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

Quick Facts

Coal Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,200 Feet (3179.6 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 1,400 Feet (436.4 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,600 Feet (3616.0 Meters)
Length, One-way: 3.0 Miles (5.0 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 677
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Engineer Mountain

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Coal Creek
Copyright: F.A. Kingwell
Coal Creek
The Coal Creek Trail climbs up through fairly steep terrain, passing through a predominately coniferous forest. There are occasional breaks in the trees that offer scenic views of the West Needles. The last section of the trail is blaze-posted to make it visible as it crosses swampy terrain. The trail never comes close to Coal Creek but the Engineer Mountain Trail. The trail crosses the creek at timberline. The Coal Creek Trail offers several possibilities for doing loop trails utilizing trails in the same area.

Directions from Durango, Colorado: Take U.S. Highway 550 for approximately 37 miles north of Durango. Park in the dirt pullout just past the first hairpin turn after Coal Bank Pass. The trail leads uphill from the north side of the road. A sign marks the Coal Creek trailhead.

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

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Coal Creek Trail
ICON Viewing Scenery Nice views of the West Needles

Related Activities
Deer Creek Trail - This trail can be a moderate, scenic day hike or an overnighter when combined with other trails. Fishing opportunities are available.

Engineer Mountain Trail - This trail is in good shape and offers loop possibilities and a wide range of native wildflowers in July and August as you travel through the various zones.

Pass Trail - This is the quickest access to Engineer Mountain. You can also combine this trail with Coal Creek or Deer Creek Trails to make a nice loop trip.

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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