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Spud Lake Trail #661 (AKA Potato Lake)

Easy/Intermediate
 4.0 (3)

A short trek with grand views of the Needle Mountains.


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Map Key

1.2

Miles

1.9

KM

Point to Point

9,809' 2,990 m

High

9,364' 2,854 m

Low

445' 136 m

Up

1' 0 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

14%

Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly With the low mileage count and very little elevation gained, Potato Lake is a great family-friendly option in the San Juan Mountains.

Follow all San Juan National Forest regulations while camping at Spud Lake.

Description

A steady one mile climb gradually pulls you 400 feet up the high mountainside. Surrounded by aspens for the first half mile of the route, this would be a great hike in the fall, but during the wintertime, views of Grayrock Peak and Engineer Mountain are all that more clear beyond the sparse woods.

Ducking into the pines, the trail skirts a small creek and a number of swampy beaver ponds before reaching the shores of Potato Lake at about 9,800 feet. Here, the woods open to views of Potato Hill rising on the opposite shores. A short loop surrounds the lake, offering differing views on the rugged Needle Mountains which surround Potato Lake.

Within such an easy drive from Durango, and waters filled with trout, this is a popular destination for hiking, snowshoeing, fishing and camping. You'll be hard pressed to find the lake to yourself.

Flora & Fauna

The trailhead is right next to a beaver pond, so keep your eyes open for a sighting, and watch for deer, elk and snakes while on the trail. Spud lake becomes a very colorful trail during the late spring and summer when the wildflowers and aspens are in bloom. A wide-reaching diversity of bird species brings birders and photographers alike to the area.

Contacts

Shared By:

Caroline Cordsen

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes

#10887

Overall
  4.0 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#983

in Colorado

#10,887

Overall
7 Views Last Month
1,642 Since Jun 30, 2017
Easy/Intermediate

33%
0%
67%
0%
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Photos

Trail to Potato Lake
Aug 10, 2020 near Rico, CO

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Check-Ins

Aug 12, 2021
Tudor P
beautiful trail, goes past small ponds and beaver pools. Full of flowers at this time.
Jun 17, 2021
David Scott
Jun 13, 2021
Andrea Creighton
Jul 4, 2019
Daylene York
3.5mi
Sep 11, 2018
A Blanco
Jan 23, 2018
Maxim Lowry
Ij