Silverpick Lodge

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Spud Lake Trail
Spud Lake Trail
This is an easy one mile hike to a nice mountain lake. Fishing is good and the scenery is superb. To get to this wonderful spot, drive north from Durango Mountain, past Cascade Village, to the big hairpin curve. Turn right just past the curve on Lime Creek Road. Drive about three miles on the dirt road until you come to a beaver pond on the right. About 100 yards past the pond you will see a sign on your left indicating the trail to Spud Lake. Start here and enjoy your hike.
Castle Rock Trail
Castle Rock Trail
This is a great hike with a spectacular view as your reward. The trail switchbacks up the front of the Hermosa Cliffs through a dense aspen forest. Eventually you will come out of the trees and see a quaint log cabin. The cabin is used by a local rancher in the summer while his cattle are out on the range. This is a beautiful place for a rest stop. About 100 yards past the cabin the trail will split; one fork goes straight and continues up the valley. The other climbs up the side of the valley. This is the trail you want. The split in the trail is not very distinct, so keep looking for the trail on your right. After the intersection, you will wind through pine forests until you reach the top of Castle Rock. From here the view is spectacular, looking down on Haviland and Electra Lakes. The trail tends to get vague as you near the cliffs. As you come out of the trees into an open meadow, the cliff is on the skyline to the right. This trail is about 3 miles one way so expect quite a lot of gain and loss of altitude. To get to the trailhead, go south from Silverpick Lodge 3 miles to Needles Country Store. The trailhead is just south of the store at the cattle corral.
Engineer Mountain Trail
Engineer Mountain Trail
This trail is a little longer than the Pass Creek Trail, but it is well worth the effort, with spectacular views in all directions. You will probably be sharing this trail with some cows. To get to the trailhead, drive north from the Lodge about 3.5 miles. You will be looking for a dirt road on your left just below the runaway truck ramp. Often times there is no Forest Service sign indicating the road. There may be a gate at the head of the road, if closed, park where you can. The trail starts down the road a little ways on your right. Look for sign indicating the trailhead. The trail winds up through the meadows below Engineer Mountain through beautiful aspen groves, into deep spruce and pine forests. This hike is about 3 miles up to the base of the mountain. From here, if you wish, you may climb up the southeast ridge of the mountain to the top. There is a somewhat defined trail up the ridge. Be aware that you will be scrambling up through rocks and boulder with some exposure on a very steep ridge. Caution is recommended.
Pass Creek Trail
Pass Creek Trail
This trail has a great high altitude start at the top of Coal Bank Pass, north of the Lodge about 9 miles. The trailhead is on the west side of the highway just before you start down the pass. The trail winds up through thick pine and spruce forests ending up in a series of mountain meadows full of colorful wild flowers. This trail joins the Engineer Mountain Trail just above tree line. From this junction you may bear left down Engineer Mountain Trail or turn right and continue around Engineer Mountain, bearing left, to the Engine Creek Trail and back down to Cascade Creek for a full day of strenuous walking. The Pass Creek Trail is the quickest access up Engineer Mountain. Because of the high altitude and the exposure of this climb, an early start is recommended to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms.
General Info
This list of hiking trails was researched and compiled by Kim Morton, and represents only a fraction of the hiking opportunities available near the Silverpick Lodge. The following trails are located in the San Juan National forest and were picked for their proximity to the Lodge and the scenic value. The trails are given in order of their difficulty, starting with the easiest. Enjoy your hike!
Purgatory Flats Trail
This is a delightful trail that winds down through a beautiful aspen forest alongside Purgatory Creek. The trail begins directly across from the entrance to the Resort and between the lake and Black Bear Townhomes. You may park at the trailhead or at the restaurant. The trail drops quickly to Purgatory Flats, an open grassy valley one mile below the highway. At the north end of the valley and upstream, Lime Creek and Cascade Creek converge. These are beautiful streams, with good trout fishing. Near the confluence of these streams is an old mining site with the remains of a log cabin. Continuing downstream you will enter Cascade Canyon. From this point, you are approximately three miles from the Animas river, where, if your timing is right, you can wave to the people on the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Train. But remember it's uphill all the way back. This is a moderately difficult hike, with a fair amount of altitude loss and gain.
Cascade Creek Trail
This is a nice rambling hike up the Cascade Creek Valley. Cascade Creek derives its name from its many cascading falls. To get to this trailhead, drive north past Cascade Village. Just past the hairpin curve, turn left. Drive along this road until just before the flume. Park by the weather tower unless you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Start hiking along the rough dirt road. Along the way you will pass privately owned cabins. The road continues for about a mile and will end about 1/4 mile past the metal gate. Look for the trail on your right along the creek. From here it's about two miles to the first big waterfall. This is Engine Creek Falls. In the meadow following these falls to your right will be Engine Creek Trail. Continue straight ahead along the main trail. From this point the trail stair-steps from meadow to meadow. At each stair-step will be another waterfall. To see some of them you have to leave the trail and head toward the sound of the water cascading over the falls. The fishing is good and the views spectacular. Just walk as far as you want and turn and come back.
Rainbow. Access by jeep, foot or horseback. Forebay is a very small lake formed by the flume that carries water from Electra Lake to the power station down on the Animas. It is located about a mile behind Haviland Lake and is accessed through the Haviland Lake
Hermosa Creek Trail
This is a pleasant hike that follows the Hermosa Creek. The trail eventually ends up at the town of Hermosa, halfway between Durango and Purgatory. The entire trail is over 20 miles in distance, however, you may walk any distance down the trail and return the same way. This trail is part of the old stage coach road from Durango to Silverton. These days it has become a popular mountain bike trail. To get to this trailhead, drive to the north end of Durango Mountain's main parking lot. Follow the Hermosa Park Forest Service Road #578 eight miles to the trailhead on your left. There is a gate at the trailhead. Note that the main road continues up to Bolom Pass and Hotel Draw and Rico.
Crater Lake Trail
This is a spectacular 10 mile round trip high altitude hike. Drive north of Purgatory over Coal Bank Pass and on up to the Andrews Lake sign just south of the Molas Pass Summit. Turn right into Andrews Lake and park at the end of the road. The trail starts at the dam and switches back up through reforested pine until it reaches a bench beneath the imposing summit of Snowden Peak. From here the trail rambles south through conifers and meadows until it reaches Crater Lake at the base of North Twilight Climb to the saddle on the far side of the lake and be rewarded with views of the Needles Mountains. Plan a full day and take a lunch, plenty of water and rain gear.