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Brush Lakes Trail

Basics
Location:
Southeast of Salida near Hillside
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
14 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Intermediate,
Difficult
Time:
8 to 9 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
8600 feet
Elevation Change:
3100 feet
Season:
Summer - Fall

Description

The lakes sit below timberline at the base of Thirsty and Lakes Peaks. These lakes are large, relative to the others found in this range.

The areas close to the lakes show signs of heavy use in the past years, current regulations now prohibit camping and stock within 300’ of lakes and 100’ of streams.

These lakes get significant use on weekends and holidays in the summer months.

Beginning elevation (at the trailhead) is 8,600’ the elevation at the lowest Brush Lake is 11,500’.

Fishing success is fair at these lakes.

The Crossover- trail climbs above the uppermost Brush Lake (to the southwest), drops over in to South Branch and eventually gets over to South Brush via Banjo Lake. This route is shown on the San Isabel National Forest Map, and is not a maintained or well defined trail. Skills in backcountry map reading and orienteering are necessary to follow the Crossover-trail.

The Lake Creek campground is on #198, about ¾ miles beyond the turn to the trailhead.

Details

Location:
Southeast of Salida near Hillside
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
14 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Difficult
Time:
8 to 9 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
8600
Elevation Change:
3100
Season:
Summer - Fall
Useful Map(s):
USGS Quads: Electric Peak, Beckwith Mountain

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

Hillside is 40 miles southeast of Salida on Hwy 69.

Lake Creek Road # 198, (turn west just outside of the town of Hillside) follow the dirt road for about two miles, turn left at the Forest Service sign for Brush Lakes. The road is very rocky but is negotiable in a 2-wheel drive vehicle. Take this road all the way to the end (that is where the trailhead is and also the Rainbow Trail). Please be aware that you are traveling through private property on this section of road. This is also an access location for the South Brush trail. The lowest lake is about 6 miles from this trailhead.


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