If you’re bringing your own sleds and experience, Durango offers up some of the most sought after terrain. Explore pristine powder fields in the backcountry and get access to some of the most insane skiing that those without sleds can't get to. Here are some of our favorite spots:
County Road 124 in La Plata Canyon
Lemon Reservoir - Miller Mtn Rd
Perhaps one of the most fun areas for snowmobiling in the Juans is the wide-open areas and powder fields off of Molas Pass. Parking is at the state Overlook at the top of Molas Pass and at the Molas Lake parking lot located one mile north of the Pass.
The San Juans are the most avalanche-prone mountains in the lower 48, so be sure to bring the proper gear and training with you, and make sure to check avalanche and weather conditions before venturing into the backcountry.
Snowmobiling is allowed in many areas in the San Juan National Forest, but certain areas are closed to snowmobiles to allow for “quiet use” or to protect sensitive wildlife. Be sure to check out the Forest Service website beforehand.
La Plata Canyon is one of the most envied areas by skiers who don’t have sleds. If you’re using snowmobiles to access backcountry skiing, this is the place to go. Maybe pick up some hitchhiking skiers along the way.
The canyon road is unmaintained in the winter and spans about 10.5 miles to the top of Kennebec Pass, offering some of the best views, sledding, and skiing around.
If you’re without snowmobiles or any backcountry safety experience, having a guided snowmobile tour in Durango is the best way to experience all of the top snowmobile trails. With a handful of amazing companies offering tours, you’ll be sure to have an exhilarating and memorable ride.