Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A Hike Along The Colorado Trail... Just One Of Durango, CO's Little Pleasures

Could Colorado get anymore beautiful?!?!? There is a place us Durangoans know along the Colorado trail. We like to think of it as a place to calm your thoughts, or get in some after work exercise. Whatever the case, we call it the Junction Creek trail. Imagine a fast running creek next to a smooth trail with boulders, trees and cliffs surrounding you. You smell the Cottonwood trees in bloom. Your skin tingles with each breeze through the creek canyon walls. You are at peace as you pass through rock gardens, massive boulders and groves of Aspen trees. After a mile, you begin to climb. Your legs don't burn, but you feel the intensity that is elevation gain. With every passing footstep you edge closer to what? A cliff? An overlook? The anticipation drives you forward.

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After another mile,  you come to a bridge. Underneath the creek flows swiftly. Its movements cools you as your dog takes a quick drink from the eddy formed by a few rocks to the side of the creek. He gets in and splashes to cool off. The cooling off is important as you head up a long series of switchbacks up to Gudy's rest. Named for Gudy Gaskill, the famed "Mother of the Colorado Trail", the beautiful views to the South offer up some of Durango's best. Here, you'll be glad you brought a Clif Bar or better yet some of Durango's own Ricky's Lucky Nuts to refuel for your trip back down to the car.

If you'd like go all the way to Denver... You could do that too! 
A classic shot of our dog Baxter... 

One of the cool rock formations along the trail... 

Don't you just want to write a poem? 

Some rock cairns left by some creative hikers...

Hike stats:

How To Get There: Take Main Street in Durango to 25th and turn west off of Main. Take 25th (it will
turn into Junction Creek Road) 3 1/3 miles to the national forest. You can park here to add 2
miles to the hike, or continue 1 mile further on the forest road to another parking area.

Use: Heavy
Difficulty: Moderate
Starting Elevation: 6,900’
Ending Elevation: 8,000’
Length: 4 miles (6.4 km)
Recommended Season: Spring/Summer/Fall

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