish but the upper lake is great for brook trout. Wildflowers are abundant during July and August. Use caution when crossing the highway to the trailhead.

At a Glance

Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: Use caution when crossing the highway to the trailhead.
Closest Towns: Salida, CO
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Salida Ranger District

General Information

Directions:

From Poncha Springs, CO take US Highway 50 west, traveling towards Monarch Pass. Stay on Hwy 50 for approximately 13.5 miles. You will pass the Monarch Mountain Lodge located on the left side of the highway. From there, continue traveling for 2.75 miles. Watch for a dirt pullout on the left side of the highway. The trail is located across the highway from the parking pullout. If you reach the turn-off to Monarch Park campground, you have gone to far.


Accessibility:

This trail is not universally accessible.


Parking:

Parking is available for about 8 vehicles along the edge of the highway.


Activities

Day Hiking

The hike to Waterdog Lakes is a short one but the steady climb will give hikers a workout. This is a great hike with a picnic at the lower lake. Follow the trail around the lake and hike up to the upper lake. The views of the Continental Divide and Banana Mountain are incredible!

Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Backpacking

The hike to Waterdog Lakes is short for most backpack trips but the lakes are great places to visit for an overnight trip. Most hikers don't bother hiking up to the upper lake.

Please camp away from the lakeshore and leave a clean campsite when you depart.

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

The trail to Waterdog Lakes is steep but relatively easy to navigate in the deep winter snow. It is a favorite among local snowshoers!

Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
2 miles

  Latitude : 
38.53137027

  Longitude : 
-106.3237674

  Elevation : 
10,200 Feet - 11,475 Feet