For anyone planning on visiting Hinsdale County/Lake City area, be aware of the following road closures. Visit this link for more details. Click Here For the San Juan National Forest click here to be taken to a page on their site that has road closure information. Currently there is no off-road/primitive site camping allowed along the South Mineral Creek FS585 out of SIlverton. Do your research before leaving. Many areas commonly accessible by this time of year are still closed! Check other National Forest websites for additional information.
We have never actually hiked this trail, so no first hand beta on it. The trail gains about 2,500 feet in elevation over about 4 miles to Cataract Lake so it must be a fairly stiff hike/backpack. It still shows as a designated trail on the latest Gunnison NF map. Trail # is FS475 or BLM T3318. The trail also shows on Trails Illustrated #141. The trail climbs above Cataract Lake to intercept the Colorado/Continental Divide Trail and the West Lost Creek Trail. There is good camping to be found in the high tundra above the lake as well as around Cataract Lake.
Camping may be found near the lake or in the broad tundra meadows above the lake. In previous years, large herds of sheep were found grazing in the vicinity. You may encounter shepherds. Be prepared to filter water.