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

Quick Facts

Highland Mary Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,400 Feet (2618.5 Meters)
Difficulty: Most Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,200 Feet (685.8 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 10,600 Feet (3304.2 Meters)
Length, One-way: 4 Miles (6.67 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: Late Fall Great for wildflower viewing.
Trail Number: 606
Usage: Heavy
USGS Maps: Howardsville

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This area is a beautiful subalpine basin with open meadows and very few trees. In late fall the wildflowers fill the meadows which makes for wonderful views and photo opportunities. This is not a place to go for solitude, as it is heavily used and it is definitely not recommended for horses. Fishing in the lakes is usually not possible until summer after the ice melts.

Directions from Silverton, Colorado: From Silverton, off of U.S. Hwy 550, go north through town toward Howardsville. Approximately 3 miles past Howardsville, turn onto Forest Road #679 which follows Cunningham Creek. Follow this road to the trailhead. 2WD vehicles may not make the last 3/4 mile, but there are parking spaces available. The road past the wilderness boundary is closed to all motorized traffic and mountain bikes.

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

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Time of Day: daytime
Length of Time: couple hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: It's not that steep. Why does everyone say it's steep? The Durango hiking guide does not have the correct trailhead listed. You can drive past the place where the book tells you to stop and cross a creek and there is a large parking area at the trailhead. Typical high altitude hike, except that it is swarming with people on the weekends. I'm not sure that I found the lakes. Go very, very early in the day and get below timber line before the sky is completely overcast in order to protect yourself from lightning. It rains pretty much every day in the summer. There is a place where the trail crosses the creek, but there is a dim trail going straight on, where, if you fail to cross the creek and take the dim trail, you end up climbing up a steep slope covered with talus before you realize you have gone the wrong way. It's unlikley that you can go up there until late June/early July without having to cross treacherous patches of snow.
Conditions: Mud, snow, rain, rocks, steep, etc.
Recommended Clothing: Rain gear, snow gear, skis, gloves, sunscreen, bug spray.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing
ICON Hiking & Walking Highland Mary Trail

More Information

Visitor Information:

Durango Area Chamber Resort Association, 111 South Camino Del Rio , Durango, CO, 81301, Phone: 800-463-8726, Fax: 970-385-7884, durango@frontier.net


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