Pomeroy Lakes

St. Elmo, Colorado (Chaffee County)

Last Updated: 09/09/2021
4.9 / 5 ( 8 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: 06/15 - 10/31
Length: 2.69 miles
Highest Elevation: 12078 feet
Duration: About 45 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: St. Elmo
Nearest Town w/ Services: Buena Vista
Official Road Name: FS 297
Management Agency: San Isabel National Forest
District: Salida Ranger District

Highlights

Highlight: Pomeroy Lakes
If you enjoy mining history, alpine fishing and camping then this trail is a must do. You will gain a glimpse of the areas mining history as you begin the trail at the old townsite of Romley. You will then pass several arial tram towers that are still standing before you reach the Mary Murphy Mine area, which offers an opportunity to explore several of the old structures that are still standing. After the mine you will continue through meadows and heavy timber before you reach the parking area at an elevation of 12,109' with a view of Lower Pomeroy Lake. Upper Pomeroy Lake is about a mile hike farther up the basin along an old road and is situated below Pomeroy Mountain (13,151').

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating

( MODERATE - DIFFICULT )

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Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The trail begins at Waypoint 5 of the Alpine Tunnel East Trail. Turn left onto FS 297 to Start the Pomeroy Lakes Trail.

Directions to Trailhead

To get to the Pomeroy Lakes Trailhead you must first drive to Waypoint 5 of the Alpine Tunnel East Trail. At Waypoint 5, turn left onto FS 297 to begin the Pomeroy Lakes Trail.

Camping

Dispersed

Land Use Issues

This area is part of Pike-San Isabel National Forest, and as such is part of the 2011 Lawsuit where a coalition of conservation and recreation groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service over what they say is the illegal addition of 500 miles of motorized roads and trails. A settlement was reached in late 2015 that is requiring the U.S. Forest Service to re-evaluate the roads and create a new travel management plan. Over the next year, 30 roads will be partially or completely closed while this evaluation takes place over the next 5 years. It is imperative that the OHV community let's their voices be heard on this issue. If we do nothing, those 500 miles will be shutdown. Contact the local ranger districts and let them know why the area is important to you and the history you have there. Salida Forest Service District Office Leadville Forest Service District Office

Trail Reviews (19)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran this trail to scout a future volunteer project. Light traffic, only saw a few vehicles. Beautiful fall day, the colors are starting to turn.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I swear this trail is getting worse everytime we go up. Still a fun trail regardless.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I ran this trail in the morning and the ground was still very wet from rains that night. I can confirm that the obstacle at waypoint 8 is definitely difficult when wet like the guide says. With the mud and moisture I wasn’t able to get up the obstacle. Clearance was not a problem at all, just traction. Each attempt had me sliding right off the rocks and I didn’t want to keep trying and risk eroding the obstacle with spinning tires. So I opted for the bypass which was no problem. I would also agree with another reviewer who noted there is one tree very close to the road in an off camber section, shortly before waypoint 8. You’ll want to watch your roof as the trail leans you very close into that tree.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
The trail is completely free of snow and in great shape. There is a bit of runoff water running down the middle of the trail near Mary Murphy Mine, but id does not pose any type of problem. Speaking of the mine, the buildings seem to get more dilapidated each year. The main mine building is really showing its age and looks ready to collapse at any time.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Open only for .2 miles before deep and slanted snow.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We ran Hancock Lake and Pomeray Lakes on a Monday. I didn't realize the upper Mary Murphy was closed. There was no signage and plenty of evidence of recent travel. Oops!
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
If you are doing Hancock Pass, you might as well do the cut off to Pomeroy Lakes as you won't be disappointed. Fairly simple ride in our Jeep and the rest that were with us.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Made a run up to the lakes to go fishing. Far rockier than I expected and there are a few sections that put you off camber tight up against trees. Nothing too hard but you have to pick your line in those tight spots. Made for a great day of wheeling and fishing.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail seemed a bit rougher than when I drove it in 2018. Considering it was the holiday weekend, we still saw relatively little traffic, just occasional bursts of OHV vehicles, some young folks in very nice trucks/Jeeps, and a spattering of very drunk folks. Fishing was very slow in both lakes. Still some ice on the upper lake. The Wall remains about the same as I remembered it, but the bypass is definitely tougher than it was two years ago, just by looking at it. I wonder if the heavy OHV use is resulting in more exposed/loose rocks. That's what horses do to foot trails, so maybe the same with the faster moving RZRs, etc? We camped in the large site just below The Wall, in the trees. It's a lovely site, and with afternoon thundershowers we felt less exposed there than up on top. There was a group camped practically in the lot above the lower lake, but they seemed to know what they were doing, and the views are certainly breathtaking from there. Our site was in fairly good shape, but lots of trash in the fire pit, toilet paper behind the logs, bottles just down the hill. We cleaned up what we could. Lots of shell casings laying around in there, from a variety of weapons. Love this trail, and hope it remains open for us.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The trail is open to the top and views are amazing. The trails a bit rocky and the only challenge is the wall which still isn't bad. My wife and I did have a good laugh at an Escalade who thought he could make it up. He left paint, his lip, some metal and pride behind.
Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
still too much snow about 1/2 mile below the lower lake. Over 3-4 feet and impassible in a lifted Rubi.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
I ran this Sunday and it was a great trail. The views at the top are spectacular.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
The trail is fully open now. Ran it 7/13.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The trail is almost all the way open. Several avalanches came down just above the Mary Murphy Mine, but they are passable. Snow is currently blocking the last 200-300 yards. It should only be a week or two before it's fully open.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Trail was open to the Mary Murphy Mine at Waypoint 3, after this point the trail was blocked by snow.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Snow has fallen closing this trail for the season.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Not Reported
Offroaded on:
Trail is fully open.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Permanently Closed
Offroaded on:
Snow has closed this trail for the season.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trails Offroad was honored to be a part of the 2017 **14er Fest** event in Buena Vista, CO. On October 1st, Trails Offroad crew members led a group of event participants to summit the Pomeroy Lakes Trail. In the days leading up to the trip, snow found a way to visit the trail prior to the off-road caravan. Despite the cold, windy, and wet weather, the trail was conquered by the group. This could be near the end of the season for this trail as winter weather sets into the Sawatch Range of the Colorado Rockies.

Questions & Answers (3)

Q: Apart from the left trail at waypoint 8, is this trail appropriate for a stock F150 with a rear locker and new BFG KO2 tires driven by a beginner off-roader? What would the difficulty rating of the trail be if going to the right at waypoint 8? Thanks!
–Prosper Wang (07/18/2019)
–Marcus Trusty (07/19/2019)
Q: Has anyone been up the trail in June 2019?
–Camil Rykowski (06/27/2019)
–Marcus Trusty (06/28/2019)
Q: Is this trail open? Or if not, when?
–Timothy (03/29/2019)
–Marcus Trusty (03/29/2019)

Writer Information

Marcus Trusty

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Marcus is a 3rd generation Buena Vista, Colorado native who grew up bouncing around the central Colorado mountains in the back of his dad's CJ5. During his younger years, Marcus grew to appreciate public lands and the recreation opportunities backroads and 4-wheel drive trails offer. Marcus has been wheeling for 20 years now and has wheeled in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and California. Until a few years ago Marcus had just been a participant in the wheeling community, but he has become much more active in preserving trails and working to make sure the wheeling community has their access maintained for future generations. Marcus helped to found Colorado Off Road Enterprise - CORE, based out of Buena Vista. CORE has worked with the Forest Service and BLM and has volunteer agreements in place with both organizations. CORE also has a Forest Service trail adoption agreement in place for Grizzly Lake, Pomeroy Lake, Hancock Lake, Hancock Pass, and Tincup Pass, Tomichi Pass, Williams Pass, Ptarmigan Lake, Mineral Basin, Clohesy Lake, Lost Canyon, Champion Mill, Iron Mike Mine, and Slide Lake. If Marcus is not working you can generally find him somewhere out on the trails around Buena Vista.
For individual use only, not to be shared.