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

Quick Facts

Little Elk Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,400 Feet (3241.9 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,600 Feet (810.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 7,800 Feet (2431.4 Meters)
Length, One-way: 13 Miles (21.67 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 515
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Elk Creek, Electra Lake, Monument Hill

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Near Elk Lake
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Near Elk Lake
This quiet trail offers beautiful views and during the first few miles, the La Plata Mountains, Hermosa Valley and Animas Valley are within view. When you reach the cabin, there is a nice creek a few yards to the east. The trail follows this creek for a few miles before veering east and to the Hermosa Trail.

Directions from Durango, Colorado: Take U.S. Highway 550 26 miles north from Durango, to Purgatory Ski Area. Take Hermosa Park Road (Federal Development Road 578) to Elbert Creek Road (Federal Development Road 581). Turn left (south) and follow the main dirt road approximately 8 miles. The road ends in a cul-de-sac with plenty of parking and the trailhead is in the south corner.

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

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Little Elk Creek Trail

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.

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.

Elbert Creek Trail - This trail has three different access possibilities which lead to the Hermosa drainage. From access 1 and 2 one can climb Castle Rock.

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.

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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