Moderate to Difficult Hikes

Bear Lake to Spring Creek

Distance: 6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate, due to distance

After meeting at the Rec Hall, we “circle up” at the parking lot to the Indian Trail in the Bear Lake campground. Our hike begins with a good “up hill climb” to the ridge above Bear Lake. The nice thing about this hike is that once to the top of this ridge, the trail is 80% down hill! We’ll drop about 1000 feet in elevation from that ridge line to the trails end at Spring Creek picnic area. Our trail will takes us through Engleman Spruce forests, Aspen groves, over Baker Creek several times, through Scrub Oak tangles, and open meadows. Our lunching spot is right on Baker Creek where folks can dangle their feet in the cool water while they eat their lunch. The sound of the rushing water at lunchtime is quite refreshing! After lunch we pass just west of the ski area, and then down the Dogdeton Creek trail, finally emptying out at the Spring Creek picnic area. This hike is one of our longer hikes, but it is not a difficult hike. Come join us!


Distance: 3 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty: Strenuous

This is a strenuous hike, not because of its distance (about 3 miles round trip) but because of its steepness, hiking in a narrow, rugged valley with thready “trail” and climbing over loose rocks and fallen trees. Sturdy hiking boots and long pants will be required. Amy says “If you are on the fence about this hike, don’t go and just go look at the pictures of the bomber on the computer” 

There is no formal trail leading to the wreckage. We follow a small stream for about a mile so it can be a very muddy and slick hike. This is an all uphill hike. Once we get near the site of the crash we begin to climb a ridge which is much steeper, and again without a trail. Once we start seeing pieces of the B-24 it covers a large area of the ridge.

This is a unique, very rewarding and sobering  hike to see the crash site of a B-24 bomber that went down in March of 1943 where 7 men died. It was trainer plan that was traveling from El Paso to Pueblo. The bomber went down in March of 1943. It a touching and profound sight to see all the pieces of the wreckage scattered across the mountain side. 

First Sister

Distance: 5 miles
Difficulty: Moderately difficult

After meeting at the Recreation Center, we will drive to the trailhead about a mile and half short of Cordova Pass. This hike is mostly downhill with the exception of a 20 minute uphill climb up the backside of the North White Peak and then the climb up the backside of the K. T. ridge to reach home.This is a beautiful hike through Engleman Spruce forests, Aspen groves, Aspen Meadows, Ponderosa forests, and Scrub Oak tangles. A beautiful, very old Bristlecone pine tree is the backdrop for our lunch spot. This tree maybe older than 200 years old! The climb up the backside of the North White Peak, also known as the First Sister, after lunch is not very difficult. The view from the top is a great one. While climbing to the top of the peak you will traverse loose shale that will clank and clatter as if you are walking on a pile of ceramic plates.The climb between the North White peak and Middle White peak is done in a slow and careful manner. It is covering a area of loose shale that shift as you walk. Once down from the peak, we have to bushwack through the Scrub Oak tangles on the backside of K. T. ridge. There is no trail through the scrub oak tangles. This is a great hike, with a huge range of terrain and vegetation. The climb down the front of the North White Peak can be a bit unnerving with the loose shale.

Teddy’s Peak

Distance: 3 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty: Difficult

After meeting a the Recreation Center, we will drive to the end of a dead end road that breaks off the road between Blue Lake and Bear Lake. This hike is strenuous and beautiful. The trail follows a beautiful mountain stream that is just full of wildflowers. It is a steep climb up through a beautiful Engleman Spruce forest. After a bit of a climb, the trail breaks out of the trees as you reach treeline. Often times, above treeline we will see snow drifts left over from the winter. Above treeline, we travel through alpine tundra, a whole other world! The wildflowers are low and small, but beacon you to check them out. As we climb through the alpine tundra, hikers tend to spread out and hike at their own pace. Once on top of the Culebra range ridge we have a lunch together. The view is 360 degrees of WOW! After lunch, there is a 30 minute hike that will take you to the top of Teddy’s Peak, named after our former President Theodore Roosevelt. We often see herds of Elk, Pika and sometimes Big Horn Sheep. This is one of our most rewarding hikes, but also one of our most difficult. We will climb about 1500 feet in elevation to reach the ridge line. Even if you just make it to the ridge line, it is a beautiful day!

Upper Purgatory

Distance: 4 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderately difficult

After meeting at the Recreation Center, we drive up to a 4 wheel drive road between Blue and Bear Lake. This hike is a consistently up hill hike (until we come back after lunch). We take frequent rests so that everyone can keep up and enjoy the hike. For the first section of our travels we follow the jeep road that goes to Trinchera Peak. We break off the jeep road and follow the Purgatory trail down hill for a bit. On this hike we get to hike into another county and see the old log fence marking the boundary between Huerfano and Las Animas counties. Our final destination, off the Wildcat trail, is a beautiful ridge with a great view of the valley and the neighboring mountains for lunch. We often see elk herds in this large alpine meadow. It can be cool and windy at our lunch spot atop the ridge so remember to bring layers! The view from this spot is awe inspiring!

West Peak Treeline

Distance: 4 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderately difficult

After meeting up at the Recreation Center, we “circle up” at the parking lot of Cordova Pass (formerly Apishapa Pass). We start by following the West Peak trail head. The first part of the trail is mostly flat and is an easy walk in fact it is a wheel chair accessible trail. After our easy part of the hike, we start doing some climbing. This is done with relative ease, as the trail is filled with switchbacks and we rest often. It is a rewarding climb and a doable hike for people and dogs of all ages. There are some great lookout points along the trail which are a great opportunity to get some pictures of the valley. On our way up we stop and visit an old mine which is a big hit with the kids. Our lunch spot is at the tree line where there is a great panoramic, breathtaking view. You can see volcanos of New Mexico, Trinidad, CO, Blanca Peak near Alamosa, Pikes Peak and the Cuchara River Valley. This is the same hike that we use for our Full Moon hike.

West Peak Treeline – Full Moon Hike

Distance: 4 miles, roundtrip
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult (gets dark on way back, making it hard to see)

This is a popular hike when we can get it in. We have trouble getting it in because of the weather. We often get rained out since the hike is in the afternoon/evening. On the Full Moon hike, we hike to the tree line of West Peak. Once we get to the tree line we watch the sunset and the moon rise from a wonderful vantage point. After the moon rises, we carefully walk back to Cordova Pass. Please make sure you wear warm clothes, bring a flashlight and a dinner. It is a fun and different evening for all!