Route: Cimmarrona - CDT- Williams Creek Loop (CO)

Submitted by samlab on Mon, 10/12/2020 - 02:30pm
Colorado, US
22.5 mi
Vertical Gain
5,000 ft

This route seemed logical to me, the Cimarrona and Williams Creek trailheads are less than a mile apart on a Forest Service road 30 miles from Pagosa Springs.  Both trails go uphill to the CDT (Continental Divide Trail) with about 4 miles on the CDT between those points.  I started at the WC trailhead, then up Cimarrona, right turn on the CDT, right turn onto Williams Creek trail, and back to the start, 22.5 miles.  About 5K vert with 2 major passes.  All of the expected flora and fauna variation between 8K and 11K in elevation.  The aspens were golden but the meadows were baked brown, unlike when I ran these trails in late June and it was green and lush.  Both of the trails follow creeks and there are multiple crossings.  The CDT portion of the route offers huge views on either side of the divide and along the San Juan range, with long valleys and, sadly, stands of beetle-kill pine.