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!
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.
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.
We built new sections on SkyRaider, Down N Out, Rocky Road, Ned’s Hill, West Cross Creek (Stagecoach), Huck ‘Em Cowgirl, and more.
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.
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!
The City of Durango will host a public meeting on Wednesday, November 20. The joint boards (Natural Lands and Parks and Rec) advisory board will meet at 5pm and the public comment begins at 6pm. The meeting is taking place at the Rec Center.
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.”
The San Juan National Forest reports that Fall Color Viewing is best from Purgatory to Town
Durango to Purgatory: ~50%
Purgatory to Coal Bank: ~75%
Coal Bank to Molas is 90% and peaking
First rifle season for deer/elk kicks off OCtober 12-16 and Season two is October 19-27. Please wear blaze orange when out and about on the trails.
Are you out and about fat biking, ski-touring, hiking? We need your help to update the Winter Trail Conditions page. Please submit photos and a brief update on trail conditions in our area from Horse Gulch to Sand Canyon and beyond and email us at info at trails2000 dot org or via Contact on the website and we’ll get your email. Thank you for helping collect winter trail information to keep the trail community informed! Happy Trails.