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Spud Lake is a beautiful short hike that's popular with locals and tourists alike.
While most of the lake hikes near Durango are long and arduous, this quick hike appeals to hikers looking for a relaxing outing in the woods.
Located just up Highway 550 from Durango, three miles of hiking and about 450 feet of vertical gain will allow you to reach the lake, circumnavigate it, and return to your car.
For a shorter two-mile hike, simply hike to the Spud Lake and skip the circumnavigation. At the trailhead, you'll spot a smaller lake filled with lily pads, and then almost immediately head into a beautiful aspen grove.
In the fall, the aspen leaves turn a brilliant gold simultaneously, providing some of the most beautiful fall colors imaginable! Views open up through the trees and as you cross a wetland, allowing you to spot nearby Spud Mountain and the West Needle Mountains. Once at the lake, Jake Case of [TerritorySupply.com](https://www.territorysupply.com/potato-lake-trail-durango) encourages you to explore along the lakeshore.
"While the initial view at the trail’s end is nice, there are prettier views elsewhere," writes Case.
"Likely the best is over toward the west end of the lake where the West Needles and their craggy tops provide a classic Rocky Mountains backdrop," he continues.
Once you've finished with the stunning views at Spud Lake, retrace your steps to your car. Sources: [DurangoTrails.org](https://www.durangotrails.org/trails/high-country-trails/spud-lake-trail) [TerritorySupply.com](https://www.territorysupply.com/potato-lake-trail-durango)