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

Quick Facts

Hermosa Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,400 Feet (2618.5 Meters)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation Gain: 680 Feet (212.0 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 7,720 Feet (2406.5 Meters)
Length, One-way: 18 Miles (30.0 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 514
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Monument Hill, Hermosa, Elk Creek

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Hermosa Creek Trail begins near the confluence of the main and east forks of Hermosa Creek. Renowned among mountain bikers, this trail offers a lengthy trip back to Hermosa, mostly paralleling the creek, with great side hikes and loop trips. Toilets, picnic tables, a corral, and a parking area are at the trailhead. This trail is also used by hikers, horses, motorcycles and ATVs. Usually done downhill from north to south, the trail loses 1300 feet but regains several hundred feet south of Dutch Creek, which is bridged. In some years, the south end can be ridden earlier than many higher trails, but you must return the same way.

Directions from Durango, Colorado: Take U.S. Highway 550 north from Durango for 27 miles to the Hermosa Park turnoff at Purgatory ski area. Take Hermosa Park Road (Forest Road #578) to the trailhead located by the junction of the east and north forks of Hermosa Creek, 9 1/2 miles from U.S. 550.

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

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Great for Mtn. bikes. Caution-this trail is open to motorcycles and ATVs. Updated: 2003-09-03 12:16:00.0

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Length of Time: couple hours
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: Look out for rude mountain bikers who don't even bother to slow down. Also a plethora of people who let their dogs run loose. Flat trail, mind numbingly easy.
Conditions: Lots of icy snow on the north sides when it appears from the trailhead to be an easy walk.
Recommended Clothing: Take rain gear.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Hermosa Creek Trail
ICON Horseback Riding
ICON Mountain Biking Renowned among mountain bikers, this trail offers a lengthy trip back to Hermosa
ICON Motorcycle Riding

Related Activities
Big Bend Trail - Wonderful views, wildflowers and fishing holes are part of this trail that is in the Hermosa drainage and would make an excellent loop trail. The entire drainage is usually full of elk, coyote and an occasional bear.

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.

Corral Draw Trail - Starting from the Colorado Trail (Highline) the trail switchbacks down and east facing grassy bowl, dipping into several gullies and soon merging into the spruce and fir at the bottom of the draw.

Dutch Creek Trail - This trail follows a 10,000 foot ridge line for the first few miles which give a panoramic view of the La Platas and Needle Mountains.

Little Elk Creek Trail - This quiet trail offers beautiful views and during the first few miles, the La Plata Mountains, Hermosa Valley and Animas Valley are within view.

Sig Creek Campground - Sig Creek Campground is six miles west of the Purgatory resort, on the Hermosa Park Road (Forest Road 578). Nine sites on four acres sit on a south-facing hillside about 0.25 mile from the East Fork of Hermosa Creek.

South Fork Trail (Columbine Ranger District) - 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.

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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