Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Lake — River/Creek — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers — Wildlife
From the Venable/!Comanche Trailhead, start up the steep, rocky doubletrack (follow the signs that say "Venable Trail"). Once you reach the Rainbow Trail, you won't have much further to go to reach the start.
Eventually, you'll reach a wilderness registry (be sure to register!). From here, the trail heads steadily upwards, following Venable Creek for its duration. In fall, this first section of trail might be the most scenic - the trail pops in and out of aspen groves with intermittent views of the ever-shrinking valley below.
Continue west, my son, and you'll reach some switchbacks. These lead you to a spur to Venable Falls
. These falls are spectacular, and you can see how this valley was eroded: by the intense power of water.
From the falls, it's not much further to the lakes, only ~2 miles. The further you go, the sparser the trees (duh). Soon, you'll reach an open area where you'll travel up two more switchbacks. These essentially bring you above treeline to two more switchbacks that plop you next to the lakes.
If you're looking to camp for the night, look no further. Note, however, that in high winds, this area is incredibly blustery!
From the lakes, it's a short, easy jaunt to the start of Comanche Trail
and the Venable Lake Trail.
Aspens, pika, marmot.