To get to Hermit lake drive to Westcliffe on 69, when you get to the blinking stop sign, turn left (east) on main street/hwy 96 go a couple blocks and turn right on Highway 69 (south). There will be an "antlers liquor store and motel on this corner. Take 69 south a few blocks and turn right (west) on hermit lane/hermit lakes road/CR160 all the same. There will be a gas station on your left at this intersection. Once on hermit you will be able to see the road go across the valley and up into the trees keep going till you get to the trees then the road veers to the left. There is a stack of small signs follow the one for hermit pass. It is not far from this point about 4 miles or so but it does take time because of how rocky the road is. The parking is on the apex of a right hand switchback there is a sign for hermit lake there the lake is just below timberline. If you get above tree line you went to far. With the snow gone the trail is easy to follow. There is also a beaver pond right below the lake which also has some brook trout in it but they are smaller.
This trail is do able in a stock 2wd with a high ground clearance the road is very rocky so it will take a lot of time to cover ground. It is usually ice free and accessible around mid-June. Hermit Lake is at N38°05.368' Latitude and W105°37.919' Longitude with an elevation of 11,400 ft.
Hermit Lake contain cutthroat trout and brook trout in the 10-14 inch range. Flies I have had success with at this lake include, mosquito patterns, griffen gnats, copper johns, or any other small fly. Hardware that works well there would include blue fox spinners, kastmasters, and thomas bouyants.
To view more pictures of the trails, mines, and lakes check out our Hermit Lake Gallery.