Durango winters are meant to be savored, and just because there’s a lot of snow on the ground does not mean you have to give up long walks in nature. There’s nothing that quite compares to the quiet beauty of a hike covered in a gorgeous blanket of snow.
Snowshoeing offers the perfect opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the heart of what makes Colorado’s winter landscape so special. No matter if you are a beginner or an experienced snowshoer, Durango offers the perfect mix of easy to challenging hikes that will get the blood pumping as well as views of stunning landscapes.
We’ve gathered up a list of amazing local Durango trails perfect for snowshoeing. So, dust off those snowshoes (or rent a pair) and head to the trails!
Colorado Trail: Gudy’s Rest
Just 8 miles Northwest of downtown Durango, this moderate trail is easy to get to and is very popular during the warmer months. But when you strap on your snowshoes during winter, you can experience this iconic trail in a whole new way! The trail is about 7 miles roundtrip and leads to “Gudy’s Rest,” a bench that overlooks beautiful snow-dusted mountain vista.
Vallecito Creek Trail
The trailhead is located at the Vallecito Creek campground about 30 miles Northeast of downtown Durango. This is an excellent trail for first-timers and features an outpost to rent snowshoes. Follow the trail which loops around the perimeter of the campground, or dare to venture off a bit off-trail and do some real exploring in the gorgeous pristine Weminuche Wilderness. At 12 miles long, this is an out-and-back trail, so you can do as little or as much of it as you like.
Located north of Purgatory and just south of Molas Pass, Andrews Lake is an incredibly scenic area to snowshoe. The lake freezes over in the winter and most people will snowshoe around the lake counter-clockwise. You’ll have views of the West Needle mountains including the prominent 13,000 foot, Snowdon Peak to the east.
Parking for this area can be challenging since the access road closes during the winter. Park as close as you can to the road at whatever pull-off you can find on Highway 550. To get to Andrews Lake itself, you’ll have about a mile of approach on the access road.
Hermosa Creek Trail
With epic views galore, this easy out-and-back trail is 18.6 miles in length, giving you full reign on how much of it you want to tackle. It follows Hermosa Creek and into the majestic San Juan Mountains, with views of towering mountainsides and sparkling snowy pine trees. The trail is located 15 miles due north of Durango off of Highway 550.
Rated as moderate, this beautiful 2-mile out-and-back trail is located near Durango. The best part about this hike is the waterfall, which depending on weather conditions may or may not be frozen! Avid snowshoers will appreciate this trail for its heart-pumping 1,500 elevation gain.
When planning a winter adventure in Durango, make sure snowshoeing is on your list! Grab your family, some friends, and yes even the pooch and discover (or rediscover) the joys of wintertime in the mountains.