Durango Blog

Durango Blog

Welcome to the official blog of Durango.org. We hope to inspire you to make your Durango visit truly unique. Get ideas of places to see, things to eat and paths to explore. We would love to hear your feedback! What do you want to know about Durango? What would you like to share about your Durango experience!? social@durango.org

Escaping Pavement on Durango’s Favorite In-Town Trails

29 May, 2019

One hundred miles of natural surface trails can be found just within Durango’s city limits. Venture further and you’ll find thousands of pristine trails free to explore.

Athletes love Durango, a town where you can find uninterrupted mountain singletrack just minutes from your front door. Winding like ribbons up, out, and around town, Durango’s trail system connects people as much as locations. The cathartic act of escaping pavement is celebrated city-wide.

As you train for your next big race or adventure, consider the sweet smells of ponderosa pine and wildflowers that await on Durango’s most beloved trails. These are some of our favorite local routes open to running, hiking, mountain biking, and dog walking year round.

  1. Durango’s Skysteps | A Scenic Sufferfest | 500 steps

What makes it great: Connecting Durango to Fort Lewis College, the Skysteps serve as both a training ground for athletes and student commute path. 500 steps (.15 miles) gain a total of 250’ in elevation, making it a quick hike but grueling locale for hill repeats. Runners looking for some incline training can enjoy a birds-eye view of downtown and often a nice breeze.

What you should know: The steps were built in 2017, thanks to a partnership with Fort Lewis College and the City of Durango, and the hard work of Trails 2000 volunteers. Trails 2000, local nonprofit and trail educator, works tirelessly to keep our community pristine. They ask that hikers and runners remember to share the trail and avoid routes with muddy conditions to avoid degradation. 

  1. Animas Mountain Trail | Best Valley Views | 6 mile loop

What makes it great: Climbing 1,500’ in a lollipop loop, the Animas Mountain Trail offers northerly views of the Animas Valley and southerly views of Hermosa Valley. These sweeping vistas make it a dreamy locale for early morning or sunset runs. You may find wildlife like mule deer or catch eye level views with raptors as they float over the valley.

What you should know: Frequently used by bikers and hikers, remember to practice good trail etiquette in making passes or stopping for a break. Yield to uphill traffic and keep your feet on the impacted trail.

  1. Perins Peak | A nextdoor summit | 6 mile out-and-back

Closed until the July 15th for raptor habitat

What makes it great: Snagging the summit of Perins Peak is a local rite-of-passage. Minutes from historic downtown Durango, the 1,500’ climb is just too close to ignore. Beginning at forest level, the view gets better and better with every step. Above treeline, you’ll find unexpectedly fantastic ridgeline views, with wildflowers and distant peaks visible at every turn.

What you should know: You’ll be sharing this dog-friendly trail with hikers, so respect the space of others. We discourage you from listening to music or keeping headphones in when you run, so you can keep well aware of your surroundings. 

  1. Meadow Loop of the Horse Gulch Trail | An Easy Retreat | 3 mile loop

What makes it great: Another lollipop loop, the Meadow Loop is part of the larger Horse Gulch Trail System. At 3.3 miles, it makes for a great afternoon escape from town. Recharge your day with a relatively flat run through the pine and red dirt. The meadow has an expansive feel, with plenty of space to roam. If 3 miles isn’t enough, it’s easy to tack on more mileage on neighboring routes in the Horse Gulch system.

What you should know: Mountain bikers frequent the Horse Gulch Trail, so be gracious about sharing the road. Yield to the right when appropriate and let faster runners and cyclists pass.

  1. Colorado Trail to Gudy’s Rest | A Switchback Vista | 4 or 8 mile out-and-back

What makes it great: Tracing the babbling Junction Creek and climbing into the hills above, the route to Gudy’s Rest is moderately easy and extra rewarding. You’ll begin at the terminus of the 500 mile Durango-to-Denver Colorado Trail (CT), meaning this out-and-back can be as short or as long as you’d like. From the first trailhead, it’ll take roughly 8 miles for your roundtrip, but it can be done from a shorter distance if you park at the upper lot. After crossing the bridge, a row of heart pumping switchbacks will bring you to the ultimate view.

What you should know: The CT is a popular place for hikers and runners to bring their dogs. On all Durango city trails, with the exception of the dog park, dogs are required to remain on-leash. If your furry friend is tagging along, bring waste bags and pack out what you pack in. As they say, “take only pictures, leave only footprints.”

Tags: hikes

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