Part of High Country Trails.
The Ruby Drainage Traverse Trail is at and above the treeline, providing great views of the valley below. At about 1.5 miles, the trail begins climbing up and out of the Ruby Creek drainage. This part of the trail may require some routefinding, but the way is generally marked by cairns. The trail eventually crosses over a ridgeline and connects with Columbine Lake Trail #509 for the remainder of the way up to the lake.
This alternative route to Lake Columbine bypasses the steep switchbacks on the Columbine Lake Trail #509. This trail is generally above the treeline, so the views are much better than the trail up from Route 550.
Coming from the east, off of Route 550, you would not need a high clearance 4×4 vehicle to access the trailhead. But if you come up from the west, across the pass, you would need a high clearance 4×4. The turn for the road to the trailhead is just below the parking for OPUS Hut. Follow the an unnamed dead-end road east. You can park along the road near the trailhead.
Information from hikingproject.com.
Map & Directions
Map Coordinates: 37.851007, -107.757086
Where's the Trailhead?
dIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD
From Durango, head north on 550 for approximately 52 miles, then turn left on Forest Rd 679.
From this route, you would not need a high clearance 4×4 vehicle to access the trailhead. The trailhead can also be accessed from the west, over Ophir Pass, however you would need a high clearance 4×4 from this side.
The turn for the road to the trailhead is just below the parking for OPUS Hut. Follow the an unnamed dead-end road east. You can park along the road near the trailhead.
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