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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > San Juan National Forest > Columbine Ranger District

Quick Facts

South Fork Trail (Columbine Ranger District)

Beginning Elevation: 10,200 Feet (3179.6 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,400 Feet (748.1 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 7,800 Feet (2431.4 Meters)
Length, One-way: 10 Miles (16.67 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 549
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: Monument Hill, Elk Creek

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This trail provides beautiful meadows, good fishing, great views and access to other trails. There are a few creek crossings and spring runoff can create challenges. From the junction with Hermosa Trail, you can hike down approximately 1 1/2 to 2 miles to Clear Creek and hike back up to the top or hike out to the main trail either north or south.

Directions from Durango, Colorado: Turn west on 25th Street in Durango. This is County Road 204 and it turns into Junction Creek Road (Forest Road 171). In another 3 miles the road crosses a cattle guard and turns into dirt. Keep going north approximately 19 miles until you reach a gate, where there is plenty of parking. Hike down the road beyond the gate for about 1 1/2 miles. The road makes a sharp right and the trail begins on the right.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing Clear Creek
ICON Hiking & Walking South Fork Trail (Columbine Ranger District)
ICON Viewing Scenery Beautiful meadows; great views

Related Activities
Clear Creek Trail - This trail drops 2,800 feet from Junction Creek Road to Hermosa Creek. Fishing is a possibility and campsites are available, especially near the bottom.

Hermosa Creek Trail - Renowned among mountain bikers, this trail offers a lengthy trip back to Hermosa, mostly paralleling the creek, with great side hikes and loop trips. This trail is also used by hikers, horses, motorcycles and ATVs.

Ryman Creek Trail - The Ryman Creek Trail generally follows the Ryman Creek drainage; however, one fork of the trail climbs and follows a steep ridge line and then joins the Divide road 564.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Columbine Ranger District, 367 South Pearl Street, P.O. Box 439 , Bayfield, CO, 81122, Phone: 970-884-2512, Fax: 970-884-2428, TTY: 970-884-1433


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