Venable and Comanche Trails

Westcliffe, Colorado 81252

Venable and Comanche Trails

Venable and Comanche Trails Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The Venable and Comanche trails together form a popular loop hike into the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area. The route follows Venable Creek up to the crest of the Sangre de Cristo Range, then traverses the west side of Spring Mountain. From there it crosses Comanche Pass and follows the Comanche Trail back to the trailhead. You might also want to consider bagging two thirteeners along the way. Venable Peak (13,334 ft.) is just 554 feet above the highest point on this trail, and Comanche Peak (13,277 ft.) is 577 feet above Comanche Pass.

Both peaks are relatively easy uphill walks from the trail. With an early start the basic loop trail can be walked in one day. But if you want a more relaxed outing I suggest you spend one night either at Comanche Lake or in the basin below the Venable Lakes. There are no nice campsites near the Venable Lakes themselves."

Venable and Comanche Trails Reviews

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Very nice hike, but I believe it’s a bit longer than the guide suggests. Cross referencing other guides and the National Forest Service info, I believe it’s more like 13.5 miles or at least it felt that way! As you head up the Venable Trail, 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 which is a little further 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. We didn’t have any problems with Phantom Terrace, but I agree that it’s problem better to go up then down. We thought about doing Venable Peak and Comanche Peak, but we we’re running a little late and I hadn’t hike in 4 weeks so we took a pass. I wrote a review earlier on the Comanche Lake trail so I won’t say much here. I posted photos of both trails under those individual trail guides. I’d recommend this hike!

Venable and Comanche Trails Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
3,900 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
9 hours
Midsummer through mid-fall. The higher parts of the trail are generally covered with snow from mid-November through early July.
Sangre De Cristo Wilderness Area, San Isabel National Forest
Local Contacts
Rito Alto Peak, Horn Peak (USGS)
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018