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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Colorado Community Areas > Silverton Area

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Hiking & Walking Guide
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Activity Location Description
Animas Overlook Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
The self-guided interpretive loop trail points out geology, history, flora and fauna as it goes through ponderosa pine and Gambel oaks and offers spectacular views. The trail offers overlooks with great views of the Animas Valley and Needles Mountains.
Animas River Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
The trail follows the riverbank within the steep and rocky canyon walls and is an alternative to taking the train to get to Chicago Basin. The trail follows the river banks for its entire distance offering fishing possibilities.
Big Bend Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
Wonderful views, wildflowers and fishing holes are part of this trail that is in the Hermosa drainage and would make an excellent loop trail. The entire drainage is usually full of elk, coyote and an occasional bear.
Boulder Gulch Trail Silverton Area,
Colorado Community Areas
The trail crosses the creek twice and winds up a ridge above timberline past historic mining structures, with views of Velocity Basin and Needle Mountains.
Cascade Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
There is a trail on both sides of the creek; the west one is more pleasant. Beautiful views and waterfalls can be enjoyed.
Clear Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
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.
Coal Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
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.
Columbine Lake Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
This spot is used very lightly due to its difficult access and steep switchbacks. Some tent sites are possible.
Corral Draw Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
Starting from the Colorado Trail (Highline) the trail switchbacks down and east facing grassy bowl, dipping into several gullies and soon merging into the spruce and fir at the bottom of the draw.
Crater Lake Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
Twilight and Snowdon Peaks are accessible from this lake and offer excellent views if you decide to camp here. Of course, fishing is always a possibility as well.
Cunningham Gulch Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
This trail provides the shortest access to the Continental Divide in the Columbine District and is filled with rock-hunting, fishing and observation possibilities. The Continental Divide provides photo opportunities of the Grenadier Mountains.
Deer Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
This trail can be a moderate, scenic day hike or an overnighter when combined with other trails. Fishing opportunities are available.
Dry Fork Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
The trail is popular for hikers, mountain bikers, and horse riders. The trail leads into the Colorado Trail and provides a panoramic view at Gudy's Rest (a few hundred yards off of Dry Fork Trail).
Dutch Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
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.
East Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
Brook trout can be caught in this lightly used, scenic drainage.
Elbert Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
This trail has three different access possibilities which lead to the Hermosa drainage. From access 1 and 2 one can climb Castle Rock.
Elk Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
A very popular trail! The Narrow Gauge Railroad has a stop at "Elk Creek" and this trail gives access to the Continental Divide and Weminuche Wilderness.
Engine Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
Getting to the trail involves a bit of hiking, so planning an overnight is helpful. There is a good campsite at timberline with great views.
Engineer Mountain Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
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.
First Fork Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
An excellent trail to view fall colors and occasional big game. There are several stream crossings.
Goulding Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
This trail provides access to the Pinkerton-Flagstaff Trail and also to the eastern half of Hermosa Creek.
Graysill Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
This trail provides a quick and easy way out of Cascade Canyon. The main attraction from this trail is to get to the Rico-Silverton Trail instead of going all the way to the end of Cascade Creek.
Haflin Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
A wide variety of tree species, including pinion, aspen Gambel's oak, ponderosa pine, juniper, fir and spruce can be seen as you pass through the different vegetative zones.
Hermosa Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
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.
Highland Mary Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
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.
Highline Loop National Recreation Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
Several trails traverse the high country, including the Highline Loop National Recreational Trail. The trail travels 17.0 miles through mountain parks, aspen groves, and spruce/fir forest, and along alpine ridge tops above timberline.
Ice Lake Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
This is a steep trail that puts you above timberline in a beautiful basin surrounded by six peaks. In late July and August the basin is typically covered with wildflowers.
Jones Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
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.
Kennebec Pass-Junction Creek Road Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
This is a popular mountain bike loop near Durango which starting at Mayday, makes for a difficult workout. Alternatively, one can begin at Kennebec Pass which makes a long downhill run with most of the route on gravel road.
Lake Eileen Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
The trail lies within the Weminuche Wilderness. The trail passes through aspen forests to the small, shallow lake covered by water lilies in a small depression surrounded by aspen trees.
Little Elk Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
This quiet trail offers beautiful views and during the first few miles, the La Plata Mountains, Hermosa Valley and Animas Valley are within view.
Lost Lake Trail (Columbine Ranger District) Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
The trail goes through aspen and fir forests to Lost Lake. Lost Lake is a small, shallow, very scenic lake which is not stocked with fish.
Molas Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
Instead of coming back up this trail from the Animas River you may want to catch the train at Elk Park. Before you begin the descent to the river you will find some excellent views.
North Canyon Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
The trail takes you through ponderosa pine and aspen forests. A scenic overlook of Vallecito Reservoir is available on a side trail along the way.
Pass Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
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.
Red Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
This trail is one of the first to open up in mid-spring and has great fall color. An overnight loop trip is possible.
Rico-Silverton Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
This trail ascends two high mountain passes, thus affording excellent views and good opportunities for photography.
Salt Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
The trail switchbacks down through meadows and aspen glades. The bottom of the trail is a bit rougher and steeper, so watch your step.
Shearer Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
Horses use this trail heavily. The stream needs to be crossed near the bottom and the views at the top are wonderful.
Sliderock Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
The Sliderock Trail is a small portion of the Colorado Trail. This trail offers excellent views and photographic opportunities, especially on Kennebec Pass.
South Fork Trail (Columbine Ranger District) Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
This trail provides beautiful meadows, good fishing, great views and access to other trails. There are a few creek crossings and spring runoff can create challenges.
Spud Lake Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
The trail passes through aspen forests and skirts large rock outcroppings while following a small creek that drains from the lake. The view to the south is of the Hermosa Cliffs, Animas Valley and West Needle Mountains.
West Lime Creek Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
There are several waterfalls along the creek. In July and August the wildflowers are usually prolific.
Whitehead Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
Most of the trail is located above timberline, so navigation with a compass is best. The alpine meadows are full of blooming wildflowers in late July and in August.
Youngs Canyon Trail Columbine Ranger District,
San Juan National Forest
The trail is very steep for the first 1.5 miles with about a 1,200 foot rise in elevation and is used heavily during the hunting seasons.
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