“An above treeline wonderland meets a pristine alpine lake on this incredible trail.”
— Tom Robson
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildlife
From the intersection of North Fork Crestone Trail #747
and North Crestone Trail #744
, Comanche rises swiftly with a number of switchbacks. Once you attain the saddle, Phantom Terrace #359
merges from the left (north) and the trail becomes very mellow. Perhaps too mellow for some, who might seek to bag three nearby peaks - Venable, Spring, and Comanche; all walk-ups.
If you decided to bag the three nearby 13ers, good on you. If not, no worries, you got some good views too.
From the saddle between Spring Mountain and Comanche Peak, the trail descends into Hiltman Creek Basin with expansive views to the lake and valleys below. Once you reach Comanche Lake, stop running, find a spot to camp (preferably near the lake), and take in the views. From this vantage, Comanche Peak looks absolutely epic.
In the morning, after you've awoken from your slumber, the trail continues northeast back into the trees. The trail traverses large talus fields and dives in and out of large aspen groves. This would especially be beautiful in the fall.
Although a lot of this trail is below treeline, it's still absolutely beautiful. It's mellow, fast, and seems well-maintained. Before you know it, you'll be back at the Venable/Comanche Trailhead drinking a beer!
Flora & Fauna
Aspen, Pika, Marmot.