Trail Name: Burnt Timber Trail
Location: N.E. of Durango, Colorado
Date: September 13, 2012
Time at the Trail Head: 7:00 am
Trail Length: 9.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,601 feet
Elev. at Trail Head: 8,608 feet
# of Hikers Passed: 1
# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 0
# of Horses Passed: 1
This was a crazy hiking adventure that stated out on the northwest end of the Rio Grand Reservoir, west of Creede, Colorado.
We had done our homework and researched the trail well but there are some things you just don’t know until you reach the trail.
We arrived at the trailhead with high hopes and the area was gorgeous, with the Aspens turning their magnificent yellow but then we notice a warning signs about recent bear attacks in the area. It warned people not to sleep in tents or soft sided campers. Well, you know what we did, we ignored the warning sign and headed up the trail, which really was lost, no matter what the cost.
We were about a half mile into the hike when we heard the distinct sound of a bear and we all froze in our tracks. We quickly turned around and high tailed it out of there.
We did some quick research, but didn’t have the AllTrails App at that time, and decided to head over to a reservoir on the other side of mountains near Durango.
I’m showing the AllTrails map here, but we did not have access to it back in 2012. The area was beautiful and we found an open campground in the San Juan National Forest, with an incredible stream and knew we had made the right choice, as there were no bear warning signs.
Drive to the Trail
The drive though the Colorado from Creed, through Pagosa Springs and on to Durango was spectacular. I wish I had some photos of the drive but instead, I will show you a picture of the original trail we chose at Lost Creek.
Our Day on the Trail
The first afternoon at the trailhead was taken up with setting up our tent and relaxing by the beautiful Florida River. We were the only ones at the camp ground, as it was mid week, and the weather was perfect so we were having a great time.
We decided to hike up the Burnt Timber Trail the next day and were looking forward to some grand views and maybe even a lake or some beautiful locations along the Florida River.
The trail was long but it was a gradual incline and we started to see some nice views.
We continued climbing higher and our dog, Ranger, took every opportunity to get some water. I think he knew what we were oblivious to, and that was we were going to be extremely tired and thirsty on our way back down the mountain.
We started to see some more color in the aspens and the trail still looked promising.
But, the trail kept climbing higher and higher.
You have to remember that we lived in Oklahoma at the time and were not use to hiking at this altitude.
We were getting exhausted and knew we had reached the end of the trail for us flat landers. We took a few more pictures before heading back down the trail, but let me tell you, that was the longest hike back to the campground that I have ever experienced.
Side Note: Our dog and ourselves had really reached the point of complete exhaustion and were putting ourselves in a potentially dangerous situation.
This was a beautiful area to visit but it is an extremely long trail, especially if you’re not use to the area and the altitude. It’s a great horse trail and a trail for more experienced hikers.
This trail eventually leads to some incredible areas of the San Juan National Forest, looking out over some grand views.
We should have planned more appropriately and carried additional water. It would have also been good for us to take some shorter hikes to get use to the altitude before attempting this longer hike.
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I would love to know if you have had any experience on this trail or have other trails you love to hike. Leave a Comment Below or send me an Email.
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Burnt Timber Trail
Lake or Stream Views8.0/10
Well Maintained Trails10.0/10
- Spectacular Drive in the Rockies
- Beautiful Campground
- Gorgeous Florida River
- Well Maintained Trails
- Incredible Mountain Views
- Long Trail
- Best Views Farther Up the Trail