Updated May 22, 2020.
The Colorado Stay at Home Order that went into effect March 26 was changed to a “Safer-at-Home” order on April 27th. It continues to allow exercise outside the home, and travel via foot, bike or car to trailheads. Outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, fishing, biking, or running are still permitted under the order. State parks will remain open for the previously-mentioned activities.
The COVID-19 situation and subsequent Stay at Home Order by San Juan Basin Health is not something to be taken lightly. Getting exercise and getting outside is extremely important for our well-being and mental health, but we must keep open spaces safe and uncrowded. Here’s what Durango Trails is doing and our recommendations for safe trail use during this time.
TRAILWORK EVENTS ARE POSTPONED
All Durango Trails trail building events, parties, and other social events are postponed until such time as group activities are deemed safe again. We continue to look forward to our upcoming 2020 Trailwork Kick-Off Event, as well as our 30th Anniversary Celebration, and we will update you when new dates have been chosen for both.
TRAILS: THE GATEWAY TO OUTDOOR RECREATION
The current guidelines list biking, walking, hiking and other outdoor activities as essential, permitted activities while following social distancing. In order to comply with all social distancing orders, do not organize a group activity of more than 10 people and maintain a distance of 6 feet between all. Please remember, no matter how you choose to get outdoors, social distancing is not optional. Please abide by all guidelines and rules listed below.
Stay alert, slow down, and communicate with each other from a distance about how to proceed. With local gyms and rec centers closed, there may be new users on the trails. Now is a great time to educate the community on responsible trail use, and to be patient, exemplary stewards and neighbors. Remember, great communities build great trails and great trails build great communities.
To follow proper social distancing guidelines, please do not run in groups. Please announce yourself.
Dogs must be on a leash! Please don’t put anyone at risk by not having your dog on a leash and please, always pick up after your dog.
KEEP OPEN SPACES UNCROWDED
- Pick off-peak times to ride, or choose less-used trail areas. If there is no available parking at a trailhead, it is too crowded!
- Ride fewer times a week.
- Remember to keep your dogs on a leash; this is important to help keep everyone protected and reduce the impact on emergency services.
PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING
- Don’t carpool, unless with household members.
- Don’t do shuttle rides.
- Ride solo. If you do ride with others, the intention is that you only go with people in YOUR HOUSEHOLD, and maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance at all times.
- Give plenty of room to all users on the trail. Instead of the MTB Lean, step off the trail and lift your bike with you to let others pass. Please don’t take a longer path and ride off-trail to avoid users.
- Check out our video learning series on current best trail practices
- When in doubt, remember the llama rule!
- While masks are not required while recreating, please be conscious of conditions where passing one another at close proximity is required. Watch our video learning series on safe passing and keep a mask in your pack when needed, or for visiting public areas and shops.
- Don’t ride if you are sick.
- Avoid touching others’ bikes, racks or equipment like pumps and tools.
- Don’t share drinks, food, or anything else that goes in your mouth and can be inhaled.
- Be mindful of your snot rockets and loogies.
- Use the bathroom before you leave the house. Some trailhead restrooms are open but aren’t being maintained, others are closed.
KEEP TRIPS SHORT AND CONSERVATIVE
Ride and hike within your limits and don’t take risks. Now is not the time to go big; our healthcare system has enough to do without setting your broken collar bone.
KEEP IT LOCAL
- If you can safely ride to the trailhead, please do so.
- Do not get in your car and travel to other communities. Communities like Moab shut down camping and request visitors to stay home. They do not have the resources or infrastructure to handle visitors during this time and are trying to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their own towns.
Our trails have been very busy since COVID-19 was first detected, so now is a great time to explore https://gravelmap.com/browse/colorado/durango.
No special bike required, just turn off your suspension and have a sense of adventure.
BE SAFE AND BE SMART
We want to get outside with you when this is over, please take this pandemic seriously!
While we strongly agree that sunshine, getting outdoors and connecting with nature is an antidote for mental and physical and health, we are also paying attention to our land managers posting around changes regarding COVID 19. We have postponed Trailwork Kick-Off until April 11.
At this point, City Open Space, BLM, Forest Service, and private trail access areas remain open. The National Park Service states: National parks and their facilities remain open during the coronavirus epidemic in the United States while National Park Service officials await further guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“To help guide the National Park Service operational response to the novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19), the NPS Office of Public Health and the U.S. Public Health Service officers assigned to the NPS are closely monitoring the situation and keeping staff informed,” Park Service acting chief spokesperson Stephanie Roulett told the Traveler in an email. “They are relying on the most updated data and information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM), state and local public health authorities, and coordinating with the DOI Office of Emergency Management.
“The national parks are open and facilities are maintaining continuity of operations,” she added. “The NPS is focused on ensuring employees, their families, volunteers, and visitors are safe by following the most current guidance from the CDC, OPM, OEM, and other federal, state, and local health authorities.”
The Park Service has been working to keep the public up-to-date on the situation via its public health website.
The Durango Rec Center, Chapman Hill, Durango Gymnastics and the Durango Library will close on Monday, March 16.
City of Durango facility closures effective Monday, March 16:
- Durango Community Recreation Center
- Chapman Hill
- Durango Gymnastics
- Durango Public LibraryAll previously scheduled Recreation and Library programs, as well as meeting room rentals, will be canceled during this closure period. We will be evaluating the ability to issue refunds or credits for recreation passes, memberships, and meeting room rentals. The City facility and program closures will be in effect through April 7, 2020. All other City facilities are still operating normally.During the closure, City staff will conduct a deep cleaning and disinfection of these facilities as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers.
Announcing Our 2020 Trailwork Kick Off!
A note from Durango Trails: In order to do our part to flatten the curve, we have postponed our First Saturdays Trailwork Kickoff. We will continue to closely monitor the news and developments about COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and will announce our new kickoff date once we have more details in place.
For more information about what Durango Trails is doing in response to COVID-19, as well as guidance on how to safely enjoy our trails right now, click here. Stay safe and happy trails.
The calendar for the First Saturday GiveBack program is below; the community is encouraged to sign up early and claim their time before the events fill up. All events will be capped at 15 participants and advance registration is required.
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.
When: The first Saturday of the month, from April 2 to September 2, 2020 (holidays may impact the schedule); 9am to 1pm
What to wear: 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.
Please Register for Trailwork!
Trailwork times are from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
*POSTPONED: NEW DATE TBD* Saturday, April 11 – Trail Construction: SkyRaider SIGN UP HERE
Saturday, May 2 – Trail Construction: SkyRaider SIGN UP HERE
Saturday, June 6 – Trail Construction: SkyRaider SIGN UP HERE
Saturday, July 11 – Trail Construction: HillCrest to Rim Drive Connector SIGN UP HERE
Saturday, August 8 – Trail Construction: HillCrest to Rim Drive Connector SIGN UP HERE
Saturday, September 5 – Trail Construction: SkyRaider SIGN UP HERE
Durango Trails hosts public trailwork each month, as well as additional announced days and times, throughout the trail season. Sign up for our FREE Trail Talk E-Newsletter in the upper right hand corner of our website for details and announcements.
Southwest Colorado Gives is a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado to inspire generosity in our five county community and increase online giving for local participating nonprofits, like Trails 2000!
Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday, December 10, and features a $1.5 million Incentive Fund. Every nonprofit receiving a donation on Colorado Gives Day will receive a portion of the fund, increasing the value of every dollar donated. Colorado Gives Day has grown to be the state’s largest one-day online giving event, raising more than $217 million since it began in 2010.
In the Durango area, trails create community and connect us. They are the training grounds for our youth, amateur and professional athletes, they are the place where we meet our friends and create connections.
Trails define us. This year we built and maintained world-class trails on Forest Service, BLM, County, City and private lands.
Your financial support is essential for our success, and we rely on your help. In this season of giving, we ask that you please contribute to DurangoTrails 2000.
Here is what we accomplished in 2019 with your generous donations:
- Restoration & Tree Removal– We worked very hard on the Hermosa Creek Trial to repair the damage from the 416 fire.
- Trail Construction– We built new sections on SkyRaider, Down N Out, Rocky Road, Ned’s Hill, West Cross Creek (Stagecoach), Huck ‘Em Cowgirl, and more
- Trail Maintenance– We worked hard keeping trails in some of the classic areas great: Overend Mountain Park, Horse Gulch, Carbon Junction
- Trail Planning and Collaboration– Once again we were fortunate to collaborate with land agency partners at the City of Durango, US Forest Service, BLM, private land owners
- Colorado Trail Clean-Up: Over 125 downed trees cut and participated in various trail planning projects with area land managers; and worked with volunteer groups on trail work, including: Fort Lewis College, Durango Running Club, and various Scout troops
- Education– We helped nurture the next generation of outdoor loving trail stewards through our TrailKids ecology education program
- Community Engagement– We shared timely trail conditions, news, photos, video, and other helpful info on Trails2000.org and through social channels
- Fundraising– We held our popular Trails 2000 Auction, the organization’s largest annual event
- Celebration– We celebrated our wonderful volunteers and crew leaders at the annual Trails and Ales and Trailsgiving events.
Video campaign highlights the importance of respecting seasonal wildlife closures in Durango – in effect Dec. 1, 2019
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 Trails 2000 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 Saturday, Dec. 1, 2019, until April 15, 2020, on the following areas:
- 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.
- Please note this area is closed through July 31, 2018, to protect nesting peregrine falcons.
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 Trails 2000 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.
Volunteer spots have been filled. Thank you to everyone who signed up to help!
Volunteers are needed to work the RMCF Holiday Bloomer Sale next weekend November 22 and 23, benefitting Trails 2000. It’s a fun day, helping customers with chocolate purchases (and maybe eating a piece yourself) and giving back to your local trails!
Please sign up this week. All details, along with the signup form, are outlined below.
Trails 2000 Volunteer Details for November 22 and 23, 2019
Trails 2000 is pleased to invite volunteers to volunteer at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Holiday Bloomer Sale.
This year’s sale will again benefit local organizations, which may include United Way of Southwest Colorado, Trails 2000, and Civitan International.
We would greatly appreciate volunteers on one, or both days and even for setup. Not only would you help us with the largest sale of the year, but your work would help us contribute to these great local organizations! Plus… employees and volunteers receive employee special pricing.
We will need help on Friday with setup and during the evening sale (2-7 pm) and Saturday (8 am-2 pm). We have to clean up after and even sweep the floor.
Actual sale hours are Friday 5-7 (invitation) and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM (general public, advertised)
Most volunteers hand out candy to customers by the piece or the box, work in a section by types of candy or help carry items to the cars. You are on your feet the entire time. Volunteers team up with RMCF employees to answer questions about candy.
Subway sandwiches or pizza along with various drinks are provided for each sale with a break for eating.
When: Friday, November 22, 2019 OR Saturday, November 23, 2019
Where: LaPlata County Fairgrounds
What to wear: Volunteers should wear closed-toe very comfortable shoes or boots, long pants, and bring a water bottle, and a jacket (optional)
Check In at the front when you arrive
Thank you for volunteering and giving back to Durango Trails 2000!
ALL GUARDIANS MUST REGISTER IF THE PARTICIPANT IS UNDER 18 YEARS OLD
Donate in honor of the Durango Trails Town Challenge to support our local trails!
Payson McElveen invites Durango to conquer every trail
In 2016, McElveen and fellow professional mountain biker Howard Grotts set out on a mission to ride every trail in Durango’s city limits in one day. After roughly 80 miles and 12,000 feet of elevation gain, the sun set on their goal before it was complete.
Only four days removed from his final race of the year – the Iceman Cometh Challenge in Michigan – McElveen will set out from his front door under the glow of early morning light Thursday and give it another shot. He hopes to be joined by other mountain bikers along the way.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for a while,” he said. “We are going to make it happen at the last minute with help from Osprey and Trails 2000. The last time Howard and I tried this, people joined us on the trail. It would be sweet if that happened again.”
McElveen, a two-time marathon mountain bike national champion, estimated the ride would be roughly 100 miles with 15,000 feet of climbing. It’s not a race, but he knows he will have to be moving at a fast pace all day to finish before dark. He said the ideal scenario would have him drop into the descent of Hogsback as the sun sets for a grand finale before he rides back home to complete the day.
“The important component is that this isn’t a race. It’s not like the White Rim (fastest known time) or anything like that,” he said. “I will have to ride at a decent clip and reduce my stops, but this is meant purely to celebrate another awesome summer of mountain biking here in Durango.”
For every named trail McElveen completes, he will donate $1 to Trails 2000, the nonprofit responsible for building and maintaining so many of the beloved trails in Durango. Several people have already signed on to match that donation, and McElveen hopes more do, as well.
“There’s a lot to thank Trails 2000 for. There are well over 100 trails with individual names, and every trail I ride I will donate $1,” he said. “I want to showcase what a ridiculously great trail system and the access to those we have in this town. A lot of towns are investing big in trail systems, but no town has the access and diversity of trails we have.”
Trails 2000 is also thankful for McElveen giving back.
“We’re thrilled that Payson, as a young athlete, is recognizing the effort that our paid crew leaders, staff, and thousands of volunteers have made in planning, building and maintaining our trail network which is the cornerstone of the outdoor recreation community,” said Trails 2000 executive director Mary Monroe Brown. “The efforts of Durango Trails 2000 began in 1990 with the mountain bike world championships and is one reason why Payson chose to attend Fort Lewis College due to of all of the mountain bike opportunities, and now he is completing that circle by giving back to the trail network that he trains on and that have provided him with so many personal connections to Durango.”
McElveen will have a Garmin GPS tracking his progress, and people will be able to follow him online throughout the day and get out on the trails and join him for sections of the ride if they would like to. McElveen will release a link to the tracking page via his Instagram and Facebook pages Wednesday.
“The more folks come out, the merrier,” McElveen said. “Ten hours is a long time to ride the bike. It wouldn’t be very fun to ride the entire thing alone.”
Funded by Osprey, McElveen will release a short video about the ride. It will be filmed by Durango’s own Dylan Stucki, who will race around Durango’s trails to get a variety of footage.
To start, McElveen will pedal his Trek Top Fuel bike up Florida Road to the route known as “Bread Express.” He will tackle the Skyline trail to Raider’s Ridge from there. Riding the entire Colorado Trail as part of the mission is, of course, not possible. But he said he may try to include a ride from the trailhead to Gudy’s Rest and Dry Fork trail because it is such a popular easy-access trail enjoyed by so many in Durango.
He anticipates having to make brief stops to pick up food and more hydration products. He will have an Osprey pack loaded up with supplies and hopes to stop as few times as possible. He does not plan on taking a light, which means sunset is his finish line no matter what.
“How many miles it will be, I don’t know,” McElveen said. “Last time, we came up short. I’m making a few adjustments and being more strict on defining what an ‘in-town trail’ is and defining that as any trailhead within city limits.
“What sunk us last time is that we got suckered into longer stops and wasted time. This time, I’ll be doing NASCAR-type pit stop action to some extent with the hope of completing the ride. There’s absolutely no guarantee, and I might come up short again, but since we are doing the donations for Trails 2000, it’s a win even if I come up short.”
Our friend, mentor, and hero has passed. We are forever grateful for Ed’s vision and dedication to our community. The family has requested that contributions can be made in Ed’s name to Trails 2000. You can add “Ed Zink” in the notes when making a donation to Durango Trails 2000. The funds will be set aside in a separate account.