Venable Trail FS1347

Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area, Colorado

Distance4.3mi
Elevation Gain3,271ft
Trailhead Elevation12,396ft
Top12,396ft
Elevation Min/Max9317/12396ft
Elevation Start/End12396/12396ft

Venable Trail FS1347

Venable Trail (FS1347) is a hiking trail in Custer County, Colorado. It is within San Isabel National Forest and Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area. It is 4.3 miles long and begins at 12,396 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 8.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,271 feet. This trail connects with the following: Rainbow Trail (FS1336), Comanche Trail (FS1345), Venable Trail (FS859) and Venable Lake Spur.

Venable Trail (FS1347) Professional Review and Guide

"Link this route with Comanche Peak for an outstanding loop trip through the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. Trail: Initial 6.5 miles, off-trail tundra and talus beyond.

A signed trail at the southwest corner of the parking area rises almost 0.5 mile to reach an intersection with the Rainbow Trail. Proceed to the right on the Rainbow Trail, and in less than 0.5 mile, take the left fork at a sign,“Venable Lakes 5 miles.” Continue southwest up the valley, with Venable Creek on your left. (A short side trail goes off left to Venable Falls.) Continue on the main trail, until it forks at an abandoned cabin. Take the left fork, leading to one of the Venable Lakes, and soon thereafter, to a signed fork. Take the left fork, rising southwest toward the unnamed pass, by way of a narrow shelf with steep drop-offs, known as the Phantom Terrace. At the pass, there is no sign. Leave the trail and ascend the ridge to the northwest, curving south to the summit cairn."

Venable Trail (FS1347) Reviews

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8/18/2010
Awesome hike, Me and my buddy and my dog did this in 7 hours with a little fishing added in and venable lakes. Fun Hike I wanted to summit spring or comanche mountain but I was spent when we got to the top of phantom terrace.
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8/8/2010
Very nice hike! Don’t be fooled by the first turn off that you think might lead you to the falls. There is not a sign and the trail is pretty steep to the bottom of the falls or perhaps it’s a second smaller falls. The sign is still there for the falls, so take that side trail at little furthe up. By then we were starting to watch the time and I didn’t take the time to get a good photo as there were a lot of trees surrounding the falls. The guide is right when it suggests you don’t waste your time with the lower lakes as they aren’t much more than big elk wallows. I’d recommend this hike!
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8/4/2008
I did this hike as a loop (the Venable/Comanche Lake loop. Me and two friends of mine completed the loop in two days with one overnight camp at Venable lake. It is possible to do the whole loop in one day but if you want to enjoy all the sites and the lakes plan to camp one night at one of the lakes. This trail was beautiful from beginning to end. The best part was being above the tree line for so much of the hike! Venable lake was a great place to camp. We were even lucky enough to do some glissading on the snow caps above the lake! I definitely recommend this hike!
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6/30/2007
We did this hike in conjunction with the Comanche Lake hike to form the Comanche-Venable loop. If you do this loop, I'd definitely recommend going up the Venable trail and down the Comanche Lake trail, if for no other reason than climbing up Phantom Terrace is way easier than climbing down it. I'm very happy we didn't do this in reverse. The hike up was mostly through the trees. The forest here is incredibly lush at this time of year and there are lots of mosquitoes, so bring plenty of repellent. The lakes are quite pretty, set in a beautiful alpine bowl just above treeline. We saw lots of wildlife in the area, including a number of marmots and a small herd of elk we surprised cooling themselves in a snowbank near the upper lake. There were a few other groups hiking the Comanche-Venable loop, but for the most part we had the trail and lakes to ourselves. My only complaint was the amount of garbage we found near the lake. We packed out several granola bar wrappers, some old fishing line, a plastic bag, a stocking cap, and broken glass. We also saw a garbage bag floating in the lake but couldn't get to it. If you're doing this hike or any other, don't leave your trash behind!!
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Trail Information

Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area
Nearby City
Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area
Parks
Easy
Skill Level
Rio Grande National Forest; San Isabel National Forest, Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area
Local Contacts
USGS Horn Peak, Rio Alto Peak
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Aug 2018