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Fishers Peak State Park Trails


In April 2020, Fishers Peak State Park was established. Located in Trinidad, Colorado, the newly formed state park is the second largest state park, with 19,200 acres of rugged and varied terrain, and features the prominent Fishers Peak (elevation 9,632'). The park is an important wildlife corridor and is home to numerous wildlife species including mountain lion, black bear, elk, mule deer, raptors and several rare/endangered species (e.g., New Mexico meadow jumping mouse, peregrine falcon).

he park is currently under development, with trails being added continuously. To learn more about the park's vision, check out the master plan and the park's FaceBook page. If you have input on the trail development or trail use, you can provide your comments to the planning team here.
Park Map

Currently, dogs and horses are not allowed in the park. The gates are locked at 5:00 p.m. so make sure you are out of the park by then. Park passes can be purchased at the automated kiosk in the parking lot, in-person at the Trinidad Lake State Park or online. To reach the park take I-25 to Exit 11. At the rotary head to the east side of the highway (near the Shell gas station) and turn right onto the frontage road.  (There is a park sign. ) The park entrance is on the left side on the frontage road.

                                              The Hikes
1. Lower Lone Cub-Upper Lone Cub-Fishers Peak Trail Loop (~4.46 miles)
2. Goldenrod Loop (~6.51 miles)

3. Onita Peak Trail (~8.2 miles)

Safety & Gear
It is important to consider safety, even when hiking short trails. Hikers can encounter a range of potential dangers on Colorado trails including bears, lions, rattlesnakes, lightning storms, snow and hail. Furthermore, it is possible to sustain an injury from tripping or to become lost. So, know your route, check the weather forecast, tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back, allow yourself sufficient time, and carry the appropriate gear.












Wear sturdy, lightweight, waterproof hiking boots. 
Dress in layers since Colorado weather can be unpredictable and avoid cotton. 
What works well for me is:
Merrell Moab hiking boots (men's ~ women's)
SmartWool Socks (men's ~women's)
Long sleeve merino wool (women's ~men's
Short sleeve merino wool base layer (women's ~ men's) 

Columbia Fleece (women's ~men's)
Moutain Hardwear hiking pants (women's)
Down jacket (Womens REI 650down jacket )

Hiking poles                                            


warm hat
bear spray
* spare batteries
 sunscreen          sunglasses 

* sun hat        

Lower Lone Cub - Upper Lone Cub - Fishers Peak Trail Loop
December 11, 2022
Total Leng
th: ~4.46 miles
Elevation gain: ~847
Average hike tim
e: 1.5 hours

It was one of those p
erfect Colorado winter days-sunny, in the low 60s and no wind. I had to seize the opportunity to explore the new trails at Fishers Peak State Park. I did a little research online and could not find any new maps or descriptions of the trails (length, elevation profiles etc.). So, I headed out without really knowing what to expect.

When I arrived, I was surprised to only see two other cars at the trailhead, but glad to have the trails mostly to myself. The parking area has some excellent signage, clean rest rooms, and automatic kiosk, and maps. After going through the main gate, I followed the level gravel road for a few minutes until I reached an intersection. From here I could continue straight up the Fishers Peak Trail (formerly known as the Challege Trail), turn left up First Look, or veer to the right over a bridge onto a trail called Lower Lone Cub Trail. This intersection made me recall the lines from my favorite Robert Frost poem: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both , And be one traveler, long I stood, And looked down one as far as I could, To where it bent in the undergrowth. I headed right, crossing over the new wooden bridge, past a sign indicating that this is a hiking and biking trail.

he new trail is beautifully designed (huge shout out to the park staff, and to all the volunteers who donated numerous hours of labor to make this happen). It is mainly hard packed dirt complete with a few man-made rock crossings in the dips. The trail winds gently uphill through a blend of pinon and junipers trees. The incline is gradual with numerous switchbacks.  The shaded sections were really icy, but the majority of the trail was easily passable. According to my Strava app, at about 0.98 miles from the main gate there is a second wooden bridge. After the second bridge, views of the Spanish Peaks and Sangre de Cristo range open up on the right. At around the one-mile point, there is another intersection. To the right is a "bike only-downhill only" trail called Poison Canyon.

For those of us on foot, we have to keep left onto Upper Lone Cub Trail. The trail starts heading towards Fishers Peak and soon some beautiful views of the peak emerge. On the right is an expansive canyon. The switch backs are a little tighter as the trail gently climbs uphill, eventually passing by some stunning rock features. 

The trail continuously gains elevation until, at 3.05 miles it reaches the trail hub. This well-designed trail hub has several rock benches and spectacular views of Fishers Peak. From here you can return to the parking lot via Goldenrod (~5.1 miles), back down Upper and Lower Lone Cub trails (~3 miles), or via Fishers Peak Trail ~1.4 miles). To extend your hike you can continue on Fishers Peak Trail (multiuse) to Onita Point. The temperature had dropped significantly, and the wind had picked up, so I put on a warm down jacket before resuming my hike. I headed back to the parking lot via the Fishers Peak Trail which is really steep (900ft elevation change over a mere mile) old jeep trail. At least one third of the trail was fully shaded and very icy. Walking in the crunchy snow provided better traction and I was glad I had my hiking poles. At several spots there are stunning views of the Spanish Peaks, Sangre de Cristo range and Trinidad Lake. The trail flattens out as it nears the Lower Lone Cub trail bridge. (Usually, the 1.4-mile descent to the parking lot takes 25 minutes and the hike up takes about 35-40 minutes.) 


The entire hike was approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. Everyone's speed is different, but at a relaxed leisurely pace, and without the icy sections and stopping for notes/photos, I estimate it would take about 1.5 hours to complete the loop.

Update: January 7th, 2023, I did this loop in reverse and liked it better than doing it counterclockwise. The steep climb up the Challenge Trail to the trail hub offers a great work out, and the longer return hike down Upper and Lower Lone Cub trails are easier on the knees. I saw several different sets of lion tracks, so keep an eye out.

Lower Lone Cub-Upper Lone Cub-Fishers Peak Trail Gallery

Goldenrod Loop
Date: December 18, 2022
Total length: ~6.51 miles
Elevation gain: ~1,092
Average hike time: 2 hrs 30 minutes

I knew the holidays would involve a lot of sitting around, eating, and enjoying some cocktails, so I wanted to get a hike in beforehand and the Goldenrod Trail seemed like the perfect option. The Goldenrod Trail is a new loop that initially heads north then slowly circles to the east, and then south back to the trail hub. 

From the parking lot I headed up the main trail for about 800 ft until I reached the intersection of Lower Lone Cub Trail, Fishers Peak Trail (formerly known as the Challenge Trail) and the Goldenrod Trail (called the First Look Trail on the trail sign). After reading the informative sign, I turned left. It was a little confusing because the trail sign reads First Look Trail with no mention of Goldenrod, so initially I was not 100% sure I was on the correct trail. This narrow scenic trail climbed moderately for about 0.3 miles, with several switchbacks, until it reached the overlook point on the right. The views of the peak from this point were beautiful and it is a great place to stop and take a photo. Just after the overlook there is a Goldenrod Trail sign.   


I continued left onto the trail that now was clearly marked the Goldenrod Trail. The trail had a few sections with rocky steps and switchbacks. After the stairs, views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range appeared on the left. Between mile markers one and two, views of Fishers Peak and Trinidad Lake emerge. The trail was more gradual here with some gentle switch backs. Tall trees provided shade and the trail had widened to about the width of an ATV.

The trail was flat in several sections where it followed the elevation contour. After mile marker 3, I did not see any other mileage markers.  The trail kept curving around clockwise. Based on my Stava app, I continued for approximately two more miles before reaching the trail hub where the Fishers Peak Trail (hiking only), Fishers Peak Trail (multiuse), and Upper Lone Cub Trail all converged. (I will note that shortly before the hub, there was a spot where the trail continued slightly up hill (wider path) and there was a turn to the right (narrower path). I didn't see any signs and so I took a chance and veered right and reached the trail hub. I think either path will lead to the hub.)

According to my Stava app, the total distance from the parking lot to the trail hub was 5.11 miles with a 1,092' elevation gain. From the hub I took the steep ~1.4-mile-long Fishers Peak Trail (hiking only) back to the parking lot.
If I had more time, I would have retuned back to the parking lot via the Upper Lone Cub and Lower Lone Cub Trails since they are a little less steep and (in my opinion) more scenic.

Goldenrod Trail Gallery

Osita Point
Date: January 13, 2023
Total length: ~8.36 miles
Elevation gain: ~1,837ft
Average hike time: 3.5 hrs

I had been waiting for a day where I could get an early enough start to hike the trail to Osita Point. Today it was a warm sunny day-a perfect for hiking. From the parking lot I headed 1.4 miles up the steep, aptly named, Challenge Trail. This section of trail has ~900ft elevation gain, so it is a great workout.  (Note: my Stava app is convinced the elevation gain is only 778'.) Once I reached the trail hub, I continued straight onto Osita Point trail. (Depending on the language, osita has several meanings, but in Spanish is means little bear.) This beautiful trail has a gradual incline, and in most places, is the width of a standard hiking trail. The trail appears well used by both hikers and bikers. After the trailhead there is absolutely zero signage, so there is no way to discern if you are still on the correct trail, how many miles you have hiked, or even where Osita Trail departs from Fishers Peak Trail.  After a few miles, I could hear my inner child's voice saying "Are we there yet? How much longer?".

For the first part of the hike, I had a Townsends Solitaire for company. Although he never showed himself, his clear, single one syllable notes were unmistakable. (For those of you who enjoy birding, I recently discovered the free Merlin app which allows you to record a bird call and it will tell you the species.) The trail winds back and forth providing stunning views of the Spanish peaks, the Sangre de Cristos, Trinidad Lake, the city of Trinidad and Fishers Peak. My favorite section of the trail passed through a stand of old ponderosa pine trees.  (If you have a minute, stop and smell the bark of an older ponderosa pine trees-many have a vanilla or butterscotch fragrance).

After the ponderosa stand, a view of what I assume is Osita Point emerged. It looked like there were a few switch backs and that I would be at the top in no time, but it is deceiving. The trail actually continues much further and approaches the point from the back side.  After passing a large group of rocks on the right-hand side, the trail turns left uphill into a forested area and then seems to stop at a large ponderosa. There are some "do not enter" signs on a wooden fence. To the left there is a faint path that heads upwards through the trees. This might be the place where bikes are no longer allowed and Osita Trail starts. Unsure, I followed the trail uphill, over some steep stair sections, to the top where it made a small loop.  There were not really any big dramatic views or places to sit, so I headed back down the trail. 


So far this has been my favorite hike because of the variations in terrain (open trails, old ponderosa, rocky out cropping, and a diversity of views); however, it is the longest of the trails so allow extra time. According to my Stava app, the Challenge Trail section was 1.4 miles one way (with an elevation gain of 778'), and after leaving the trail hub the distance to Osita Point was 2.78 miles (with an elevation gain of 1,059') for a total of 8.36 miles and total elevation gain of 1,959'.

Fishers Peak to Onita Point Gallery

Lone Cub Trails
Osita Point
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