|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
A perfect weekend getaway, this 12-mile out-and-back climbs steadily through wildflower-filled landscapes to Stewart Lake, one of the easier-access alpine lakes in the Pecos Wilderness. From the Cowles Trailhead, the route follows a well-marked path through fir and pine before transitioning to aspen and small rock shelves offering panoramic views.
Just 200 yards long, Stewart Lake is 6 miles from the trailhead and just north of the Skyline Trail beyond a small, marshy pond. Climb north on a secondary trail for a few hundred yards to a drainage bench—you'll spot this petite lake beneath Santa Fe Baldy and the Lake Katherine basin.
Note: Because this is a relatively high-traffic wilderness area, follow Leave No Trace principles. Use existing trails and camp on established sites at east 200 feet away from water.
-Mapped by Bill Velasquez