Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,447.00 ft (441.05 m)
Trail type
13.80 mi (22.21 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Completed in 1987, the Colorado Trail stretches 485 magnificent miles from Denver to Durango. Along the way it meanders through high alpine mountains and valleys, offering a glimpse at some of the finest terrain Colorado has to offer. It traverses eight mountain ranges, six wilderness areas and stays above 10,000’ for the majority of the trail. Highlights include the Collegiate Range, where multiple 14ers are just off trail and can easily be climbed, and the San Juans, where the trail remains above tree line for days at a time and climbs to elevations of over 13,000’. There is also abundant wildlife along the Colorado Trail, ranging in size from small pika and marmot, to bear and moose.

The trail is divided into 28 different segments, each beginning at a trailhead accessible by vehicle. This accessibility is what makes the Colorado Trail special. Day hikers and section hikers can easily find their way to new segments of trail, while thru hikers can still enjoy a wild and rugged four to six week journey. Below is a description for Colorado Trail Segment 18.

Segment 18 is a rather unexciting section of the Colorado Trail. It begins from Highway 114 where you’ll quickly cross Lujan Creek and continue along the mellow trail as it soon turns left and follows Pine Creek upstream. You’ll cross the creek and ascend into the nice forest on some enjoyable single track trail. This is the best part of Segment 18.

At the top of the ascent there is some nice space for camping amongst the pine forest. You’ll then descend and the trail will turn to double track as it follows an old forest road that is now closed to vehicles.

Continue descending until you reach a main gravel road then turn right and follow it down as it makes a couple massive switchbacks. You’ll come to a water source (Archuleta Creek) then ascend into some trees, followed by a descent down to the next water source - Los Creek.

There are some more trees shortly after Los Creek. Enjoy them as they will be the last! You’ll then follow a dirt road as it descends gradually down, following a fenceline. There is no shade along this stretch. One great photo op is found where someone placed an animal skull of some kind on a fencepost.

You’ll then veer left onto Saguache Park Road (CO RD 17FF). This well maintained gravel road makes for easy walking. You’ll pass a water source (Monchego Creek) where you’ll want to fill up. Continue walking the road until it is time to turn off slightly to the right. This marks the end of Colorado Trail Segment 18.







Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Some nice single track trail through the forest to start the segment.


Second half of segment is quite unexciting.

Trailhead Elevation

9,736.00 ft (2,967.53 m)

Highest point

10,256.00 ft (3,126.03 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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