Colorado Trail – Silverton to Durango – day 3

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | info page

Straight Creek – seasonal Spring

No rain last night. DSCN2062I hadn’t needed to put the fly on the tent!

Mixed forest hiking. Often the Colorado Trail here traverses high on the mountain between alpine meadows and scattered trees. DSCN2068 DSCN2071With more good weather, I’d planned to push hard again and hike perhaps 26mi to Taylor Lake. Otherwise I’d need to stop before the last available water at around 20 miles. DSCN2066I met an older couple from Nebraska riding the Continental Divide over a number of years. They’d camped near the first serious bear scat I’d seen in Colorado. DSCN2079DSCN2070Water is short on this high, ridge walking section. Trail angels had left this behind (empty) … DSCN2076… and somebody up day biking left this. DSCN2095At many downhill fallen logs, I took a short rest. DSCN2080One of the few complaints I have about this trail is road walking. Old mining and logging roads are everywhere.DSCN2074 DSCN2075DSCN2084There are very few motor vehicles, but I’d be happier if they’d route actual trail to avoid them completely.

Signage is quite good. But it’s possible to get lost for short periods of time. Some hiker had taken the time to post this helpful note. DSCN2085The best sections have open views for long periods. DSCN2082 DSCN2083 DSCN2097A lovely day to be walking in the mountains. DSCN2086 DSCN2087 DSCN2101 DSCN2088Wildflowers a constant delight. DSCN2090 DSCN2091 DSCN2099These guys are camped here with motor vehicles. DSCN2093As feared, the skies darkened above the high, exposed ridge I hoped to cross. There’s not much trouble with bears here. But lightning kills hikers every year. DSCN2098When it started to rain about 4pm, I decided to give up my attempt to make it to Taylor Lake.DSCN2104That decision was probably for the best as shinsplints (?) in one leg started to act up. (An old gymnastics injury from my youth.) I’d been pushing too hard with too heavy a pack, I guess.

This would delay my return to Durango by a day. But no big deal. I’d no plane to catch.

Charcoal I’d found on the trail wasn’t actually all that much help getting my fire going. So I cheated with my camp stove. 🙂DSCN2105 DSCN2109 DSCN2110more high resolution photos of day 3

day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | info page

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