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Dutch Creek Trail

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Basics
Location:
North of Durango
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
19.4 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
10 to 11 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
10200 feet
Elevation Change:
-2200 feet
Season:
Summer - Fall

Description

From access #1, the Dutch Creek Trail starts high and ends low. For the first few miles basically it follows a ridgeline at 10,000 ft. Within 3.5 miles, the trail tops out in open meadows with wide-ranging views to both the east and west. To the west, one can see out over the width of the Hermosa country for a clear view of the La Platas. To the east, one can see the Needle Mountains. Coming down off the ridge, the trail becomes obscure in places, dropping down into Stag Draw. Within two miles, the trail intercepts Dutch Creek and an accessible water supply. Grassy hillsides and a few, fairly open parks along Dutch Creek have the best campsites. Once the trail breaks off at Dutch Creek, access to either water or grazing becomes limited.

Location:
North of Durango
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
19.4 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
10 to 11 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
10200
Elevation Change:
-2200
Season:
Summer - Fall
Useful Map(s):
USGS Quads: Electra Lake, Elk Creek, Hermosa, Monu
Basic Directions

1)Elbert Creek Road (FDR #581) above DMR, accessible from Hermosa Park Road (FDR #578) off U.S. 550, 26 miles north of Durango, just north of DMR entrance. Follow road to first major turn-off and take a left (FDR #581). Follow FDR #581 just over 8 miles to the trailhead.

2)Take Hwy. 550 north 10 miles to Hermosa, turn west on C.R. #201, and keep right. The road will become FDR #576. Follow for about 3 miles. The trailhead, on the north side of the road, has adequate parking.

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