Durango, CO is known for its natural beauty, and this collection of accessible trails in and around Durango enables everyone to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. The following information was collected by Visit Durango and our partners to help make Durango an awesome place for everyone to enjoy. Please note that this list is ever-changing as we are continuing to research more accessible trails and outdoor activities.
Animas River Trail | Downtown Durango | 9 Miles Long
The Animas River Trail runs through the heart of Durango, CO, and is one of the most accessible trails in the region. The Animas River Trail follows the beautiful Animas River, and occasionally the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad corridor. Along the way, you'll find many interpretive signs that teach you about the history of Durango and the Animas River. In the summer months, you can see people fishing on the river as well as floating in kayaks, rafts, and inner tubes. A portion of the Animas River Trail runs through Santa Rita Park that features shaded picnic areas, picnic tables, a playground, open fields, accessible restrooms, and accessible parking.
Animas Overlook Trail | 12 miles North of Durango | 0.7 Miles Long
The Animas Overlook Trail is located past the Colorado Trailhead, and north of Durango. This loop features great views of the Animas Valley and the Needles Mountains. Informational signs are located along the trail that shows points of interest and area history. While on this loop you will go through ponderosa pine and Gambel oak forests and will be able to spot multiple types of wildflowers.
The main trail surface has some paved and some gravel areas and is typically at least 4 feet wide. The estimated grade is steep and does not exceed 5%, but is downhill at first. This location features accessible bathroom facilities and barrier-free benches.
Big Al Trail | 36 miles Northwest of Durango | 0.5 Mile Long
The Big Al Trail is a 0.5 mile accessible and barrier-free trail with a total ascent of 53 feet that winds through beautiful aspen groves. The trail features interpretive signs that point out flora and fauna you’ll come across on the trail, and there are benches along the way. At the end of the trail, there is a large deck overlooking the La Plata Mountains and the West Mancos Canyon. The grades of the Big Al Trail are manageable for a manual chair if you’re reasonably fit. This trail was designed in honor of Big Al, a local firefighter who sustained a spinal cord injury fighting a forest fire.
The Big Al Trail is located 36 miles Northwest of Durango at the Transfer Campground just north of Mancos. To access the Big Al Trail take County Road 42, which is paved for a short while, and then switches to gravel. The road will be dusty and you will have to drive over washboard sections and cattle guards. As you make your way to the campground, County Road 42 becomes Forest Service Road 562. There is a big sign at a Y in the road that says “Transfer” - at this point take the right fork to a parking area on the left of the road. The trailhead is across the road on the right.
Great Kiva Trail | 50 Miles Southeast of Durango | 3 Miles Long
The Great Kiva Trail is a short paved loop that will take you by several Chacoan pit houses and a large kiva. There is an audio device available for a self-guided tour which provides some interesting information about the site and Chimney Rock.
This concrete trail is estimated to be at least 4 feet wide. The slope is estimated to be “moderately steep” to “steep” and ranges from -10% downhill to 12% uphill grade. Trail goers using mobility equipment may need assistance to navigate where there are waypoints. There are at least two wheelchair-accessible parking spots with a striped access aisle at the paved trailhead lot.
Andrews Lake Day Use Area | 47 Miles North of Durango | 1 Mile Paved Trail
Andrews Lake Day Use Area is located in the San Juan National Forest between Durango and Silverton, Colorado, close to the summit of Molas Pass. To get to Andrews Lake drive 47 miles north of Durango on US 550 and turn at the sign for the Andrews Lake Day Use Area. Follow the paved road for about one mile to access the parking area. The parking area contains wheelchair-accessible bathrooms as well as signage with information about the lake, trail, and surrounding areas.
The lake is stocked annually with rainbow trout by the Colorado Division of Wildlife in partnership with the Forest Service, so it's great for fishing. The one-mile paved trail goes around the lake and provides access to two different paved and accessible fishing areas that are also wheelchair-accessible. While the one-mile-long trail is paved, it's important to note that there are a couple of bumps where the concrete does not line up well.
Fairview View Loop | 52 Miles West of Durango | 1 Mile Long
Far View Loop is located in Mesa Verde National Park and was one of the most densely populated areas from A.D. 900 to about A.D. 1300. This loop was home to hundreds of people and included more than 50 villages within a half square mile. This trail has interpretive signs and passes by several archeological sites.
This loop is wheelchair-accessible but may require some assistance. This loop gains a total of 90 feet in elevation and the path is gravel. Portable toilets are available during most summer months but are not accessible.
Accessible outdoor recreational activities may vary based on conditions and the time of year, precipitation, and other weather-related events. Please consider elevation profile, trail distance, user skill level, and equipment type when choosing to participate in a wheelchair-friendly activity. Accessible trails are based on trail width, grade, cross-slopes, obstacles, surface firmness, and surface type. Please note that a wheelchair-friendly or accessible designation does not imply that it meets ADA standards.
We are continually updating, changing, and adding to our accessibility pages, and value your feedback and suggestions. Click here to share your thoughts and experiences