The Colorado Trail
The Colorado Trail
5
About
Spanning some 500 miles from Denver to Durango, this path crosses many different elevations and environments, including eight mountain ranges, seven national forests, six wilderness areas and five river systems, making it one of the most fascinating and scenic trails in the state.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
83 reviews
Excellent
73
Very good
8
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
0

ek_yayavar
California70 contributions
Jul 2012 • Solo
The Colorado trail runs from Denver to Durango covering a distance of around 486 miles. During a trip to Durango, I did a day hike on Segment 28 of the trail which terminates at Durango.

The trailhead (elevation: 6983 ft) is on Junction Creek Road, around 2.5-3.0 miles from downtown Durango (there is also another parking lot that grants access to the trail about a mile form the terminus). The first 2 miles or so follow the edge of Junction Creek. One is really walking at the bottom of a canyon here, and so the views are limited, but it is a pleasant stroll with occasional wildflowers, some interesting rock formations, and bird-spotting. Be careful around the frequently encountered big unleashed dogs though!

Around 2.5 miles from the beginning, the trail crosses Junction Creek on a wooden bridge, and begins climbing up via a series of switchbacks with gentle gradient. This is a multi-use trail, and I encountered many mountain bikers here. The trees over the whole hike are predominantly Ponderosa pine, and their fragrance is a constant presence. Gambel Oak saplings are also fairly abundant.

Around 4.1 miles from the beginning, there is an overlook (elevation: 7970 ft) known as Gudy's Rest (named after Gudy Gaskill, the lady who is frequently referred to as the mother of the Colorado Trail since her efforts played a major role in making this trail possible). The panorama from Gudy's Rest is magnificent. One can spot Perin's Peak and the valley in which Durango is situated. Also clearly visible is the lower portion of trail as it makes it way on the other side of Junction Creek. All around, one can see verdant slopes with pine trees and the occasional distant stands of Aspen. There is another viewpoint, just a few yards further ahead from Gudy's Rest that provides a slightly different perspective. This is where I turned back and retraced my steps.

Overall, I highly recommend this for a day hike. It involves a little over 8 miles roundtrip of walking, but no really steep gradients. Furthermore, it can easily be shortened or lengthened as one pleases (however, the only viewpoint along this initial 4-5 mile stretch is Gudy's Rest).

Those looking for more information on the Colorado Trail and/or planning longer hikes can find it in the Colorado Trail Official Guidebook.
Written September 26, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gunnar A
Durango, CO32 contributions
Jun 2014 • Couples
Everyone says that southwest Colorado got the best end of the Colorado trail from Denver to Durango and I agree. We live here and have many, many other trails to compare it to. The trail is beautifully maintained by many volunteers, the scenery is wonderful and there are several ways to enjoy it. For an hour to a half day, the trail starts very close to Durango out Junction Creek Road and follows Junction Creek. Try a short walk in an almost wilderness setting or go several miles up to Goudy's Rest with a great view towards Durango and the mesa beyond. Have a day and car? You can find the trail in the very high country at Molas Pass. Wide open high altitude walking. I would head west from the highway to avoid the steeper east heading trail. Easy down but tougher up on the way back. Watch out for possible afternoon lightning in the summer. Take plenty of water, good shoes, a good hat, suntan lotion, some snacks and a light windbreaker in case the weather turns cool. This is about 40 miles north of Durango and near the fun old mining town of Silverton. We recommend the Handlebar restaurant for a pure mountain Colorado experience. Have a day and a four wheel vehicle? Ask for the way to Kennebec Pass. The road goes from pavement to true four wheeling over many mile up to the pass where the trail crosses. I suggest heading west. Beautiful meadows. A small lake. Wildflowers. Amazing views of the La Plata peaks and the San Juan Mountains marching to the north. Big vistas of forest and peaks. Our friends from Baltimore (sea level) flew to Albuquerque (say 5,000') then drove to our home (7,500') in one day. They insisted on hiking the pass (say 11,000') the very next day. Let's just say they had a great time and . . . survived the altitude. I would recommend a few days of acclimation to really get the most out of this area. Have a backpack and some time? The wilderness camping is first class.
Written June 24, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The B
Durango, CO9 contributions
Feb 2013 • Solo
But if those are not top of your list for what you want from a hiking trail, go elsewhere. I live near Durango and will only comment on the terminus of the trail since that is the part I am familiar with. First off, it's flat. What's the point of walking on a flat trail? Second, it's probably the highest use trail in the area. There are ALWAYS many many people there - sometimes you cannot park in the TH parking lot. Third, the toilet was closed for the season last year (2012) which is problematic in an area with so many people around. Fourth, people around here seem to think that their dogs have more rights than other people and get offended if you do not absolutely dote on their dog which they invariably say is "nice" and "friendly" as it shoves it's nose into your personal areas. I highly recommend pepper spray for such encounters. Use it on the owner...
Written March 11, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janine Z
13 contributions
Aug 2017 • Family
So the Colorado trail runs from Denver to Durango, but you can hike various parts of it little bits at a time. We took our kids (11/8/4) on a relatively short hike from Molas pass. The hike itself was not hard, although our kids were not used to elevation (we live at sea level), so that made it interesting. Also, the weather can change quickly. So we were hiking in rain for a bit- but it wasn't bad and we tried to shelter a bit by trees. Our kids loved it- absolutely beautiful! Wildflowers and wildlife--totally worth it! Just bring light raincoats or jackets. Later on our visit, we did a short hike down by Junction Creek in Durango. Completely different terrain, but still beautiful. Walked by the creek and had a picnic. Saw trout and hummingbirds. Even saw a couple hiking with their llamas. If you like hiking, it's definitely worth trying to hike at least part of this trail.
Written August 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

yogiglo
Rehoboth, MA295 contributions
Sep 2015 • Couples
We did the section of the trail from the trailhead at the end of 25th Street to Gudy's rest, which takes about three hours. Very scenic, it follows the river, crosses a bridge and then climbs via switchbacks to the bench at gudys rest. Not to difficult, lots of shade, this makes a great day hike with nice views.
Written October 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cuindurango
Durango, CO45 contributions
Aug 2015
The Colorado Trail stretches from Durango to Denver - something like 450 miles in total. There's convenient access from any number of spots, the southern terminus is west on 25th Street from Durango, also known as Junction Creek Road. The trail itself is...awesome! You can ride a horse, mountain bike - or simply hike it for great scenery, solitude and views that amaze. There's lots of information about additional access points online - a personal favorite is from the Molas Pass area between Durango and Silverton. spend a day on the CO trail and you'll remember it forever.
Written August 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

felipe714
Durango, CO56 contributions
Aug 2014 • Solo
an awesome hike for those not wanting to travel out of town. It can be accessed right off north main street, giving you great views of town and north over the Animas Valley. You can take a quick 1 1/2 hour loop or a full 3 hour loop
Written December 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BrianTucsonFoothills
Tucson77 contributions
Sep 2013 • Friends
Took the train to the Elk Meadow stop (just before Silverton) and hiked back to Durango on the Colorado Trail. The scenery is the best I've seen in the world. Breathtaking vistas, beautiful colors and the trail is a gem. Well maintained by volunteers. Campsites and water well documented using the Data Book sold via the Colorado Trail (www.coloradotrail,.org). Hiking was moderate to difficult and, as usual in this part of the country, afternoon rain was usually on the docket. But, wilh proper gear and reasonable conditioning, this was a pleasure.
Written September 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mary P
Chicago, IL115 contributions
Aug 2012 • Family
Not far from downtown. Don't get out too late as parking lot isn't that big and fills up but there is more than one way to access trail. Restroom was clean and this is done by volunteers! Impressive. No water to wash hands so be prepared. Lots and lots of big dogs hiking off leash. Not a problem for us. Wading in creek was nice. A fun trail area that you can decide how much you want to hike.
Written August 16, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian S
12 contributions
Jun 2019
Only 500 miles to Denver. That is a lot but folks who are fit can do it in a few weeks. In parts it shares trail with the Continental Divide Trail. Section from Molas to Creede is the most spectacular, IMHO
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Colorado Trail - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about The Colorado Trail



The Colorado Trail Information

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