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Hike Goulding Creek

Durango, Colorado

4.0/5
based on 1 reviews

Details

Distance

5.9 miles

Elevation Gain

2122 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Jenna Mulligan

After a steep ascent, this trail has meadows, views of the Animas Valley, and connects with the larger Hermosa Creek trail network.

This trailhead is only about 15 miles from Durango on Highway 550. Look out for Glacier Club/Tamarron on your right, and soon after (about a mile) there is a small dirt turn-off on the opposite side of the highway. There is one other turn off on the west side of the highway in this stretch, but it's paved! Pass that and look for dirt.

Once on the dirt road, you should see a small wooden sign for Goulding Trail. Take a left when you come to a T in the road and you’ll find the trailhead parking lot - this road is bumpy, but low clearance vehicles will be fine, as long as you drive slowly.

The trail heads west from the parking lot and gives you a quarter mile warmup before starting a series of steep switchbacks that send you immediately into a sweaty, breathless existence. You’ll climb about 1,400 vertical feet in the mile and a half of incline, and you will guiltlessly drink beer and eat burritos tonight. At the top of this part of the incline, there is a green metal gate that you'll pass through - be sure to close this behind you!

The trail leads above the Hermosa cliffs and poises you for a great view across the Animas Valley. It then continues at a moderate uphill along Goulding Creek, which, in the early summer, usually is rushing with very cold runoff. There are sometimes a few patches of snow that hide in the shady banks of the creek, late into June.

For just over a mile, this narrow trail of packed dirt passes through several aspen groves, patches of pine forest, and opens into meadows. This leads to a log cabin and corral, both of which are moderately intact despite decades and decades of weather. I often stop here for a bite to eat among the wildflowers, keeping an eye on the sky, as storms roll in fast at this elevation.

If you continue past the cabin, the Goulding Creek trail will run into the Pinkerton trail, which runs north-south and can be taken all the way south to the Hermosa trailhead. More frequently, I turn around at the cabin and follow the trail back down to the parking lot for a 6 mile hike.

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Features

Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Wildflowers

Reviews

This was a nice hike through the forest. The hike is steep so I could really feel the altitude on this one. There is an old cabin on this route that is really cool to explore

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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