Doc Holliday's Grave

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 1 mile
Difficulty: Easy - moderate
Elevation: 5890 - 6131 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Pioneer Cemetery
Fee: none
Attractions: Doc Holiday and Kid Curry graves




View Pioneer Cemetery in a larger map

John Henry 'Doc' Holliday is buried in the Linwood Pioneer Cemetery on a hillside overlooking the town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Doc Holliday is best known for his involvement with Wyatt Earp, in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, in Tombstone, Arizona but he had travelled to Glenwood Springs in hopes that the mineral water would provide some relief to his tuberculosis. The body of Kid Curry, an outlaw from the days of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, is also interned at the cemetery. The town of Glenwood Springs now owns the cemetery and maintains the foot trail leading to it.


The trailhead is located at the corner of 12th Street and Bennett Avenue which is several blocks east of Grand Avenue, the main north-south route through Glenwood Springs. From Grand Avenue turn east on either 11th or 13th as 12th is not a through street.


The town of Glenwood Springs has done a good job erecting kiosks and plaques that provide the information necessary to bring the history of the cemetery to life.


The trail climbs an old road, gaining about 250 feet in elevation, from the trailhead to the cemetery. The trail is open to only hiking. The sign at the trailhead rates the hike as moderately strenuous but for anyone that is accustomed to hiking around here the short distance and meager elevation change will feel more like an easy effort.


Several benches give the less active hikers and those that just aren't in that much of a hurry a place to rest and take in the beautiful scenery that Glenwood Springs is a part of.


At the time of this post the trail and cemetery were getting a makeover with nice split rails replacing the older fencing.


The trail reaches the top of the hill between the cemetery and an area designated as Potters Field. Back in the day it was customary to have a separate graveyard for paupers, prostitutes, ne'er-do-wells and anyone else that you wanted to discriminate against.


The exact location within the cemetery of Doc Holliday's grave is unknown. The records from that period of time are lost and his original grave marker, which may have been made of wood, can no longer be found. As he was mostly destitute at the time of his death, because his health was too poor for him to work any longer, he may have, it is speculated, been buried in the Potter's Field section of the cemetery. Even though his grave is unknown his name is legendary and now as always he is remembered anytime stories of the old west are told.


Whereas Doc Holliday was a legendary gunslinger, Kid Curry was nothing more than an outlaw. His real name was Harvey Alexander Logan. He died by taking his own life after being wounded during a train robbery near the town of Parachute, Colorado, about 45 miles west of Glenwood Springs.


Kid Curry rode with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid's infamous 'Wild Bunch' gang and can be seen with them in this photo that was taken in 1901. Their names appear together in several journals left by local ranchers and cowhands. One of those old timers, who has since passed, gave us directions to one of their hideouts that was inside of a dirt cave, or overhang, hidden by tall sagebrush. We found a cupboard, various cooking vessels and a few other odds and ends. It was similar in nature to the Cave Spring cowboy camp in Canyonlands National Park. The hideout was on their land but like most of the ranchers of the time they left the gang alone and didn't raise too much of a fuss when they butchered the occasional steer.


Glenwood Springs has a lot to offer visitors besides Doc Holliday's grave. They have the world's largest hot springs pool, the Vapor Caves, that were a favorite of the Ute Chief Ouray and his wife Chipeta, skiing, rafting and world class hikes like the Hanging Lake trail.


Hats off to the town of Glenwood for doing a good job in preserving an important part of America's past. As an added bonus it doesn't cost anything to go see it. For those of us that grew up on stories of the old west and have been to Tombstone, to watch actors playing the parts of the Earps and Doc Holliday as they reenacted the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, making a visit to Doc Holliday's grave helps to complete the picture of the time. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.