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This spot is used very lightly due to its difficult access and steep switchbacks. Some tent sites are possible.

This "secret" spot is usually frequented by only a few locals due to its isolated location and difficult access. The trail consists of many steep switchbacks, then eases out into the basin below Columbine Lake. A few camp spots are available, but remember to move your tent every two days to protect the fragile tundra. Fishing is possible if you desire a trout dinner. Surrounding mountains should be attempted by experienced climbers only.

Directions: From Durango, Colorado, Approximately 57 miles north of Durango on U.S. Highway 550, turn off on Ophir Pass Road (Federal Development Road #679) Follow this down across Mineral Creek until you come to a turn off to the right. Parking is best here since parking at the immediate trailhead is limited. Follow this old mining road approximately 1 mile to the unmarked trail on the left.

Elevation: 10,200 feet

Ending Elevation: 12,720 feet

Elevation Gain: 2,520 feet

Usage: Light

Difficulty: Strenuous

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San Juan National Forest, Colorado

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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