San Juan NF
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  • Colorado Trail - Kennebec Pass to Junction Creek

    Length: 21 miles (34 km)

    Use: Heavy 

    Difficulty:  More Difficult 

    USGS Map (s):  La Plata,                      

    Monument Hill and Durango West                                       

    Starting Elevation: 11,600’

    Kennebec Pass                      


    Ending Elevation:  6,960’

    Junction Creek       

    Recommended Season: Summer/Fall 


    Access # 1: (Kennebec Pass) Go 11 miles west of Durango on US 160 and turn north on County Road 124. The trailhead is about 14 miles from US 160. The last few miles is an unmaintained 4WD road.

    Access # 2: (Junction Creek) Turn west on 25th street in Durango. Go about 3 miles of the Forest boundary and the trail begins to the left (west). There is more adequate parking 1.1 miles up the road FS Road # 171 at the first switchback. The trail is on the west side of the road.


    Access # 3: Continue beyond Access #2 on FS Road # 171. About 17.5 miles from the Forest Service boundary, there is a side road to the south. Turn and follow for .7 miles and the trail crosses the road. 

    Attractions & Considerations: The drop in elevation from Kennebec Pass to Junction Creek Trail is 4,790’, which is the single greatest altitude change on the Colorado Trail. There may be some confusion about trail location roughly ½ mile below Access #3, due to right of way problems across a mining claim. Part of the trail follows the historic Oro Fino (Fine Gold) Trail. Keep in mind two hazards: flash flooding can occur in the flood plains, and there is poison ivy. Water is scarce until you reach the canyon floor.


    Fishing Considerations: Junction Creek has a reputation for large trout. Most of the fish in the river are in the 10-inch to 15-inch range. They include rainbows, browns and cutthroats.