I hooked onto this much more popular trail on the way out from South Crestone. I had the trail to myself going in, except for a crossing paths with a seemingly disoriented wandered who claimed to have just summitted Kit Carson after an unplanned night out.
There were a few locals camped below the lake, where I set up on a nice patch of grass under some nice trees. The deer liked that place a lot, so much that they didn't care about my being there. (One bedded down a few feet behind me while I ate dinner and two of them stayed around all night, even pawing under the edges of my tent.)
I took countless pictures of the lake in the setting sun, when I was inundated by an oversized party of students from a nearby college who were on a "solo wilderness experience". Not only were they 25% above the maximum wilderness limit, but they camped right on the lake in violation of the posted limits, and some of them camped in posted restoration areas.
After sunset, I went down to hang out with the locals at their campfire. It turned out that we had a fair number of hikes in common, and had similar weather experiences on some of them.
I met a few other grizzled veterans on the way out, leapfrogging each other at breaks, thereby carrying on an episodic conversation over the relentless, dusty downhill.