Distance: 11 miles (Trampas Lakes), 13 miles (Hidden Lake)
Water: Plenty of water along trail
Season: Summer, Fall
Trail Condition: Good to Excellent
First, it feels important to state that this hike shouldn’t be possible in mid-May, but due to the lack of snow, the clear was completely – which was nice but also worrisome.
From the end of Forest Road 207, Trampas Lakes Trail – Trail #31 starts on the northeast side of Rio de las Trampas. The first mile before entering the Pecos Wilderness climbs steadily, but modestly along the creek’s steam banks. After about 1.5 miles, the trail flattens out, remaining on the creek’s northeast side after a couple quick stream crossings.
Around 3 miles, the trail takes a big right turn to the south to follow the canyon. The trail remains fairly flat before reaching a set of gentle switchbacks. On a couple of the switchbacks, the forest opens enough to offer a nice, down-canyon view. A couple small patches of snow emerged at this point. It was enough for Sadie to enjoy a snow bath, but not even close enough to be an inconvenience.
Roughly a mile before the lake, the trail crosses the creek and continues to climb to the lake. This is the steepest section of trail, but it remains fairly civilized just the same.
The entire trail was in very good condition. There were a few downed trees, but nothing that made passage difficult.
After the last bit of climbing, the trail reaches a marked trail junction. Continue straight for .1 miles to reach the upper Trampas Lake. The lower lake is to the east (left), separated by a small fin. There are a number of good camping spots on this fin between the two lakes.
To continue on to Hidden Lake, go right at the junction below Trampas Lakes. The Hidden Lake Trail is an unnumbered, one mile trail that dead ends at the lake. The trail starts fairly flat, but descends at the edge of a small scree field. The trail fades briefly here, but stay left at the bottom of the scree field past a small, stagnate pool of water. It reappears quickly and remains easy to follow all the way to the lake.
From this point, the trail switchbacks down before wrapping around a small ridge to reach the lake. The underlying trail is in good condition, but there are a number of downed trees to climb around.
This trail can be done as a long day hike or very pleasant backpacking trip. There are fish in all three lakes. It can also be used a base camp for climbing the Truchas Peaks.