|Elevation Gain||285 ft|
|My Time||29 min|
Doc Holiday’s Grave
Whether you were a child of the 1990’s or alive in the 1880’s or anywhere in between you know the legend of Doc Holiday. Doc, immortalized by Val Kilmer in the movie Tombstone, was one of the west’s most famous names. But by visiting Doc Holiday’s grave you learn that the end was not as colorful as his life.
Ok this is a hiking blog so first the hike then the history. The trail is about a half mile to get up to the cemetery and the trail is actually pretty hard. The cemetery is set on hill above the city. There are some great views on your way up.
The trail actually touches on a 28% grade so it is seriously steep although it is short. Take your time and bring some water. Once you get to the top of the hill the cemetery flattens out and the hike becomes pretty simple.
Doc Holiday was gambler, gun fighter and he was friends with Wyatt Earp. Doc made his name with the events surrounding the OK Corral. He also did some dentistry from time to time which is how he earned his nickname Doc. He was diagnosed with tuberculosis and moved out west because the dry, warmer weather was supposed to help.
While out west he was accused of many crimes and had warrants out for murder and other crimes but he seemingly avoided any major jail time. He died in Glenwood Springs at the age of 36. There are questions of where Doc is buried. He died broke and the most common thought is that he was buried in Potter’s hill. A sort of mass burial section of the graveyard for those who couldn’t afford a plot and stone.
While there is a memorial stone set up for Doc at the Linwood/Pioneer cemetery he most likely isn’t buried there. At this make shift memorial people have left items like playing cards, coins, empty whisky bottles in memorial. Further Proof that Doc isn’t really resting here is a secondary plaque.
There is another story that claims that since Doc died in the winter and the ground was frozen he was never buried at all. Instead his father claimed his body and had him buried next to him in Georgia. I like the rumors and history and uncertainty a little more than if I knew the whole truth. Thanks to Wikipedia for filling in some of these blanks for me!
For me there is still no better line an movie than this:
Doc isn’t the only famous outlaw to make their final resting place in Glenwood Springs. Kid Curry, who’s real name was Harvey Logan, was famous for running with Butch Cassidy and the infamous Wild Bunch. They were gunslingers, bank and train robbers and outlaws.
There are some questions about his death with some people think that they killed the wrong man and Kid actually escaped and moved to South America. A body was buried under an alias that Curry was alleged to use in the Potter’s Field. The body was then exhumed to prove that it was Curry.
Again, I prefer the mystery, myth and stories to the truth some times!
Elevation and Distance
If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around 1.24 miles and had a total elevation gain of about 285 feet including undulations. That put the high point at around 6,158 feet. I was also moving for a total of 29 minutes.
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This was actually a harder walk than I was expecting. The road to get to the top of the trail gets pretty steep with some grades getting as high as 27%. I’m not going to lie I was huffing and puffing a bit by the time I got to the top and the entrance to the cemetery. This is not a paved or easy walk to the memorials so make sure you are prepared, bring some water, and take your time.
To get to the the memorial site you will have to walk up a rocky dirt road. The paths through the cemetery are an easier dirt path. Getting there can be a challenge so make sure you have a decent pair of shoes to make it up the hike.
The path to the cemetery is located in a residential area in Glenwood Springs located at Bennett Avenue and 12th St. Ditch. There is some street parking available but no restroom facilites.
Wrapping up Doc Holliday’s Grave
So this is one of the moments of Americana that I just couldn’t pass up. The hike is a short and steep trip up the road and if you can make it is worth it. It is fascinating to me that even in death these two outlaws are still wrapped in mystery.
This is a quick stop and if you are headed through Glenwood Springs it might be a fun little stop for you. Just make sure you are prepared for the hill!
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