It's that time of year again- the snow is falling, the temperatures are dropping, and winter is in full swing. For many of us, that means getting out and enjoying all that Durango has to offer. But it's important to remember that winter recreation has inherent risks and things to remember to help protect our beautiful area.
Before heading outside this winter season around Durango, Colorado make sure you consider the following things to help Care for Durango and keep yourself safe while exploring:
We love Durango and want to keep it clean and beautiful for everyone to enjoy. When heading out into nature, please remember to pack out all of your trash- including things like candy wrappers and toilet paper. Disposing of waste properly not only helps keep our areas clean but also helps prevent the spread of disease.
Know and respect the leash laws for the areas you're exploring. It varies based on the location!
In addition, please pick up your pet’s waste and carry it out of the area.
Don't leave your poop bags at the trailhead! There are dog bags available for free at many of Durango's trailheads and at many local businesses.
Be sure to know and follow the proper trail etiquette: be considerate of other users, yield to uphill traffic, control your speed, leash pets (when required), etc.
Please be mindful of your noise level, especially early in the morning or later in the evening when people may be trying to enjoy the peace and quiet of the trails. This includes not using portable or backpack speakers.
In the Durango area, we're fortunate to have a healthy population of black bears. While these animals are generally afraid of humans, they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or become accustomed to humans.
To avoid an encounter with a bear, please make sure to properly store your food and trash (in a bear-proof container if possible), never leave food or trash out in the open, and don't approach or try to feed bears.
Please do not approach or feed wildlife. Not only is it dangerous for you, but it's also harmful to animals.
Never approach a wild animal, no matter how tame it may seem.
Moose look cute, but trust us, they do not want to be pet!
There are many closures in place throughout Durango for various reasons- to protect sensitive wildlife habitat, to prevent the spread of disease, or because the area is simply too dangerous to access during the winter season.
Please be sure to check for any closures before heading out and respect all posted signs and barriers.
Durango sits at a pretty high elevation and 6,512 feet and it goes up very quickly! Molas Pass, just a mere hour's drive from Durango sits at 10,800 feet!
Make sure to drink plenty of water, rest often, and pace yourself when hiking or recreating at high altitudes. If you feel any symptoms of altitude sickness- headache, nausea, lightheadedness, etc.- please descend to a lower elevation and seek medical attention if necessary.
Watch your alcohol consumption as well!
There are many areas around Durango that are susceptible to avalanches. Please check the avalanche forecast with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center before heading out and make sure you have the proper equipment and knowledge if you're planning on venturing into any of these areas.
If you're uncomfortable or familiar with avalanche terrain, please stick to lower-elevation trails.
Better safe than sorry! Avalanches are not to be underestimated!
During the winter, the weather in Durango can be pretty unpredictable. We can have days where it's sunny and 60 degrees one day, and then a few days later it's snowing and 20 degrees.
Please be sure to check the forecast before heading out and dress appropriately for the conditions. It's always better to err on the side of caution.