Snowshoeing in Durango, Colorado is an exhilarating winter activity that offers visitors a chance to explore the area's stunning winter landscapes. Durango's abundant snowfall, rugged mountain terrain, and beautiful vistas make it an ideal destination for snowshoe enthusiasts of all skill levels. Snowshoeing provides a unique way to experience the natural beauty of the San Juan Mountains in winter. 

This activity offers a chance to get off the beaten path and explore remote areas that are otherwise inaccessible during winter. Additionally, snowshoeing is an excellent way to stay active and enjoy the great outdoors during the colder months. Durango offers a wide range of snowshoeing trails that cater to different skill levels, from easy, family-friendly hikes to more challenging routes that require technical skill and experience. Whether visitors are seeking a leisurely stroll through the snow or a thrilling winter adventure, there is something for everyone in Durango. 

Places to Go Snowshoeing

Durango, Colorado, is a winter wonderland with plenty of opportunities for snowshoeing. Visitors can explore the snowy landscapes of the San Juan Mountains, Animas Valley, and Purgatory Resort. Some popular trails include the Telegraph Trail, the Colorado Trail, and the Hermosa Creek Trail. For those looking for a more challenging adventure, the Chicago Basin and Weminuche Wilderness areas offer breathtaking backcountry snowshoeing opportunities. With so many trails to choose from, snowshoers of all skill levels can find something to suit their needs. Additionally, many of the local ski resorts, such as Purgatory Resort, offer guided snowshoe tours with experienced guides who can provide insight into the local flora and fauna.

Durango Nordic Center

Durango Nordic Center is one of the best places to go snowshoeing in Durango, Colorado. The center has more than 20 kilometers of trails dedicated to snowshoeing, providing ample space for beginners and experts alike. The trails at Durango Nordic Center wind through a stunning winter landscape of pine trees and open meadows, with views of the San Juan Mountains in the distance. Visitors can rent snowshoes and poles on-site and take advantage of the center's various amenities, including a cozy lodge with hot beverages and snacks. With groomed trails and a peaceful setting, snowshoeing at Durango Nordic Center is a must-do winter activity.

Vallecito Reservoir and Vallecito Nordic Ski Club

Vallecito Reservoir and Vallecito Nordic Ski Club are popular snowshoeing destinations in Durango, Colorado. The Vallecito Nordic Ski Club offers over 40 kilometers of snowshoeing trails that wind through scenic terrain and are perfect for all levels of experience. The trails take visitors through valleys, hills, and meadows, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The Vallecito Reservoir is also a great spot for snowshoeing, with plenty of unmarked trails that allow visitors to explore the area on their own. The peaceful, quiet surroundings and scenic vistas make snowshoeing at Vallecito Reservoir and Vallecito Nordic Ski Club a must-do experience for anyone visiting Durango in the winter months.

La Plata Canyon

La Plata Canyon near Durango, Colorado, offers a stunning location for snowshoeing with its spectacular views of the San Juan Mountains. Snowshoeing is a popular winter activity in this area as the canyon has a variety of trails that cater to different skill levels. The trails vary in length, ranging from one to six miles, and take you through peaceful forests and along the creek. The snow in the canyon is usually quite deep, making it a great place to experience snowshoeing at its best. It's also a perfect place to spot wildlife like deer, elk, and coyotes, making it a unique and unforgettable snowshoeing experience.

Molas Pass Area

Molas Pass, located near Durango, Colorado, is a popular destination for snowshoeing during the winter season. This mountain pass is known for its stunning views of the San Juan Mountains and the surrounding landscape covered in snow. The area offers several snowshoeing trails that vary in difficulty and distance, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced snowshoers. The Molas Lake Trail is a popular option that takes you around the frozen lake and provides beautiful views of the surrounding peaks. The Little Molas Lake Trail is another option that offers a more challenging snowshoeing experience with steeper terrain and stunning views of the Molas Pass area.

Church Camp

Church Camp, located in the San Juan National Forest near Durango, Colorado, is a popular spot for snowshoeing in the winter. The area offers a variety of trails suitable for different skill levels and can be accessed easily by car. The snowy scenery provides a peaceful and serene experience as visitors trek through the pine forests and meadows. The trails are well-maintained, making it easy for snowshoers to enjoy the outdoors. Snowshoeing at Church Camp is a great way to get some exercise, fresh air, and enjoy the beauty of the Colorado mountains.

Haviland Lake

Haviland Lake is a beautiful location for snowshoeing in the Durango, Colorado area. With its serene, snowy landscapes and easy-to-navigate trails, it's a popular spot for both beginners and experienced snowshoers. The trailhead is easily accessible and parking is available. The trail itself is well-marked and offers stunning views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains. The lake itself is often frozen over during the winter, adding to the picturesque scenery. Visitors can enjoy the peacefulness of the area and may even spot some local wildlife such as elk, deer, and birds. With its tranquil atmosphere and beautiful vistas, Haviland Lake is a must-visit spot for anyone looking to experience the best of winter in Durango.

Things to Know About Snowshoeing in Durango

  • Check the weather conditions and trail maps before heading out.

  • Dress appropriately for cold weather and bring extra layers.

  • Rent or purchase snowshoes before hitting the trails.

  • Consider taking a guided tour or snowshoeing with a group for safety.

  • Carry water, snacks, and a first aid kit in case of emergency.

  • Don't forget to bring a camera to capture the beautiful scenery.


Care for Durango

  • Purchase a CORSAR card before going out into the backcountry. 

  • Be aware of avalanche danger and stay in safe areas.

  • Respect wildlife and stay on designated trails to avoid damaging natural habitats.

  • Follow Leave No Trace (LNT) principles.  

  • Do not engage with or feed the wildlife.  

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

Pledge to Care for Durango