The Spud Lake trail, more formally known as Potato Lake, is a good choice for families, quick dashes for a mountain fix or just a leisurely stroll in the high country.
A short 30-mile drive from Durango to a bumpy three miles on Old Lime Creek Road, part of the original passage from Durango to Silverton, this mellow and rewarding three-mile excursion is wildly popular with locals and visitors alike. The setting is surreal – a pleasant trail leading to a large tranquil pond, accentuated by forest and crowned with the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Along the way, there are numerous beaver ponds.
Potato Mountain, also known as Spud, rises north to 11,871 feet directly over the water, while the Twilight Peaks stand to the east at more than 13,000 feet. North Twilight is the highest summit in the West Needles Range of the San Juan Mountains.
During the summer, wildflowers bloom and every autumn delivers a rich display of shimmering aspen. Winter brings cross-country skiing and snowshoeing up Old Lime Creek and the Spud Lake trail provides tremendous opportunities for year-round birding as well.
There are several spots on the shore to enjoy the water – beaches perfect for napping, picnics, fishing and more. A handful of opportune tent sites can be also found along a path that circumnavigates the lake.