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The Coal Creek Trail climbs up through fairly steep terrain, passing through a predominately coniferous forest. There are occasional breaks in the trees that offer scenic views of the West Needles. The last section of the trail is blaze-posted to make it visible as it crosses swampy terrain. The trail never comes close to Coal Creek but the Engineer Mountain Trail. The trail crosses the creek at timberline. The Coal Creek Trail offers several possibilities for doing loop trails utilizing trails in the same area.

Directions: From Durango, Colorado, Take U.S. Highway 550 for approximately 37 miles north of Durango. Park in the dirt pullout just past the first hairpin turn after Coal Bank Pass. The trail leads uphill from the north side of the road. A sign marks the Coal Creek trailhead.

Elevation: 10,200 feet

Ending Elevation: 11,600 feet

Elevation Gain: 1,400 feet

Usage: Moderate

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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