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

Quick Facts

Dutch Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,280 Feet (3204.5 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,280 Feet (710.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 8,000 Feet (2493.8 Meters)
Length, One-way: 9.7 Miles (16.17 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 516
Usage: Heavy
USGS Maps: Electra Lake, Elk Creek, Hermosa, Monument Hill

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

From Elbert Creek Road, the trail starts high and ends low. For the first few miles it basically follows a ridgeline at 10.000 feet. Within 3.5 miles the trail tops out on open meadows with wide ranging views to both the east and west. To the west one can see out over the width of the Hermosa country for a clear view of the La Platas. To the east are the Needle Mountains. Coming off the ridge, the trail becomes obscure in places as it drops into Stag Draw. Within 2 miles, the trail intercepts Dutch Creek, where grassy hillsides and a few open parks provide campsites.

Directions from Durango, Colorado: 26 miles north of Durango and slightly north of Purgatory is Hermosa Park Road (Forest Road 578). Follow this road until it forks, then take the left fork onto Elbert Creek Road (Forest Road 581) and follow it just over 8 miles to the trailhead.

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

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking A few open parks near Dutch Creek
ICON Hiking & Walking Dutch Creek Trail
ICON Viewing Scenery Panoramic view of the La Platas and Needle Mountains

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.

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.

Goulding Creek Trail - This trail provides access to the Pinkerton-Flagstaff Trail and also to the eastern half of Hermosa Creek.

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.

Jones Creek Trail - This trail provides a variety of sights in a fairly short distance, including beautiful views of La Plata through the aspen trees. The meadows near the top offer nice campsites and food for horses with easy access to the creek.

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.

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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