Sissy

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 10,455 - 10,582 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Weir & Johnson Campground
Fee: none ($14/camping-$4/picnic)
Attractions: Forest hike




The Sissy trail is located in the Grand Mesa National Forest near Grand Junction, Colorado. The trail begins off of the Leon Lake trail near the Weir & Johnson Campground where it travels a short distance through the forest to Sissy Lake. Enroute the trail passes close by Round Lake and at the end of the trail hikers can continue to the Finney Cuts Reservoirs.


To get to the trailhead turn off of Highway 65 at the Visitor Center and follow the Baron Lake Road for 2.5 miles. Turn left onto Lake Shore Drive, a.k.a the Trickle Park Road, FSR #121, and continue for another 6.2 miles. Turn right onto FSR #126 and follow it for the remaining 2.7 miles to the Weir & Johnson Campground. According to the camp host if you park on the east side of the road and aren't occupying one of the camping or picnic sites then there is no fee.


The Sissy trail begins on the north side of the dam about a hundred feet or so from the parking area.


There is a little uphill start to the trail as it climbs away from the dam.


For the most part the trail remains secluded within the thick stands of spruce and pine trees where on a warm day the pungent earthy odor of the ground laced with the smell of decaying logs and the terpenes released into the air by the trees creates a fragrance that enlivens the spirit and refreshes the mind as it draws out past memories of previous trips to the forest.


Within a short distance the trail passes by Round Lake where the depth of water is too shallow for fish to survive the winter kill as the ice freezes all the way to the bottom of the lake.


A little past Round Lake the trail passes an meadow that opens up to the Leon Lake trail at its lower end.


Leaving the meadow behind the trail continues its course through the trees.


In places where sunlight can penetrate the forests canopy enough to reach the ground hikers are treated to bouquets of marsh marigolds, spring beauties and avalanche lilies.


Before quite reaching the half mile point the trail comes to Sissy Lake. Also known as Leon Peak Reservoir on some maps it too, like Round Lake, is too shallow to support fish.


While taking the pictures for this post we followed the trail past Sissy Lake to do a little reconacense for future hikes to Finney Cuts. Once we went far enough to confirm our research we turned around and headed back to the campground. We mention that for anyone else that might notice that the trail keeps going once it reaches Sissy Lake.



During a heavy snow year the Weir & Johnson Campground might not open until the 4th of July. On this particular year it was open around Memorial Day. The area is open to hiking and fishing though anytime that you can get there. While neither Round Lake or Sissy Lake support a fish habitat fishing is generally good from the Sackett and Weir & Johnson Reservoirs. Most people that hike the Sissy trail do so because they are either staying at the campground and want to go for a short hike or because they are enroute to Leon Peak. For whatever your reason the Forest Service seems to keep it well maintained for everyone to take advantage of. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.