- 3 miles
- 1.5 - 2.5 hours
- Trailhead Elevation:
- 7600 feet
- Elevation Range:
- 7600 feet to 8867 feet
- Elevation Change:
- 1267 feet
- Spring to Fall
The trail climbs toward the El Caso Lookout Tower through grassy fields and ponderosa pine stands. The trail crosses a bridge on the east side of Quemado Lake and provides excellent opportunities to view waterfowl, blue herons, osprey, and other birds. There are many opportunities to view wildlife along the trail. The trail connects to the Vista Trail, Sawmill Canyon Trail #13, or Leslie Spring Trail for extended hiking. Additional activities in the area include fishing and boating (restricted to oars and electrical motors)on Quemado Lake.
High elevation trail through ponderosa pines to El Caso Lookout tower.
Black bears and mountain lions occur in the area.
Portions of the trail are steep and may only be followed through the use tree blazes and rock cairns. It is recommended that you take a topographic map of the area with you. Vault toilets are available in lake parking area, at various campgrounds on the north side of the lake, and at El Caso Campground #1.
Quemado (20 miles) provides gas stations, food, and motels. Snuffy''s Store and Restaurant near Quemado Lake provides gas station, food, bait, and showers on a seasonal basis.
No water is available on the trail. Potable water can be obtained in the Cove Campground at the lake from May 1 to September 30.
Campgrounds at Quemado Lake are available. Juniper Campground offers 18 RV spaces with water and electrical hookups for $15/day and 18 single-family sites for $10/day. Pinon Campground offers 23 single-family sites for $6/day and 2 group sites at $35/day for a 30-person site and $55/day for a 75-person site. Juniper and Pinon are open from May 1 to September 30. Cove and El Caso Campgrounds offer free, primitive camping with vault toilets.
Map + Directions
From Quemado, travel west on Hwy 60 for 0.5 mile. Turn south on Hwy 32 and travel 16 miles. Turn east on Hwy 103. Follow Hwy 103 for 4 miles until it turns into Forest Road 13. Follow FR 13 for approximately 2.5 miles to El Caso Campground #1. The trailhead is at the west end of the campground.