Monday, July 27, 2020
Colorado Trail Southern Terminus – Junction Creek Campground
Ian, Court, Biff, Finn
Cool, partly cloudy, mid 50s
We took a road trip to Colorado with the dogs to escape the monotony of Covid life. What a strange time we are living through.
After driving to Santa Fe the first night (that’s a long drive) we drove up through Pagosa Springs to a campround at Junction Creek, just outside of Durango.
Here’s my Australian nature show video as we unpack the car.
This also happens to be where the southern terminus of the Colorado Trail is located. I made reservations at the campground a few months back without knowing this is where the 486 mile trail from Denver ends. This is now the 3rd southern terminus I have visited of the longer trails. PCT, AT, and now CT.
After breaking camp and loading up the car, we drove the few hundred yards down to the trail head. We actually started about half a mile in on the trail, but went to visit the actual terminus at the end of the hike. The crisp morning mountain air was such a nice contrast to the heat of Texas that is in the annual blast furnace phase back home.
The trail followed the north side of the valley formed by Junction Creek and then dipped down to cross it on a wooden bridge. After crossing to the other side, we were confronted by a series of switchbacks that brought us up to the top of the south side and a spectacular view at Gudy’s Rest.
On the way up, we came across two sets of thru hikers that were about to finish their long journey that started all the way back in Denver several weeks earlier! I got all jazzed about thru hiking again after seeing how dirty, tired, and yet supremely happy and satisfied these trekkers were. Such an accomplishment.
At Gudy’s Rest we sat on a log and ate a late breakfast that Court had packed of sandwiches and trail mix while we enjoyed the view down the valley back towards Durango.
After getting back to the trail head, we drove down to the actual terminus and got a quick photo before hitting Starbucks and driving through the mountains to Telluride, via Silverton and Ouray.