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.
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.)