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Hunchback Pass Trail to Elk Creek Trail

Basics
Location:
Northeast of Durango
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
6 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
3 to 4 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
12500 feet
Elevation Change:
1300 feet
Season:
Summer - Fall

Description

Trail #'s 813 & 503

From Hunchback Pass the trail descends 800 feet in less than a mile as it intersects with the Beartown Trailhead. There are several mines in the area but very few people. The trail to Kite Lake (#813) is recommended as you climb back up to join briefly with the Colorado Trail and Continental Divide Trail. At approx. mile 2.5 you will leave the Continental Divide Trail, heading south and then west on trail #503.

The alpine meadows are full of blooming wildflowers in late July and in August. This area provides excellent views and photographic possibilities. Water can be found off the trail in most of the tributaries, but due to Giardia it should be filtered. As with all high-altitude areas, storms can move in rapidly, bringing severe wind, lightning, rain, snow, or hail—at any time of the year. Plan accordingly.

Details

Location:
Northeast of Durango
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
6 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
3 to 4 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
12500
Elevation Change:
1300
Season:
Summer - Fall
Useful Map(s):
USGS Quad: Storm King Peak

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

1)Vallecito Creek Trail to Hunchback Pass—roughly 17 miles from the Vallecito Campground. (Please refer to the trail sheet description of Vallecito Creek to Hunchback Pass #539)

2) Needleton through Chicago Basin, over Columbine Pass to Johnson Creek Trail—17 miles, then Vallecito Creek Trail to Hunchback Pass—9.4 miles. (Please refer to the trail sheet describing Needle Creek Trail to Johnson Creek #504, and Vallecito Creek Trail from Johnson Creek to Hunchback Pass #529.)


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