Fall is the perfect time to hit the trails. Flowing along 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:
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.
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.