As this trail steadily winds up the creek drainage to the Calico Trail, the route switches its general direction several times. The spruce-fir environment and its associated groves of aspen, Douglas fir, juniper, and sedge are interrupted by stream crossings and lush meadows. This is the trail of choice for wildlife sightings. A trail crew in the course of one day saw three bears (a sow with cubs), a group of three bull elk, and numerous deer. Twenty-eight species of birds, including nesting golden eagles, have been discovered in this area.
The private land access may deter extensive use by hikers. After intersecting the Calico Trail, scenic views of the various San Juan peaks and mesa tops can be seen by going 0.5 mile south to Calico Peak or north toward Johnny Bull Mountain.
Directions from Dolores, Colorado: The primary access to the Johnny Bull Trail is via private property. With permission from the landowner, you may proceed. Take Colorado State Hwy 145 north. Turn north onto Forest Road 535 and continue approximately 17.5 miles. A small wood cabin and larger wood home distinguish the Cresto Ranch site. Park along Forest Road 535, walk through the gate past the main house and over the bridge. The trail proceeds along the 4WD road to the right (south) for the first 1.5 miles. There is a sign at this point directing the traveler left (north) across Johnny Bull Creek and up a switchback toward the Calico Trail.
Summer through Fall .