After having a difficult time the whole trip finding secluded campsites, I'd love to hear from someone locally who has some insight on a great campground or national forest dispersed sites with amazing views. This trail is a climb heading north with lots of whoops and some sandy sections near Farmington, NM. After we walked all the way around the lake, ate lunch, snapped photos and enjoyed the views, then we decided we'd hike back. This is the perfect trails for those looking for a bit of a challenge. Try to spot the beaver ponds along the way, or explore the banks and pick fruit. White Creek Trail… Plus we were both so disappointed that our secluded campsite was not secluded at all. Region: High Country. North of Silverton near the origins of Ophir Pass Road there is a pullout—a minor horiziontal extention of an otherwise precipitous road—not a parking lot. We had a 4x4 high clearance vehicle but I would not have attempted in anything smaller (although there was a Prius up there when we got there). Though daily traffic is not as heavy at Highland Mary’s as at Ice Lakes, there's a prolific number of locals who are familiar with the area. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. This fact alone says more about the unique, private experience offered by Columbine Lake. To main trailhead:Many of the high country trails have proximate parking areas and access points; however, Purgatory Resort acts as a “hub” for high country adventure. The trail head is not clearly marked. Hiking in Westcliffe, Gibson Creek Trailhead. Goulding Creek Trail This is the perfect trails for those looking for a bit of a challenge. Continue North on Hwy 550 for approximately 29 miles north of Durango to Forest Road 591 (Old Lime Creek Highway), which takes off on the right side of the road at the curve past Cascade Village. Within such an easy drive from Durango, and waters filled with trout, this is a popular destination for hiking, snowshoeing, fishing and camping. We started out fairly early (around 9am) and we were really glad we did - it was much cooler and much less crowded than when we left. If you are new to hiking, this is the perfect way to start out. The trail is quite rocky so you do have to watch your footing. Please consider financially contributing to help us continue to build and maintain great trails. These trails offer scenic hiking, mountain biking, trail running and horseback riding routes. This leisurely trail, about a two-mile round trip, is great for all ages. And if Lime Creek Road becomes too "scary" on the way to the trailhead, don't be ashamed to park and walk the rest of the way along the road. We were worried about our standard size (not high-clearance) 4WD SUV making the trip, but we asked a local before we set out and he said "just go slow and you'll be fine." If you’re looking for views beyond the beaten path, this is your hike—just let it be our little secret. ... 0 Loves Divinity Flow Trail, or Purgatory Flow Trail, located at Purgatory Resort, is a 1.5-mile intermediate trail, and Durango’s longest downhill flow trail. A 10-mile hike from the trailhead near Vallacito Reservoir, Emerald Lake sits in the pristine Weminuch Wilderness where fish, bears, porcupine, and the occasional moose can be spotted. Spud Lake. The hike to get to Spud Lake was about 1 mile and fairly easy. Spud Lake, also known as Potato Lake Trail, is a mellow hike at Cascade Creek. A short hike from Lime Creek Road through aspen groves and beaver ponds will bring you to the picturesque lake at the base of Potato Hill. The trek is 20 miles round trip, so it's easy to make a weekend out of it. The high country also offers a variety of moderate to expert-level backpacking and bikepacking loops. The hike to get to Spud Lake was about 1 mile and fairly easy. Keeping Mobile Bay and “America’s Amazon” Safe: Mobile Baykeeper, A Quick & Dirty Guide to the Best Biking in Gaston, 6 Ways to Enjoy Summer Like a Jackson Local, Explore the Best Hiking and Kayaking Near Bullfrog Marina on Lake Powell. And we wouldn’t exist without your support! I've done it dozens of times and I don't get tired of it. After four miles of winding through tall pines, descend to Dollar Lake; continue to meander above treeline to the lookout, only four miles from the trailhead. Joe Giordano. Many people choose to descend after seeing the lakes or continue on to Verde Lakes at 3.3 miles. Searching for the perfect place to relax on the water? The loop, which extends to the Continental Divide and Colorado Trail, measures just shy of eight miles. Neither of us could believe so many cars had parked so close to people camping, there were kids running around our camper, people touching our stuff, and two trucks parked us in, not 2 feet from our bumper! Walking around this pond in any season, which we’ve done many times, is always a delight. However, the altitude does not vary significantly once the lakes are reached at mile 1.9. The road runs along the edge of a canyon, and according to numerous reviewers, becomes very rough and "scary" in places. Would you recommend this place or activity to a friend looking for an, Is this a must-do if you are travelling with a, Is this a place or activity you would suggest for, Is this attraction a good place to visit on a, Is this a romantic place or activity that you would suggest for, The access road to get to the trail head was sketchy. The lake was beautiful with an awesome reflection of the mountain behind it. The. It's a little further from Durango (30 miles away) but it has multiple access spots for fishing, paddleboarding or even a lakeside picnic. Josh, who rarely gets mad, was very angry; mostly because he was so shocked people would park us in. This trail is short and easy. Goulding Creek Trail. He turned out to be absolutely. The unmaintained road is wide and gradual compared to the steeps of many high alpine hikes and does not sacrifice beauty for its mellow incline. We ended up camping north of Silverton in a campground with only one other vehicle in a very secluded site next to the river. To get to Emerald Lake, you'll need to take a little bit of a hike. Josh wanted to pack up and find a more secluded site, so by 3:30 we were on the road again, looking for yet another camp site. No cars were at this trailhead. You must have JavaScript enabled to fill out this form. Just minutes beyond the busy parking lot and camp ground for the Ice Lakes Basin hike, tucked into the recesses of the San Juan Mountains, is the old mining road that leads to Lake Hope. The views at the lake are stunning and we took our time taking photos. The high country also offers a variety of moderate to expert-level backpacking and bikepacking loops. If you want to stay right on the lake, Pine River Lodge offers cabins with great views and easy access to the lake. Just around the next corner we found 2 posts at the beginning of the trail. While it's typically pretty chilly at this Durango lake, it's a great location for camping and enjoying some rest and relaxation with a view. We started up Lime Creek Road and noticed another trailhead about 1/2 a mile from Spud Lake trailhead that didn't have a name. The road up from 550 would challenge the clearance of most automobiles. It is approximately 1.5 miles each way, so it is perfect if you are looking for something quick and easy. We finally found a spot to pull off & park. Region: In Town. From here, gasps, exclamations, and the clicking of cameras fill the air as the high mesa gives way to a spectacular view of the cobalt-blue Ruby Lake below, while 14ers Windom and Eolus create a jagged backdrop in the distance. Rentals are affordable and we guarantee your rental will arrive on time or you’ll get your money back. Potato Lake via Spud Lake Trail is a 3.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Silverton, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. Oh, and by the way, if you want to sound like local, call it Spud Lake instead of Potato Lake! Nothing was really marked telling us. The best of Durango delivered straight to your inbox. A long drive up Missionary Ridge and a gradual hike north on Lime Mesa give no hint of the spectacular scene awaiting the explorer. Spud Lake a short and sweet family friendly high country trail open to hiking which ends at Spud Lake. By this time it was past noon and several other hikers were making their way up the trail. Could not find trail due to grossly inaccurate directions, Based on the reviews as of 10/20/19, this sounds like a good day hike. Potato Lake Trail: Fun Hike, Amazing Views at Spud Lake - See 27 traveler reviews, 30 candid photos, and great deals for Durango, CO, at Tripadvisor. After a couple of hours we decided to walk back to the campsite with high hopes that all the cars would be gone, but were disappointed they were not. Just around the next corner we found 2 posts at the beginning of the trail. For the most part, naturally occurring, high-elevation lakes in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado were formed by glaciers and volcanoes. Lake Nighthorse is just 2 miles from downtown Durango and is the perfect spot to spend a day having fun in the sun. Telluride’s Trout Lake offers great places to fish, kayak, canoe, and SUP in the summertime, and nordic skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. Durango lakes offer picturesque views, refreshing waters and a great place for some summer recreation. Visitors to Ice Lakes are amazed by the incredible blue and green waters. The variety of aspen groves, beaver ponds (watched a beaver for half hour today), the lake with mountain backdrop make this a wonderful leisurely activity. Our rental gear is high quality and in great shape. Here, seven must-see alpine lakes near Durango. The lake was beautiful with an awesome reflection of the mountain behind it. Hiking Trails, Scenic Drives, Off-Road & ATV Trails, Continue your visit to Click. Some of the most popular high country trails include: the Colorado Trail, Engineer Mountain Trail, Purgatory Flow Trails, Spud Lake and other trails between Durango and Silverton, Colorado. We make renting easy. No upcoming trailwork events are currently scheduled. Durango has hundreds of miles of high country trails just out of town. With hiking and lake access in the summer, and nordic skiing in the winter, Priest Lake offers a multitude of outdoor activities. Church Camp Loop is a popular trail route in the Church Camp/Falls Creek area. Elk, moose, and mining equipment can be found here, far from crowds and ripe for exploration. All Images Copyright Jennifer Mason Photography, taking images for personal use is unlawful. At this time, we couldn't even hang out by or go into the camper because so many dogs and people were nearby that we didn't feel comfortable, so I suggested we take some beers and walk up the road for a while. And we wouldn’t exist without your support! Church Camp Loop. Camping in Guanalla Pass; Burning Bear and Whitesi... Chief Mountain in fall; Scenic drive on Peak to Pe... Spud Lake, Durango Colorado. Condition: Good Difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate. You can even take a private fly fishing trip with Duranglers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and snowshoeing and is best used from June until October. I have attempted to correct the map on TA to show the correct location of the trailhead (as it is shown on Google Maps by zooming in sufficiently). It is easy to drive to, an excellent physical challenge, and an especially beautiful scene.