Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,779.00 ft (1,151.84 m)
Trail type
Shuttle
Distance
20.90 mi (33.64 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 25.

 

Colorado Trail Segment 25

Molas Pass to Bolam Pass Road

 

Segment 25 of the Colorado Trail begins at Highway 550 and Molas Pass. For those in need of resupply before hitting trail, the small town of Silverton is just 7 miles to the north via highway. Molas Lake Campground is also nearby and accepts resupply packages.

Once on trail you’ll pass by the beautiful Little Molas Lake. Expect to see people here as you can drive to this lake. There is also a campground and trailhead here. Continuing on, the trail climbs gently into the San Juan Mountains where you’ll be met by stunning views all around. Unlike the previous segments, the terrain here has a more subdued, verdant and serene feel. Mountainsides and valleys are covered in green and the trail is smooth as it skirts up and around the hills and provides views of the rolling terrain below.

The trail eventually climbs past a meadow of wildflowers as it makes its way to a pass. Just before the pass are two trail junctions, one of which leads to Engineer Mountain - an iconic peak in the area. After the pass, the trail then descends into a valley where you’ll find several small waterfalls and the aptly named Cascade Creek. There is also a memorial plaque for Gudy Gaskill here, the well known “Mother of the Colorado Trail.”

After climbing out of the valley, the trail continues to skirt around mountainous terrain and toward Celebration Lake. Although still beautiful, this portion of the segment isn’t as spectacular as the first half. When the trail joins a dirt road you’ll know that the end of segment 25 is near. The small Celebration Lake and Bolam Pass Road make it official.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Amazing scenery and mountain vistas.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

10,883.00 ft (3,317.14 m)

Highest point

12,441.00 ft (3,792.02 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Big vistas
Big Game Watching
Wildflowers
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

Yes

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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