Historic Highline to the Shark’s Tooth

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Historic Highline to the Shark’s Tooth

Perfect time to visit well-made trail with wildflowers booming
Thomas Ward and Betsey and Rich Butler stand on Bear Creek Pass. Sharkstooth Pass is seen to the west. It is in the saddle between Centennial Peak and Sharkstooth Peak.
Sharkstooth Trail is a section of the Historic Highline Loop. Beside the trail, a long-weathered sign warns of unstable rock. And yet everything is in its place as the path threads through a substantial talus field.
Members of the Durango hiking club Seniors Outdoors rest on Sharkstooth Pass. Behind them is notorious Sharkstooth Peak.
Blazes carved long ago on Engelmann spruce guide hikers as they circle Bear Creek Basin.
From the Kennebec Pass Trailhead, walk west on the Colorado Trail to Taylor Lake. Go south on the Sharkstooth Trail and then west to Bear Creek Pass. Circle the head of Bear Creek Basin. Climb west to Sharkstooth Pass, located between Centennial Peak and Sharkstooth Peak.
Travel Basics

Travel: In a four-wheel-drive vehicle with good clearance and sturdy tires, from the U.S. 160/550 intersection in Durango, travel 11 miles west on U.S. Highway 160 to Hesperus. Turn right on La Plata Canyon Road, County Road 124. Zero-out your trip meter. After passing the hamlet of Mayday, the road turns to dirt at 4.6 miles. At 12.1 miles, the road splits. Proceed straight on Forest Service Road 571 toward Kennebec Pass. Park in the large parking lot at 14.2 miles.
Distance and Elevation Gain: 12.4 miles; 2,850 feet of climbing
Time: 5½ to 7 hours
Difficulty: Trail; navigation easy; no exposure
Map: La Plata, Colorado 7.5 Quad, USGS or Apogee Mapping

Historic Highline to the Shark’s Tooth

Thomas Ward and Betsey and Rich Butler stand on Bear Creek Pass. Sharkstooth Pass is seen to the west. It is in the saddle between Centennial Peak and Sharkstooth Peak.
Sharkstooth Trail is a section of the Historic Highline Loop. Beside the trail, a long-weathered sign warns of unstable rock. And yet everything is in its place as the path threads through a substantial talus field.
Members of the Durango hiking club Seniors Outdoors rest on Sharkstooth Pass. Behind them is notorious Sharkstooth Peak.
Blazes carved long ago on Engelmann spruce guide hikers as they circle Bear Creek Basin.
From the Kennebec Pass Trailhead, walk west on the Colorado Trail to Taylor Lake. Go south on the Sharkstooth Trail and then west to Bear Creek Pass. Circle the head of Bear Creek Basin. Climb west to Sharkstooth Pass, located between Centennial Peak and Sharkstooth Peak.
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