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Fall in the San Juans

Fall is the perfect time to hit the trails. Flowing through trail to the sound of golden aspen leaves under your tires or shoe tread; being outdoors rarely feels so good. There are notes of summer and hints of winter, and nothing beats being outdoors surrounded by the golden, red, yellow and green hues.

Durango Trails recommends several special places to best experience this pumpkin-spiced time of year:

Animas Mountain
Start at the trailhead on 4th Avenue, and take this 6 mile round-trip hike through the forest and up the mountain for a great view of the valley. The mountain bike, trail running and hiking trails provide a stout climb to the top, where the view from Animas Mountain into the Falls Creek Valley provides a great vista of fall colors.

Missionary Ridge
While a popular hunting area (make sure you’re decked out in blaze orange), Missionary and Steven’s Creeks embrace you with the beauty of fall. Plenty of trees abound, whether on Red or First Fork, and will tantalize leaf peepers with abundant fall colors. Check this link for more info.

Hermosa Creek Trail
While the 416 fire left its mark in the Hermosa area, the remaining trees and oak brush still provide beautiful views of fall colors along Hermosa Creek. Start with an out-and-back from lower Hermosa, or drive up to Purgatory and enter from upper Hermosa Park Road. You may encounter standing water along the way. On your way up, you can also take a detour to the Cutthroat Trail at the intersection of Relay Creek and Cascade Divide Road.

West Cross Creek
Many a local’s favorite ride is the climb up Hotel Draw Road combined with the descent down West Creek Trail back to the Upper Hermosa parking lot. The trail is a windy single track with incredible views across the aspen-covered valley.

La Plata Canyon 10.02.22

August Trailwork Dates Announced!

It’s nearing fall and if you haven’t given back by volunteering or donating, the time is now. August trailwork will take place on the 17th and the 31st. Click on the links below for more information:

https://www.durangotrails.org/volunteer/

Wednesday, August 17 from 5 to 7pm at Big Canyon Sign up HERE

Wednesday, August 31 on Animas Mountain from 5p to 7pm Sign up HERE

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July Volunteer Trailwork Dates Still Available!

There are two upcoming trailwork dates for July and we would love to have you join us! Click on the dates below for sign-up details:
 
1) Dry Fork on Saturday, July 23 from 9am to 1pm

2) Log Chutes on Wednesday, July 27 from 5p to 7pm

Please wear/bring closed-toe shoes, long pants, shirts, a sunhat, a backpack for water, work gloves, and sunscreen. The Crew Leaders will provide all tools and instruction.

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Half Ridge Trail Opens!

Durango Trails is excited to announce the opening of a new trail connecting Powerline and Zipline to the Ridge!

We’re thrilled to announce with the City of Durango that the Half Ridge Opening Day and Ride with the Crew will be on Tuesday, July 19. Meet at the Horse Gulch Trailhead at 5pm for a mountain bike ride or trail run up to Half Ridge with a celebration afterwards. Meet the crew and celebrate the new trail and connectivity to Flame Out, Kitty Charmer and the Ridge.

Watch the celebratory video below, special thanks to Cole Davis and Rhyler Overend for the videography and production.

Huge thanks as well to all of the volunteers who helped realize this trail!

Sign up to join us here!

June Volunteer Trailwork Dates Announced!

There’s something magical about being outdoors. Fresh air, birds singing, moving along a trail or even just around the block – there’s nothing quite like it. Today, those trails and public spaces are in dire need of help, and not everyone has access to these places that calm and inspire. National Trails Day® is the perfect opportunity to get out there with the people you love, give back to the trails that bring us together, and make sure nobody is left out.
 
Connect with the people near you who share your love of being outside. Build your local community and join the nationwide movement to give back to the trails and make sure everyone can enjoy the outdoors.
 
Trails Day is this Saturday, June 4. Partnering with the Bureau of Land Management and the City of Durango, we will construct a new trail on Animas Mountain called the Lupine Loop. Volunteers will meet at the Animas Mountain trailhead and then hike one mile to the work site, working from 9am to 1pm followed by lunch. The crew will provide all instruction, tools and details. Please bring/wear long pants, closed toe shoes, sunhat, sunscreen, gloves, and a backpack to carry water and snacks.
 
Click here to sign up. If you’re interested, you can also take the National Trails Day pledge here:
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Thank You to Our Sky Steps Volunteers!

Pent-up desire to participate in volunteer events has produced incredible early-season support!

Special thanks to the 8th-grade students and teachers at Miller Middle School for their support in maintaining the famous Sky Steps.
Durango’s Sky Steps officially opened in June 2017, creating a town to sky connection from Durango to the Fort Lewis College campus, home of the Skyhawks.
Over 500 steps gaining over 250 feet in elevation along the Nature Trail in Durango make for a wonderful walking route, commute to the college, or training steps right in town.
In partnership with the City of Durango and Fort Lewis College, the steps were built entirely by Durango Trails volunteers and crews.
Durango’s Sky Steps are amongst various urban stairs that have long been recognized as fitness and tourist destinations, including the Manitou Incline near Colorado Springs, known as one of the most popular and challenging hikes in the area, and the iconic Santa Monica stairs in Los Angeles.
 
For more information, visit:
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Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Now In Place

The San Juan National Forest has implemented Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Beginning Today, May 20!
(this is in addition to LaPlata County Stage 1 restrictions)

 

The following are PROHIBITED under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on the San Juan National Forest.

 
  • Igniting, building, maintaining, or using a fire (including fires fueled by charcoal or briquettes) outside
    of a permanent metal or concrete fire pit or grate that the Forest
    Service has installed and maintained at its developed recreation sites
    (campgrounds and picnic areas). $500 fine.
  • Smoking, except in an enclosed
    vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an
    area at least 3′ in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable
    materials. $300 fine.
  • Operating a chainsaw without an effective and properly installed USDA- or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)- approved spark arrestor, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (with a minimum 8 oz. capacity and rating of 2A) kept with the operator and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use. $300 fine.
  • Blasting, welding, or operating acetylene or another torch with open flame
    without being in a cleared area of at least 10 feet in diameter and
    keeping a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (with a minimum 8 oz.
    capacity and rating of 2A) with the operator. $300 fine.
  • Using an explosive. This includes,
    but is not limited to, fuses, blasting caps, fireworks, rockets,
    exploding targets, tracers, and incendiary ammunition. $300. $500 for
    exploding targets.

Seasonal Wildlife Closures Dec. 1 through April 15

Video campaign highlights the importance of respecting seasonal wildlife closures in Durango – in effect Dec. 1, 2021.

Ever wonder why certain trails in Durango have seasonal wildlife closures? During the winter months, deer and elk need safe harbors and seasonal wildlife closures are essential for the animals to survive. Even when there is no snow on the ground these areas are critical for animals to make it through the winter. That’s why Durango Trails this week launched an informational and educational video campaign aimed at educating and inspiring users to follow certain etiquette and safety guidelines when traveling on trails in Durango and the surrounding area. The first video, “It’s Up To Me,” highlights the importance of abiding by the winter seasonal wildlife closures.

It’s up to me. It’s up to us. It’s up to all of us to protect wildlife in Colorado.

The seasonal wildlife closures go into effect Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2021, until April 15, 2022, on the following areas:

Grandview Ridge

  • Big Canyon and Sale Barn trailheads (access located east of U.S. Highway 160)
  • Grandview BLM trails

Animas City Mountain

  • BLM lands above the lower loops (about 1.5 miles above the 32nd Street Trailhead)

Twin Buttes Area

  • The upper trails only, as marked.

Bodo State Wildlife Areas

  • This area is closed with the exception of the Smelter Mountain Trail that is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dogs are prohibited.

Perins Peak

Watch the video here or by clicking the video above. Visit our Trail Conditions Report for up to date trail conditions. You can also learn more about wildlife in Colorado by visiting the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.

Campaign video made possible through Durango Trails receipt of the Partners in the Outdoors grant from the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). The videos were produced by Coldstream Creative and include local talent.

Durango Trails Launches Durango Trail Love Campaign

We are excited to announce the launch of  “Durango Trail Love,” a seasonal campaign designed to promote share the trail and leave no trace ethics.

After an unprecedented trail season in 2020, Durango Trails, in partnership with Alpine Bank and area land managers, are launching a stewardship education campaign to help combat the impact on our area trails and outdoor recreation amenities.

Trails are the gateway to the outdoors. Whether you're fly fishing, fat biking, backpacking, or hiking, you're taking a trail to your adventure.

Before COVID, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable found about 50% of Americans were getting outdoors. In July of last year, the recent survey found 89% were getting outdoors, and 30% were new outdoorists.

With so many users on the trails, it's important we all practice proper Durango Trail Love and show some love back to our trails!

This campaign is intended not just to speak to visitors and new trail users, but also to remind locals and longtime trail users to lead by example, so that we can all understand how to better care for our land.

Trailwork Registration Now Open for May & June!

Announcing Our 2021 Trailwork Kick Off!

We are excited to announce our first public trailwork dates for 2021! Please join us to help give back to our trails and community. 

The trailwork calendar for May and June is below; please note that advance registration is required for all trailwork events. Please sign up via the links below. 

No experience is necessary and Durango Trails will provide the necessary instruction and safety tool talk as well as all tools, gloves, water and lunch for the entire crew.

Volunteers should wear closed toe shoes or boots, long pants, shirt (long or short sleeved), sun hat, sunscreen, and bring a water bottle, and rain jacket (optional). Durango Trails will provide all tools, instruction, gloves and water.

May & June 2021 Trailwork Dates: Please Register!

Wednesday, May 19th  –  Skyline Trail Maintenance  SIGN UP HERE
Wednesday, May 26th  – Ned’s Hill Reroute and Maintenance  SIGN UP HERE
Friday, June 4th  – Colorado Trail Maintenance at Junction Creek  SIGN UP HERE

Wednesday, June 9th – Twin Buttes Maintenance  SIGN UP HERE
Saturday & Sunday, June 25-27  – Colorado Trail Maintenance Weekend, Campion Venture, Time and Sign Up TBD!

Durango Trails hosts public trailwork each week, as well as additional announced days and times, throughout the trail season. Sign up for our FREE Trail Talk E-Newsletter for details and announcements.

Happy Trails!

Support the trails that connect you to the outdoors

Trails are the cornerstone of our community and the gateway to the outdoors.

Help support our work so you can continue to connect to the outdoors by giving to Durango Trails!

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Before you head out...

Please consider giving to Durango Trails!

The trails you’re about to enjoy wouldn’t exist without our year-round work to plan, build, and maintain them.

And we wouldn’t exist without your support!

Please consider financially contributing to help us continue to build and maintain great trails.

Great communities build great trails and great trails build great communities.