Tour Time – Lobo Overlook
Article & Photos by Field Editor Ryan Michelle Scavo
For winter adventurers seeking a moderately difficult tour via cross-country skis or other touring setups (e.g., AT, telemark, splitboard), consider the route from the Continental Divide to Lobo Overlook.
“Lobo”, Spanish for wolf, is the name given to the overlook standing tall over the Continental Divide’s Wolf Creek Pass (10,856ft) at 11,760 feet. The route to Lobo Overlook gains nearly 1,000 feet in elevation in approximately 2.5 miles.
To access the “trailhead”, drive to the top of Wolf Creek Pass (~23 miles from Pagosa Springs/~20 miles from South Fork), park in the designated lot on the north side of the pass and follow the (sometimes) groomed Lobo Overlook Road/winter trail northeast. The area is moderately busy during winter weekends and visitors can often observe kids and families riding sleds, building snow people and enjoying snowball fights near the main parking area. However, exploring this area outside of peak times (consider visiting during the week) will provide a more secluded experience.
The 2.5 miles (one way) tour to Lobo Overlook provides visitors with varied terrain including forested sections and expansive views of the San Juan Mountains. Upon reaching the Overlook (facilities closed in winter), options abound. Feeling adventurous? Lock the heel down and pick a line off the steep southern aspect with dispersed trees and other fun terrain features. Looking for a more mellow ride? Follow the main road back to the parking area but be aware of steep grades. Whatever route you choose, travel smart and be prepared with extra food, water, and backcountry travel equipment and avalanche safety gear.