Potato Lake

Date Hiked: 10-28-16

Mileage:3.2 mi, including the loop around the lake

Head Count (how many other hikers I saw): One couple camping.

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Surrounded by aspens for the first 1/2 mile, this would be a great hike in the fall, but now with everything almost dead and gone, views of Grayrock Peak (left) and Engineer Mountain (right) were all that more clear beyond the woods.

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Swampland nearing Potato Lake.

In only two short miles of hiking and 400 feet of elevation gained, the woods open to views of Potato Hill rising on the opposite shores. A loop surrounds the lake, offering differing views on the rugged mountains that surround Potato Lake.

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Below Potato Hill, looking back towards the trail.

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On the western shores looking east to the Needle Mountains.

With the mileage and very little elevation gained, Potato Lake is a great family-friendly hiking option in the San Juans.

Map

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Directions

(From Durango): From the end of town, drive approximately 25 miles north on Highway 550. Turn right onto CR-591/Lime Creek Road. The trailhead is 2.8 miles down this road. This is a really rough road on low-clearance 2WD cars, but I made it to within maybe a half mile of the trailhead before I had to pull over. If you’re coming from the north, you can also reach the trailhead from the northern outlet of Lime Creek Road, though from the highway, that direction looked rougher than starting in at the south.

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