Because every forest in New Mexico has been closed most of the summer due to fires, we have gotten our camping ‘fix’ in nearby Colorado. One weekend we packed up the family and headed north to Durango.
We stopped and set up camp at the Lower Hermosa Creek Trail. It is about 14 miles northwest of Durango and is a free 20 site camping area. It has bathrooms and is the perfect mid-point to the town of Durango, Purgatory, or Silverton. We stopped and hiked at many different places on our trip. One such place is called Cascade Creek Falls.
This is a steep trail for about 200 yards and then you hike in the water the rest of the way. The water is cold and refreshing and you get to cliff jump your way down a series of about 8 cliffs to the bottom.
It was a lot of fun but we had to leave my son with my in-laws as he was too little to hike the entire trail. He did the first part of it to the first cliff and that was all. The jumps were about 6 feet except for the last one. That one was about 10 feet. There was also a ‘rock slide’ you had to go down which was a lot of fun. Cascade Creek is about 2 miles north of Purgatory Ski Resort. You can’t miss it, it is right along a giant curve. One note of caution I would like to mention is that once you jump off of the first cliff you have to continue and make the commitment to finish. There is no going back at that point because the canyon is steep and there isn’t a trail until you get to finish.
Another stop we made was at Pinkerman hot springs. This amazing site is along the highway up to Cascade Creek. The water is warm and smells a little like Iron. Hence, the color of the rock. We stopped there because there was a geo-cache hidden near there. We had a great time exploring new places we had not been before.