Baron Lake

Round Trip Distance: 3.7 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 10,096 - 10,140 feet
Cellphone: 0-2 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 45 mins.
Trailhead: Ward Way Picnic Area
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic lakes, wildflowers, fishing

The Baron Trail is located in the Grand Mesa National Forest near Grand Junction, Colorado. The trail runs from Ward Lake along the south side of Alexander Lake and Baron Lake to the east trailhead between Baron Lake and Eggleston Lake. The hike could be made into a loop by making use of the road around the north side of the lakes but the road is narrow and doesn't have much of a shoulder in many places.

Beginning at the Ward Way Picnic Area follow the road between Alexander Lake and Ward Lake.

The Baron trail begins on the left side of the road just past the outlet for Alexander Lake and across from the trailhead for Ward Lake.

Much of the trail is secluded from view of the lake and the roadway that runs along the north side of the lake.

Occasionally the view opens up to where you can see a little more of the area. Looking beyond Alexander Lake you can see the high ridge of the Crag Crest trail.

Wildflowers abound on the Grand Mesa and where there are flowers there are butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. This butterfly looks like a type of plebejus but not sure which one. Perhaps an acmon or lupine.

The orange diamonds on the trees show that this section of trail is a wintertime snowmobile route.

The trail continues past Alexander Lake to Baron Lake. To keep going around Baron Lake you will need to cross the spillway.

A short distance past the spillway will bring you past some private cabins and a church camp. As you pass behind the church camp you may feel like you are trespassing because they have several out buildings and a dock built at the waters edge. This is the route that the trail signs show to hike but it sure feels like you are walking through someones backyard.

There are also a couple of areas where the trail is in need of some maintenance to get around fallen trees and eroded embankments.

The east trailhead and the turnaround point for this post is right before the trail meets the roadway. We considered looping the rest of the way around Baron Lake and following an apparent connector trail between Baron Lake and Alexander Lake but instead opted to simply return the way we came.

It is common to see deer in this area during the early evening and morning hours. Other than that the Baron trail is a peaceful hike with very little elevation change and lots of great scenery. An alternative to hiking around the east shore of Baron Lake would be to turn around at the spillway. It would shorten the trail quite a bit but you wouldn't feel like you were trespassing that way. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.