Close to Durango yet with a great "out in the woods" feel, the Junction Creek Trail is very popular with hikers, bikers, and dog walkers. An early start on a weekday will make it a better experience, but it is a very beautiful and easy trail at any time. There are two trailheads along Junction Creek Road (County Road 204) about a mile apart. The lower part of the trail runs along the road, so starting at the higher parking area makes for a quieter walk/ride. The trail runs above Junction Creek the whole way, but there is no easy access to the creek until the bridge about 1.5 miles out. Once across the creek, the trail climbs rapidly on switchbacks to some great viewpoints.
This trail is the beginning (or end) of the 486-mile Colorado Trail, which runs from Durango to near Denver. The trail, officially dedicated in 1988, crosses six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges. The full trail involves climbing 89,354 vertical feet! Junction Creek Campground makes an ideal base camp for exploring this end of the trail.