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Purgatory Animas River, CO
mini location map2016-07-02
13 by photographer avatarchumley
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Purgatory Animas River, CO 
Purgatory Animas River, CO
 
Hiking avatar Jul 02 2016
chumley
Hiking12.81 Miles 2,400 AEG
Hiking12.81 Miles   5 Hrs   29 Mns   2.69 mph
2,400 ft AEG      43 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
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clairebear
John9L
Another rainy day in the San Juans :y:

We opted for a trip to the river via Purgatory 511, and then Animas 675 upstream a couple of miles. In an ideal world, we would have gone all the way to Needleton, but that would have made it about a 20-mile out-n-back, which wasn't in the cards for today.

After pushing through soaking grass on Friday, we were happy that Purg 511 was a popular double-wide trail which allowed for dry feet. Decent views over the West Needles on the way down, and a very pleasant valley at Purgatory Flat. There was a surprising amount of uphill as the trail descended toward the Animas. The rain began when we got to the river, and kept going sporadically for the rest of the hike.

The river corridor is outside of wilderness boundary and it was interesting that there were some picnic tables set up at the numerous (and excellent!) dispersed campsites here. We missed the train passing, but spent a few minutes investigating the tracks and bridge before heading upstream on the very pleasant Animas River Trail 675 (which is different from the Animas River Trail that runs through downtown Durango).

Knowing that we were not going to make it all the way to Needleton, we turned around and made the return trip back the same way we came.

I had been interested in checking out the trail that heads up the north side of Cascade Creek to an old mining prospect, but was unsure if there would be a safe crossing back to the trail side so decided not to try. The trail cut is evident looking across canyon, but it looks like there would be no way to continue upstream and connect without hiking in the creek, which was not an option due to level of water flow today. Oh well, maybe next time!
Flora
Flora
Quaking Aspen
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