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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > San Juan National Forest > Mancos-Dolores Ranger District

Quick Facts

Geyser Springs Trail

Average Time: 2.0 Hours
Beginning Elevation: 8,600 Feet (2680.8 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 520 Feet (162.1 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,120 Feet (2842.9 Meters)
Length, One-way: 1.25 Miles (2.08 Kilometers) The first part of the trail is on private land and difficult to follow. Please do not stray from the path. Do not cross the river during high water.
Trail Number: 648
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Dolores Peak, Rico

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The trail (marked #648 on the San Juan National Forest Recreation Map) crosses the West Dolores River within 100 yards of the trailhead. In midsummer, the river is about 20 feet wide and 1 foot deep. Do not cross during high water. The first part of the trail is on private land and difficult to follow. Follow the fence line to the creek; please do not stray from the path.

The trail passes several historic mining ruins, which includes inherent hazards, so watch your footing. The most obvious hazard on this trail is the unusually large supply of particularly aggressive flies in all sizes. The walk up is gradual and passes through aspen forests and small meadows. You will be climbing gradually for about 1 mile, ending at the only true geyser in Colorado, located at the intersection of two subterranean faults.

Although the frequency varies, 30 to 40 minute intervals are most common. The water bubbles for about 12 to 15 minutes in a small, oblong pool, emitting sulfur gases. The surface temperature is 82 degrees F (28 degrees C). This is not the ideal temperature for soaking, because it is somewhat cool. The rocks lining the pools form crude walls and can be very abrasive.

Directions from Dolores, Colorado: Travel 13.0 miles north on Colorado Hwy 145 and turn northwest (left) onto Forest Service road #535 (West Dolores road). Continue about 23.3 miles to the trailhead, located about 2.2 miles south of Dunton. Roadside parking is available just below a private residence to the southeast. The trailhead begins at the parking area.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Fall (NOTE: Please stay on designated trail. Adjacent land owner does not tolerate trespassing. Hikers must ford a stream so be prepared for wet feet.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter conditions. Please stay on designated trail.Trail fords stream so be prepared for wet feet. Respect adjacent land owners no trespassing signs. Updated: 2004-04-23 14:02:00.0

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Filed By: Correen (Dolores, CO)
Time of Day: 9:00
Length of Time: 2+ hours which included spending about 30 minutes at the geyser
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The forest service has built a very nice foot bridge over the river, so the trail is accessible even during high runoff. The bridge takes hikers away from the home near the trailhead.
Conditions: We came to a small stream not far up the trail that was flowing pretty good. There are small trees laying across the stream which we used to cross without getting our shoes wet. The odor of sulfur was strong in some areas along the trail.
Water Availability: We each carried about a quart which was plenty because it's such a short hike. There is a stream along the trail, but it may contain minerals from the geyser. The geyser does spill into the stream.
Recommended Clothing: It was a warm June day and we were comfortable in shorts and t-shirts. You should be conscience of thunderstorms later in the summer.

Filed By: Kristen (Dolores, CO)
Time of Day: 12:00 noon
Length of Time: 3 hrs roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Trail was well marked thru private land. River was low. Once you get to Geyser creek,cross and stay to the left. Geyser pool was about 78 degrees and strong action. Nice easy hike. Well worth it. actual hike is about 2 miles one way.

Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: 08/18 - Easy hike, worth the trip. Take Teva's to cross the Dolores, water level is over the top of hiking boots. First part of trail is extremely hard to follow now due to residential construction in the area.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Geyser Springs Trail

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Dolores Public Lands Office, 29211 Hwy 184 , Dolores, CO, 81323, Phone: 970-882-7296, Fax: 970-882-6841, TTY: 970-882-6842


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