Pack up and get off the grid in Southwest Colorado's San Juan Mountains.

Backpacking opportunities abound in and around Durango.

From starting the 500 mile Colorado Trail in Durango and backpacking into Denver, or exploring high country backpacking routes from Silverton to Ouray or Telluride, you won’t run out of ideas.

You will need to be prepared for the terrain and monsoon seasons (typically July 4 through August 31), where storms come in during the late afternoon. Be sure to practice sustainable hiking; Leave No Trace ethics are incredibly important in our mountains as are understanding the risks of campfires. 

The Weminuche Wilderness is the largest Wilderness Area in Colorado at 499,771 acres and spans the Continental Divide in the San Juan Mountains.

Chicago Basin, with its proximity to three of Colorado’s 14’ers,  is a popular backpacker destination and is easy to access via the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Camping in Chicago Basin provides a great base for summiting Eolus, Sunlight and Windom peaks or just enjoying the spectacular vistas of Colorado’s pristine wilderness backcountry.

Know Before You Go

links to resources

Courtesy of Roots Rated, this list details some of the best backpacking trips in the region, complete with tips and directions.

This list on the US Forest Service website details backpacking trails in the surrounding San Juan Mountains and Wildneress areas.

Not sure how to dip your feet into the backpacking waters? this guide from REI details everything you need to know before your first big trip.

Get Outside

backpacking trails

Colorado Pass Trail Wildflowers High Country Trails 2000

Graysill Trail

Graysill Trail spurs from the Colorado Trail (at high country) to Cascade Creek Trail and gains/ascends 1,770 feet in 3 miles.

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West Lime Creek

West Lime Creek Trail (FS #679) follows provides access to a variety of high-country trails, waterfalls, dispersed campsites and excellent views.

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