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Road Trip Hike: Duck Lake. Also, Fossil Beds Anniversary Celebration 

click to enlarge BOB FALCONE
  • Bob Falcone
In last week's column, I featured a hike to an alpine lake in the far southern part of Colorado.  This week's hike will be in that same area, between Antonito, CO and Chama, NM, near La Manga Pass on Colorado Hwy 17. This hike ends at Duck Lake, with the bonus of passing through a number of beautiful high meadows and two other lakes. What makes this hike nice is that instead of routing the trail right through the middle of the pristine meadows, the trail builders put the trail around the edges, leaving the fauna and foliage in the meadows relatively undisturbed. 
See slideshow below for hike details.

To Get There: From Colorado Highway 17 between mile markers 16 and 17, look for the sign for Elk Creek Campground and Duck Lake, just south of the Conejos River and turn onto Forest Service Road 128. Immediately after turning off of Hwy 17, bear left at the fork. Take the dirt road for about 1.6 miles to the marked trailhead and parking area for the Duck Lake Trail/Trail #732. The road is passable for most vehicles and high clearance or 4WD is not needed.

What You Need to Know: Dogs and equestrians are allowed on the trail. No motorized vehicles are permitted and bicycles are allowed only to the border of the South San Juan Wilderness. This out-and-back hike is just under 7.4 miles round trip with 1827' of ascent. Trails Illustrated does not make a map for this area. The COTREX app and website are fairly accurate, as is the USFS web page for this trail.

In other news, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument celebrates it's 50th anniversary of becoming a national monument on Saturday, August 17th, from 10am to 1pm.  An assortment of dignitaries will be on hand, as will people who helped create the national monument.  Refreshments will be served and entry to the site will be free for the event.

Be Good. Do Good Things.

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for  almost 28 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (@hikingguide), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: info@hikingbob.com.

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