This trip takes us to the northern Sangre De Cristos (northeast of Questa) and Heart Lake which sits just below timberline at 11,500 ft with several high peaks (12,550 to 13,000 ft) towering above the lake.
The reconstruction of the Cabresto Lake dam has been completed and the recreation area is open again. We will meet Friday evening at the Cabresto Lake trailhead and camp overnight. Saturday morning we will backpack to Heart Lake and set up camp. Saturday afternoon is open for day hiking around the area with the option of summiting Latir Peak. Sunday we will hike out and drive home.
Backpack to Heart Lake:
The Lake Fork Trail #82 starts by skirting to the left (west) of Cabresto Lake, then makes a long, steady climb parallel to Lake Fork of Cabresto Creek. The first 2 miles traverse conifer forest with cork-bark fir dominating the slopes. After passing through several small meadows, meet the Bull Creek Trail #85 about 2.5 miles from the start. Bear right, cross Bull Creek, and continue along Lake Fork. After climbing the only switchback on the trail, enter a blue spruce forest. At mile 3.5, find a long meadow with excellent campsites on both sides of Lake Fork. In 0.5 mile, the trail re-enters the forest and climbs a low ridge. At mile 4.5 bear left toward Heart Lake at the junction with Baldy Mountain Trail #81 (also known as Midnight Trail #81). In a few minutes, enter a small meadow and bear right to parallel small streams on both the left and right. As the trail peters out, again pick up the main trail to the left of the streams. From here it is a short distance to Heart Lake.
Day Hike Around Heart Lake:
To reach the saddle above the lake, stay on the left side of the lake, passing the junction with Trail No. 85 on the left. Pick up the drainage to the north, following the drainage through a meadow. In the trees on the other side of the meadow, a trail switchbacks up to the saddle. Climb along the ridgeline to get excellent views of Heart and Latir lakes as well as the mountains to the north. Do not cross onto private land on the north side of the ridge.
Return to the meadow below the saddle, but stay left on a route that cuts across a low ridge at the base of a talus slope. After crossing a low saddle, pick up a trail heading across a meadow, with a full view of Baldy Mountain straight ahead. Continue about 0.5 mile to a major intersection. Bear left toward Baldy Mountain to reach Baldy Cabin and a superb high meadow.
Please Note: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed Waiver & Release form on file with us. This waiver covers all trips and activities so you only need to sign it once. If you have not already signed this form it can be downloaded from our "Files" section and turned in to the organizer when you arrive for the trip.
If you RSVP "Yes" for this trip please plan on attending. Please read our RSVP Policy located in our "Pages" section.
The deadline for changing a "YES" RSVP to a "NO" RSVP is July 6, 2013
Trip Dates: July 19 ( Friday evening) thru July 21 (Sunday hike out)
Drive Time to Trailhead/Camp Area on Friday Evening: 3.5 hours from ABQ
Campground/Trailhead Location: Cabresto Lake at the end of Forest Service Road 134A
Directions to Camp Area/Trailhead: Drive to Questa. From the intersection of NM 522 and NM 38 in Questa, turn onto NM 38 for 0.25 mile. Turn left onto NM 563 (Kiowa Rd signed for Cabresto Lake) and travel 2.1 miles, then turn right onto gravel FR 134. Cross into Carson National Forest and drive 3.3 miles to FR 134A. Turn left and continue 2.1 miles to Cabresto Lake and campground.
Trip Rating: Moderate (day hikes could be difficult with elevation gain)
Trail Length: 4.5 miles Saturday, 4.5 miles Sunday (9 miles total)
Elevation Gain: 2,250 ft
Elevation: 9150 ft at Cabresto Lake and 11,500 ft at Heart Lake
Expected Temps: Highs 70's, lows in upper 40's to 50's
Link to Heart Lake Weather Forecast
Contact Eric Krosche with any questions