Perins Peak State Wildlife Area

Located just outside Durango, the Perins Peak State Wildlife Area offers visitors a chance to quickly escape the bustle of the city and thrill at the wonders of the Southwest. 

Perins Peak (8,346 ft) reveals the stunning topography, variety, and uniqueness of the Durango Area. The hard-to-miss mountain was named after Charles Perins, who laid out the Durango townsite for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in 1880. 

If visitors plan to visit the area, please remember the seasonal closures from winter to late spring. 

Perins Peak State Wildlife Area

Bird Watching

Bird watchers will delight in the open meadow below Perins Peak. With a keen eye, visitors can spot raptors and songbirds alike. Adventurous visitors may spot a striking Great Horned Owl at dusk. 


The trailhead for Perins Peak is located in town at the end of Perins Vista Drive. Hikers can expect a difficult roundtrip hike that spans 7 miles. The trail weaves through open grasslands and imposing ponderosa pines. At the top, hikers are richly rewarded with an expansive view of the Southwest. 

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking in the Twin Buttes Area During Fall

Mountain bikers can follow the same hiking trail but should consider dropping in from the Hogsback Trail that starts in Overend Mountain Park for breathtaking plunges through powdery shale. 

Hunting (During the Season)

With 7,720 acres to explore, avid hunters will have many opportunities to bag game at Perins Peak State Wildlife Area — provided they have a valid hunting license. Sportspeople can hunt black bears, deer, dusky (blue) grouse, elk, rabbits, squirrels, and turkeys. 


For intrepid climbers, Perins Peak has opportunities for multiple first ascents along the abyss cliff. The cliff is filled with cracks, dihedrals, aretês, and faces on quality stone. The southeastern side of the ridge (nearest to Twin Buttes) is a series of rock-cliff lets that are mostly fifty feet in height. The northwestern side of the ridge is mostly unexplored but offers more challenging routes. 

Maps and Site Resources


Travel Tips for Perins Peak State Wildlife Area

  • If you plan on visiting the area, you must have a valid hunting or fishing license.

  • Bring plenty of water.

  • Cell service can be spotty, so tell someone where you plan on going. 

  • Make your mark and sign the trail register at the top of the mountain!


Care for Durango

  • Please pack out all trash and waste, including your pet's waste.

  • Protect fragile alpine environments and stay on marked trails.

  • If you bike in, be mindful of foot traffic. 

  • Follow Leave No Trace (LNT) principles.

  • Do not engage with or feed the wildlife. 

  • Do not pick the wildflowers. 

  • Dogs must be leashed or otherwise physically restrained. Do not leave pets unattended.

  • Be respectful to others on the trail!

  • This area has seasonal closure, check to make sure you are not hiking during these times.

Pledge to Care for Durango