Geyser Spring Trail – Dolores, Colorado - Atlas Obscura

Geyser Spring Trail

Colorado's only true geyser is hidden within the San Juan National Forest. 


This geyser won’t shoot high in the air like Old Faithful, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. It may not put on much of a show, but the geyser is still worth seeking out nonetheless. 

According to the United States Forest Service, it’s the only true geyser in Colorado. If you hang around for a while, you’ll likely see it erupt—meaning you’ll start to see it roil over the sides of the pool and spill a little into the creek.

Because it’s secluded within the mountains of the San Juan National Forest, you won’t have to worry about fighting through the crowds that flock to other more famous geysers, and you are likely to have it all to yourself. As such, hiking to this watery gem feels like stumbling upon a secret, safely guarded within the woods.

A newly constructed bridge will take you across the river to an easy trail through the woods (2.5 miles, 500 feet of elevation gain), slowly climbing up the hillside amid the smell of sulfur from hidden vents scattered in the woods. But don’t worry: it’s not an overwhelming stink.

You’ll descend down a small hill and see a sign marking the geyser, if the bright turquoise waters don’t give it away first. Don’t hang around too long or soak in it, as the hydrogen sulfide the gurgling water emits is toxic.

Know Before You Go

The GPS coordinates lead to the trailhead. As long as the snow has melted, any car should be able to handle the gravel road to the trailhead. From the town of Dolores, head east on Highway 145 for 12 miles to the junction of NFSR (National Forest Service Road) #535. Turn left and travel 23.3 miles. The parking area is on the right side NFSR #535 (this is a new trailhead). The trailhead is 2.2 miles south of the town of Dunton.

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