Macey Lakes – Backpacking – 2016


View around Upper Macey Lake (west)

My two older sons planned a backpacking trip for this summer to Macey Lakes and I was invited along. We were there together a few years ago and I was there last summer but it’s become a favorite spot. The hiking distance from the Horn Creek trailhead/parking area to the lower lake is longer than other trails nearby and I think the distance   Continue reading


Macey Lakes – 2015, Backpacking

I just realized that, much to my surprise, I have not posted about my previous Macey Lakes trips. I was last there several years ago with Joshua and Luke. Prior to that we backpacked in there in June and the area still had plenty of snow, so we always camped lower, about a mile from the lower lake.

Joshua and Luke on the previous trip to Macy Lakes

Joshua and Luke on the previous trip to Macey Lakes

This weekend Jeff and Troy and I backpacked to lower Macey Lake and hiked to, and fished, the two upper lakes.  This is a 6 mile trek which took 4 hours to hike in and 2-1/2 hours to hike out. I wanted to drive since   Continue reading

Music Pass – Upper Sand Creek Lake

Music Pass, Colorado

Music Pass, Colorado

A friend of mine went hunting up near Upper Sand Creek Lake last weekend. I told him I would meet him up there in case he needed any help. I asked around for people to join me and to my surprise Lisa agreed. This lake can be reached by hiking in from the Music Pass trailhead on the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Range. From Colorado Highway 69, south of Westcliffe, head south and follow the signs leaving the highway to Music Pass. At one point you’ll get into a moderate 4WD road where   Continue reading

Music Pass to Sand Creek Lakes – Backpacking/Fishing

Music Pass

Music Pass, Looking West

Perception . . . . kind of an interesting thing. I’ve been backpacking into Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo mountains since 1993 and that first trip was over Music Pass. In all these years my perception has been that it’s pretty dry down there. When I mentioned this to long-time backpacking buddy and former co-worker Jeff, he looked at me funny and said, “Are you kidding? It always rains here.”.  As I thought about the many trips, and most of them with my three sons, I’d have to admit, yes, it does rain   Continue reading

Horn Lakes – Backpacking 2013

After a few delays, I was finally able to get out on another backpacking trip this weekend. Heading back to my favorite weekender backpacking destination, the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, three of us headed up to Horn Lakes. I think the first time I took this trip my youngest son was 6 or 7 years old. Horn Lakes has all the elevation gain as the other trails, but it it can seem a little more strenuous. I think this is because by the time you cross Horn Creek at about 2.5 miles you’re about halfway there . . . then the steep section begins.

Horn Creek

Horn Creek

Shortly after that you come across the old Wilderness boundary area marked by the old-school sign. I’ve seen these on other trails as well, but some of them are broken. I don’t think it is vandalism, but just old age. They are all very weathered and don’t actually mark the current boundaries.

Wilderness Sign

Wilderness Sign










After the final Creek crossing you traverse along the   Continue reading

Medano Lake – July 2013

Colorado Columbine

Colorado Columbine – Medano Lake Trail

Writing last week’s post helped me realize I hadn’t explored two lakes, suitable for backpacking, accessible from the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Range.

Heading south from Westcliffe on highway 69, we turned onto the Medano Pass road around 7:30PM. The road goes over Medano Pass and all the way to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, so I thought it couldn’t be too bad. In fact, the road from the highway to the edge of the National Forest was a maintained gravel road, but after that . . . not so much. It turned out that due to a washout the road is closed just a few miles past our destination. Anyway, there were a few sketchy spots with   Continue reading

Backpacking – Sangre de Cristo Range (east side)

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The Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range is in southern Colorado and extends from the Arkansas River near Salida in
the north to La Veta Pass in the south. Some sources say they actually run all the way down to
New Mexico, but I’ve only really explored this northern section as it is close to my home in Colorado Springs.

I love backpacking in this range, and have been for 20 years, because of the   Continue reading