History of the Hermosa Creek Travel Management Plan

The US Forest Service introduced the Travel Management Plan for the Hermosa area. At the time, the plan included closing Hermosa Creek Trail and part of the Colorado Trail to bikes through a Wilderness designation.

The Hermosa Creek sub-workgroup met from 2008-2010. The collaborative, community process, which operated on consensus, involved many citizens and organizations in discussions about the human and natural values in the Hermosa Creek watershed. It was a group represented by many points of view, including water users, recreational users, state agencies, the Southern Ute tribe, conservation organizations, and US Congressional representatives.

After almost two years of work, the Hermosa Creek Workgroup arrived at a set of recommendations. Central to their work was recommending that special federal legislation be developed, introduced, and passed. Their final report and recommendations were forwarded to the US Congress in 2010.

After several years of drafts, working through committees, and changes in Congressional representatives, the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection legislation was finally signed into law on December 19, 2014, as Section 3062 in the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2015 (PL 113-291).

The legislation divided the watershed into a Special Management Area (SMA) and a wilderness area. Within the SMA, the legislation also delineates the East Hermosa Roadless Area (which was already a designated Colorado Roadless Area before the legislation).

The legislation states that: “The purpose of the Special Management Area is to conserve and protect for the benefit of present and future generations the watershed, geological, cultural, natural, scientific, recreational, wildlife, riparian, historical, educational, and scenic resources of the Special Management Area.”

Stage I Fire Restrictions Now in Place

As of June 16, 2021 La Plata County and the San Juan National Forest have enacted Stage I Fire Restrictions.

Southwest Colorado is in extreme drought with continued hot, dry weather forecasts creating a critical fire environment. 

Under the restrictions, the following acts are prohibited:

  • Igniting, building, maintaining, or using a fire (includes 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). The fine for violating campfire restrictions is $500. 
    • EXCEPTIONS: The use of a stove or grill solely fueled by liquid
      petroleum fuels, or a fully enclosed metal stove, grill, or sheep herder type stove with a chimney at least 5’ and a mesh screen spark arrestor.
  • 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.
  • Using explosive material (i.e., fireworks, blasting caps, or any incendiary device which may result in the ignition of flammable material).
  • Welding and/or operating an acetylene or similar torch with an open flame, except that, as long as a fire watch individual is on site and readily available with proper hand tools and either one 2 ½ gallon pressurized fire extinguisher, one 5 pound ABC extinguisher, or pressurized water supply, welding and/or operating an acetylene or similar torch with an open flame in a 20-foot radius safe zone free of vegetation is not prohibited
  • Operating a chainsaw without an effective and properly installed USDA- or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)- approved spark arrestor, a chemical pressurized fire extinguishers.

Fire restrictions are designed to protect public safety and our area’s natural resources.

Neighboring federal, state, and local fire managers are also entering fire restrictions. 

Almost 90% of all wildfires on public lands are started by humans. It is every forest visitor’s responsibility to recreate responsibly and follow best practices. To report a fire call 911.

Please follow all local fire restrictions and help keep our lands safe!


Safe Trail Use During COVID-19

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.


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.


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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.


  • 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.


We want to get outside with you when this is over, please take this pandemic seriously!



#OptOutside this Black Friday

Celebrate our trails this holiday season by choosing to #OptOutside on Black Friday!

Long known as one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday has more recently become known as a day to celebrate and reconnect with the outdoors, due to REI’s nationwide #OptOutside campaign.

Since 2015, REI has closed their stores on Black Friday, encouraging their employees & shoppers to go outdoors instead. This year, REI is not only encouraging the nation to #OptOutside, but to go even further and Opt to Act — by getting outside, working together to clean up our outdoors, and acting all year long to help make a difference in our environment.

We hope this year you will join us as we #OptOutside on Black Friday by getting out on our area trails and exploring all Southwest Colorado has to offer (you can check current trail conditions here before you head out). And while you’re out, Opt to Act as well; by cleaning up any waste you might come across, being mindful of your own footprint, and contributing to clean outdoor spaces. You can continue to make a difference by giving to ouryear-end campaign so we can continue our year-round work planning, building and maintaining our area trails. 

At Durango Trails 2000, we witness firsthand the connection that trails create within our community, and the joy that comes along with that connection. Our team is committed to the mission and we firmly believe that Great Communities Build Great Trails and Great Trails Build Great Communities.

Your support is what makes this possible. 

We hope that after connecting with the outdoors this Black Friday, you’ll also consider contributing to Trails 2000, so that we can all choose to #OptOutside and Opt to Act a little more often.

Happy Trails!


2019 Highlights: What Your Contribution Helped Us Accomplish

In the Durango area, trails create community and connect us. They are the training grounds for our youth, amateur and professional athletes, and they are the place where we meet our friends and create connections.

This year, your contributions enabled our team to build and maintain world-class trails on Forest Service, BLM, County, City and private lands. Working with our strong volunteer team, we were able to achieve so much to further the future of outdoor recreation in our area.

Here are just some of the great things we were able to accomplish in 2019 with your support:

Restoration & Tree Removal

Our team worked very hard on the Hermosa Creek Trail 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

Our trailwork crews worked hard to keep trails great in some of the classic areas: Overend Mountain Park, Horse Gulch, and 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, and private land owners. We are currently underway with 2020 planning; trail projects take time and we continue to work with our land manager partners on project proposals.


Over 125 downed trees were cut when our team participated in various trail planning projects with area land managers. We also worked with volunteer groups on trail work, including Fort Lewis College, Durango Running Club, and various Scout troops.


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, videos, and other helpful info on Trails2000.org and our various social channels to inspire our community to connect with our area trails.


We held our popular Trails 2000 Auction, our organization’s largest annual event.


We celebrated our wonderful team of volunteers and crew leaders at the annual Trails & Ales party and Trailsgiving events.

The above accomplishments would not have been possible without you!

Your financial support is essential for our success, and we are relying on your help to accomplish even more in 2020.

In this season of giving, please consider contributing to Durango Trails 2000.

Your contributions will allow us to continue our work and connect our community on the trails.

Our team is so grateful for all of our contributors’ ongoing support. We couldn’t do what we do with YOU, and we look forward to all we’ll accomplish together in 2020!

See you on the trails!

Please Volunteer: Sign Up to help Durango Trails 2000 at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Holiday Bloomer Sale

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!

Happy Trails!



Durango Trails Town Challenge Fundraiser

Donate in honor of the Durango Trails Town Challenge to support our local trails!

Payson McElveen invites Durango to conquer every trail

Payson McElveen is ready to celebrate the end of the 2019 mountain biking season in his backyard of Durango. He wants the community to join him.


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!