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

Quick Facts

Big Bend Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,800 Feet (3366.6 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 2,400 Feet (748.1 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 8,400 Feet (2618.5 Meters)
Length, One-way: 6.0 Miles (10.0 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: Memorial Day through September
Trail Number: 519
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: Orphan Butte, Elk Creek

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

There are wonderful fishing holes, beautiful views and several types of wildflowers. The entire drainage is usually full of elk, coyote and an occasional bear. This trail would make an excellent loop trip as would most other trails in the Hermosa drainage. The trail follows a stream except for the top part which follows a ridge.

Directions from Durango, Colorado: Travel 28 miles north of Durango on U.S. Highway 550 to Purgatory Ski Area, turn west to Hermosa Park Road (Federal Development Road 578). Follow this for 10.5 miles to the junction with Hotel Draw Road. Turn west and follow for approximately 5 miles to Scotch Creek Road junction. Directly after the junction is a gate with Highline Trail (Colorado Trail) leading from it. The trailhead is approximately 3 miles south of Federal Development Road 564 from the junction of Scotch Creek Road and Federal Development Road 564.

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

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Can be difficult to find trailhead. Updated: 2003-09-03 12:15:00.0

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing Fishing holes along the trail
ICON Hiking & Walking Big Bend Trail
ICON Viewing Scenery Beautiful views
ICON Viewing Wildlife Elk, coyote and an occasional bear

Related Activities
Big Bend Fishing Site - Big Bend is just off Highway 184 on the southwest shore of McPhee Reservoir. There are two graveled 10 unit parking areas, a small boat input and a toilet at this site.

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.

Highline Loop National Recreation Trail - This trail was designated a National Recreation Trail in 1979. The trail was so designated because of its scenic recreational values.

Ryman Creek Trail - The Ryman Creek Trail generally follows the Ryman Creek drainage; however, one fork of the trail climbs and follows a steep ridge line and then joins the Divide road 564.

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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