Stout Creek Lakes
Last Monday I climbed up Stout Creek into the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. It was a steep climb with an elevation gain of 3,000 feet in three and one-half miles. Where the trail crossed the creek, there were yellow monkey flowers growing on a mossy rock in the middle of the stream. At tree line, there was a small pond and ahead, a steep wall several hundred feet high with a falls running down it. I had to climb this wall to get to the lakes following a series of switchbacks. The lower lake was in a basin with thirteener mountains on either side. The trail ran around the north side of the lake and climbed fifty feet to the upper lake. The upper lake was surrounded by a tall wall of jagged peaks. I ate lunch on a rocky knoll overlooking both lakes. Where the lower lake ended at the wall below it, the view was of an endless vista to the east. Hiking down the trail, I realized how steep the drainage was.