Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,897.00 ft (578.21 m)
Trail type
Shuttle
Distance
21.50 mi (34.60 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 28.

 

Colorado Trail Segment 28

Kennebec Trailhead to Junction Creek Trailhead

 

Ah segment 28, the final stretch of the Colorado Trail. For thru-hikers heading south this segment is one of excitement and joy, likely mixed with a hint of sadness on behalf of the journey that is about to come to an end. For section hikers this segment is located close to Durango and, if starting from Kennebec Trailhead, mostly downhill. Note that, as per usual, a 4x4 vehicle is recommended for reaching the trailhead.

From Kennebec Trailhead the CT climbs briefly to Kennebec Pass, the last pass of the Colorado Trail. There are some good views from here, and just to the south you’ll notice an old abandoned mine. This is Muldoon Mine and is accessible via a short side trail.

Continuing onward the Colorado Trail descends steeply, crosses a road, and eventually finds its way down to a gulch and the Flagler Fork Stream. The trail continues to follow this stream and passes by a lovely waterfall before finally crossing the Flagler Fork near Walls Gulch. The trail then heads abruptly uphill and away from the stream until it reaches a high point about 4 miles later. Along the way the trail passes by a few interesting red rock formations.

Once you’ve arrived at the high point, it is almost entirely downhill for the remaining 10 miles. The trail continues through relatively unexciting terrain until a junction with the Dry Fork Trail. Turn left here and follow the Colorado Trail as it climbs slightly uphill. Before long you’ll be back to the regularly scheduled downhill and on your way to Gudy’s Rest, the next point of interest. Gudy’s Rest is named after Gudy Gaskill, the well known “Mother of the Colorado Trail.” There is a bench here and this is the last good vista of the trail.

Segment 28 then descends a pleasant set of switchbacks until it comes to Junction Creek. This is a pretty area, but you are likely to run into crowds of day hikers as it is so close to Durango. Continue along the well worn trail as it follows Junction Creek downstream. In 2.5 miles you’ll arrive at the long awaited Junction Creek Trailhead - the southern terminus of the 485 mile Colorado Trail. If you’ve just finished your thru-hike, congratulations! This trailhead is usually bustling with activity and there should be no problems finding a friendly local willing to give a ride into Durango, just a few miles to the south via road.

The Ultimate
Adventure Maps

Access 650K+ miles of trail data, Offline Maps, GPS Tracking, Waypoint functionality, Outdoor Project Adventures, and more with onX Backcountry. Start your free trial today–no credit card required.

Start Free Trial

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Mostly downhill. Muldoon Mine.

Cons

Not as spectacular as prior segments.

Trailhead Elevation

11,636.00 ft (3,546.65 m)

Highest point

11,760.00 ft (3,584.45 m)

Features

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

Typically multi-day

Yes

Suitable for

Horseback
Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.