There’s a view of Glenwood Springs that’s hard to beat, and it’s in reach to locals and visitors alike. A trail leads to a series of expansive overlooks, marked by lush greenery, unexpected prayer flags, and an air of Old West mystery. Doc Holliday’s Grave is a hike worth doing—an experience that captures the essence of the historic mountain town.
Who is Doc Holliday?
Often considered Glenwood Springs‘ most famous outlaw, Doc Holliday was a dentist-turned-gunslinger and gambler, best known for his role in the law-breaking events surrounding the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
Holliday had an infamous reputation as a sharp-shooter and has been depicted in movies and books throughout popular culture, played by various actors including Kirk Douglas, Adam West, Val Kilmer, and Dennis Quaid, among others. He is one of the most recognizable figures in tales of the American Old West, and is typically remembered via his relationship to fellow outlaw Wyatt Earp.
Holliday contracted tuberculosis and made his way to Glenwood Springs in 1887, hoping that the geothermal hot springs waters would heal him. He died shortly after, however; on his deathbed, Holliday asked a nurse for a shot of whiskey. After being denied, his last words were, “This is funny.”
A grave and memorial site is dedicated to Holliday in Linwood Cemetary, overlooking the city of Glenwood Springs.
The trailhead that leads to Doc Holliday’s Grave, also known as Pioneer Cemetary Trail, is a quick uphill jaunt with sweeping views of Glenwood Springs. Best in the summer and fall seasons, this hike takes visitors up the mountainside on a wide dirt path.
Along the way, there are benches and plenty of scenic spots to pause, catch your breath (it’s a steady incline throughout), and take photos of the surrounding beauty. There is a tree on the trail that’s covered in colorful ribbons, known as “Annie’s Wishing Tree.”
At the top, hikers are able to explore the cemetery and seek out historic graves, such as Kid Curry and Doc Holliday, of course. There are informational signs sprinkled throughout, revealing local history and lore. Paying respect to the infamous gunslinger is a definite draw to the hike, and adds to the overall experience.
- Quick; have done it on my lunch break before
- A good workout with a nice incline
- Scenic views
- Not super busy
- Feel safe enough to do by myself
- Lots of signage, benches, and historical information
- Visitor friendly—would take any out of town guests
- Can get a little busy during peak seasons
- Have to rely on street parking at the trailhead
- Feels a little weird taking photos at a cemetery
My Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars
Length: 0.7 miles round trip
Hiking notes: Beware of mud in the spring season and heed the signs warning not to throw anything off the side of the trail.
As always, enjoy the sunshine from up here.