A few years ago, after a brief but unsuccessful desert camping trip to Bullet Canyon in Utah, we headed to Durango for a few days of hiking. After asking around at a local outdoors store we found ourselves here:
I’m standing at the start of the last section (or first I guess depending on which way you go…) of the Colorado Trail. The Colorado Trail runs all the way from Conifer, near Denver, to just outside of Durango. It is divided into 28 segments and can be thru-hiked in 4-6 weeks. The trail is almost 500 miles long with its highest elevation point being just over 13,000 ft.
Our day hike was only going to be about 8 miles round trip. We were headed up to a stopping point called Gudy’s Rest. I don’t know who Gudy was, but he sure picked a nice spot to take a break!
This trailhead is located off of 25th street in Durango, near the Junction Creek campground. Just keep heading up the road and following the signs and you’ll see the very obvious parking area on the left. There are bathrooms and maps and lots of people.
Because this area is bike-friendly as well, you’ll encounter cyclists and other hikers. Still, many people are just out for a quick jaunt with their dogs, so traffic dies down after the bridge:
By now hikers have traveled about 2.5 miles. The climbing to this point is easy. Once you cross the bridge, however, there are about 6 switchbacks and 600 feet of elevation to gain in the next mile. Still, it’s manageable, especially when you know what views await you!
If you are out in Colorado and have a chance to take even a short day hike on the Colorado Trail, do it! You’ll be setting foot on a trail created by thousands of volunteers interested in protecting and exploring the mountains of Colorado.