The Vigil Lake Trail is 1.7 mile trail that begins at a junction with the Joe Vigil Trail and ends at Jose Vigil Lake.
Trail Conditions: Moderate
After about 100 yards past the junction with the Joe Vigil Trail – Trail #351, the trail takes a sharp left and climbs up a small knoll before flattening out once again and wrapping around into the canyon where you’ll pick up the Rio Medio once more. At this point, it might more accurately be described as the outflow of Jose Vigil Lake.
You will reach the poorly marked junction with the Dome Trail – Trail #151 just as you reach the stream. The sign marking the junction is leaned up against a tree and can be easy to miss.
After passing the Dome Trail, the Vigil Lake Trail follows the creek upstream for about 1/4 mile before switchbacking up and away from the creek. You will cross two smaller streams and after the second one, the trail switchbacks once again and follows this smaller tributary.
After about 3/4 mile, the terrain begins to ease. You will pass a small talus patch and if lucky, you will be greeted by the chirping of pika. From this talus patch, a faded trail veers uphill and to the left. This can be difficult to find, but at this point, you are so close to the lake that it doesn’t entirely matter. On the trail or not, steer uphill and to the left. In less then five minutes, you will reach Jose Vigil Lake, surrounded by the southwestern flanks of Truchas Peak.
For more information on the Vigil Lake Trail, see my trip report for Jose Vigil Lake and the Dome.