Trail Talk Blog

Stage I Fire Restrictions Now in Place

As of May 12, 2020, La Plata County and the San Juan National Forest have enacted Stage I Fire Restrictions.

Under the restrictions, the following acts are prohibited:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using any type of fire, campfire, coal or wood burning stove, any type of charcoal fueled broiler, or the burning of any material on public or private property. The use of charcoal or gas barbecue grills, ovens or smokers on private property is not prohibited.
  • Smoking, in or on all City-owned, operated, or managed property, including but not limited to: all sidewalks, parks, recreation areas, open space, natural lands, reservoirs, the Animas River corridor, the Animas River Trail, and all other trails within the City. This restriction does not prohibit designated smoking areas.
  • 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 or using any internal combustion engine, except that operating or using any internal combustion engine equipped with an approved, properly installed, and properly maintained spark-arresting device meeting either Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1 or Society of Automotive Engineers recommended practice J335(b) and J350 (a) is not prohibited. 

The purpose of these orders are to decrease the risk of fire and to maximize scarce resources otherwise needed to respond to the COVID-19 health crisis.

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.

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.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

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.

TRAIL RUNNING

To follow proper social distancing guidelines, please do not run in groups. Please announce yourself.

DOG WALKING

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!

AVOID CONTAMINATION

  • 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. 

GRAVEL RIDING

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!

 

RESOURCES

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.

Trailwork

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.

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

Fundraising

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

Celebration

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!

National Public Lands Day Trailwork Project

September 26, 2020 @ 9:30 am 12:00 pm

A note from Durango Trails: Participants are required to follow all COVID-19 safety guidelines, wear/bring the proper equipment, including a mask, gloves and your own water and snacks.  Registration closes Friday, September 25th at Noon.

Work on the new Cutthroat Trail proposed by Durango Trails in the Hermosa Watershed planning process and funded by the San Juan Stewardship Fund-a partnership between Purgatory, the National Forest Foundation, and the San Juan National Forest.

The Cutthroat Trail is 5.5-mile trail situated above the East Fork of Hermosa Creek near Durango, Colorado. Trailwork kicked off this summer to connect Purgatory to the Hermosa Creek. Please help complete the “finish work” necessary on the trail, installing backslap and drainage work. Crew Leaders Oliver and Tyler will be on hand to provide guidance.

Limit ten people allowed per group (total 20 people)

COVID guidelines: Please bring a mask, your own gloves, long pants, closed toe shoes, water and snacks. Please do not attend trailwork if you feel sick.

Directions:

Meet at the Sig Creek Campground. There is limited parking in the campground but plenty on the shoulder across the road from the Campground entrance. The hike is to the work site is less than a half mile.

Shared route:

From US-550 to Sig Creek Campground via Hermosa Park Rd.

22 min (6.8 mi)

  1. Turn into Purgatory
  2. Head west on Purgatory Blvd3.7 miles

3. Turn left to stay on Hermosa Park Rd 3.2 miles

4. Turn right onto Sig Creek Campground 5. visit https://maps.app.goo.gl/duADis9NFciABWPj9

Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes or boots, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sunhat, sunscreen, and bring a water bottle, and a rain jacket (optional). Please bring your OWN mask, gloves, water, and snacks.

Durango Trails will provide all tools, instruction and safety talk, extra water and snacks for our volunteers. We do live in beautiful, unpredictable Colorado, so please check the weather before your workday and plan to dress accordingly. If there is lightning or other workplace hazards the day of our scheduled trailwork which will impact our trailwork party plans, Durango Trails will notify you ASAP via email.

Thank you for volunteering and giving back to the trails that give so much!

No experience is necessary for trailwork, and Durango Trails will provide the necessary instruction, safety tool talk and tools. Please note, registration is required to join us for Trailwork; please register below.

Hermosa Resilience Event

September 12, 2020 @ 3:00 am 7:00 am

In an effort to celebrate the resiliency of the Hermosa Creek watershed following the 416 fire, local non-profit organizations and the San Juan National Forest are hosting a Hermosa Resiliency Event, aimed at providing the community with opportunities to engage in restoration efforts and to learn how the fire affected local forests.

More details to be announced.

*TENTATIVE* Trail Construction: September 5

September 5, 2020 @ 9:00 am 1:00 pm

A note from Durango Trails: Due to the ongoing nature of COVID-19, our community trailwork events have currently been postponed. While we hope we will be able to meet for our First Saturdays Trailwork in September, we are closely monitoring developments, and dates and times may change as a result. Please continue to check in here and on our social media for updated trailwork days!

Durango Trails is pleased to invite volunteers to a series of volunteer trailwork dates throughout 2020.

No experience is necessary for trailwork, and Durango Trails will provide the necessary instruction, safety tool talk, tools, work gloves, and water and snacks for the entire crew. Please note, registration is required to join us for Trailwork; please register below.

Thank you for volunteering, and giving back to your trails and community!

When: The first Saturday of each month; April-September (please note, dates may be adjusted to accommodate holidays or trail conditions)

What to wear: Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes or boots, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sunhat, sunscreen, and bring a water bottle, and a rain jacket (optional).

Durango Trails will provide all tools, gloves, instruction and safety talk, extra water and snacks for our volunteers. We do live in beautiful, unpredictable Colorado, so please check the weather before your workday and plan to dress accordingly. If there is lightning or other workplace hazards the day of our scheduled trailwork which will impact our trailwork party plans, Durango Trails will notify you ASAP via email.

Thank you for volunteering and giving back to the trails that give so much!

Happy Trails!

ALL GUARDIANS MUST REGISTER IF THE PARTICIPANT IS UNDER 18 YEARS OLD; INCLUDE THE STUDENTS NAME IN THE BOX ASKING FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Please note, trailwork registration is capped at 15 participants per date. If your chosen date is already full, please consider a new date to join us!

*TENTATIVE* Trail Construction: August 8

August 8, 2020 @ 9:00 am 1:00 pm

A note from Durango Trails: Due to the ongoing nature of COVID-19, our community trailwork events have currently been postponed. While we hope we will be able to meet for our First Saturdays Trailwork this summer, we are closely monitoring developments, and dates and times may change as a result. Please continue to check in here and on our social media for updated trailwork days!

Durango Trails is pleased to invite volunteers to a series of volunteer trailwork dates throughout 2020.

No experience is necessary for trailwork, and Durango Trails will provide the necessary instruction, safety tool talk, tools, work gloves, and water and snacks for the entire crew. Please note, registration is required to join us for Trailwork; please register below.

Thank you for volunteering, and giving back to your trails and community!

When: The first Saturday of each month; April-September (please note, dates may be adjusted to accommodate holidays or trail conditions)

What to wear: Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes or boots, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sunhat, sunscreen, and bring a water bottle, and a rain jacket (optional).

Durango Trails will provide all tools, gloves, instruction and safety talk, extra water and snacks for our volunteers. We do live in beautiful, unpredictable Colorado, so please check the weather before your workday and plan to dress accordingly. If there is lightning or other workplace hazards the day of our scheduled trailwork which will impact our trailwork party plans, Durango Trails will notify you ASAP via email.

Thank you for volunteering and giving back to the trails that give so much!

Happy Trails!

ALL GUARDIANS MUST REGISTER IF THE PARTICIPANT IS UNDER 18 YEARS OLD; INCLUDE THE STUDENTS NAME IN THE BOX ASKING FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Please note, trailwork registration is capped at 15 participants per date. If your chosen date is already full, please consider a new date to join us!

*TENTATIVE* Trail Construction: July 11

July 11, 2020 @ 9:00 am 1:00 pm

A note from Durango Trails: Due to the ongoing nature of COVID-19, our trailwork kickoff has currently been postponed. While we hope we will be able to meet for our First Saturdays Trailwork in July, we are closely monitoring developments, and dates and times may change as a result. Please continue to check in here and on our social media for updated trailwork days!

Durango Trails is pleased to invite volunteers to a series of volunteer trailwork dates throughout 2020.

No experience is necessary for trailwork, and Durango Trails will provide the necessary instruction, safety tool talk, tools, work gloves, and water and snacks for the entire crew. Please note, registration is required to join us for Trailwork; please register below.

Thank you for volunteering, and giving back to your trails and community!

When: The first Saturday of each month; April-September (please note, dates may be adjusted to accommodate holidays or trail conditions)

What to wear: Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes or boots, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sunhat, sunscreen, and bring a water bottle, and a rain jacket (optional).

Durango Trails will provide all tools, gloves, instruction and safety talk, extra water and snacks for our volunteers. We do live in beautiful, unpredictable Colorado, so please check the weather before your workday and plan to dress accordingly. If there is lightning or other workplace hazards the day of our scheduled trailwork which will impact our trailwork party plans, Durango Trails will notify you ASAP via email.

Thank you for volunteering and giving back to the trails that give so much!

Happy Trails!

ALL GUARDIANS MUST REGISTER IF THE PARTICIPANT IS UNDER 18 YEARS OLD; INCLUDE THE STUDENTS NAME IN THE BOX ASKING FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Please note, trailwork registration is capped at 15 participants per date. If your chosen date is already full, please consider a new date to join us!

Welcome to Durango’s Trails: Tips for Visitors

Welcome to Durango’s trails! Whether you are visiting our area or are simply a new local trail user, we hope you enjoy your time on the trails.

Here in Durango, we believe that trails are the gateway to the outdoors, leading us to amazing outdoor adventures and connecting our community in more ways than one.

Things to know before you hit the trails

Our trail network is divided into four regions (see below for recommended trails in each region):

  • Urban Interface or In-Town trails, known as “Lunch Rides,” are trails that are easily accessed from town, and generally require only an hour or two to complete

  • Mid-Country Trails, or “Mini Adventures,” allow you to experience a half day ride, hike or run in the mid country areas surrounding Durango

  • High Country Trails, or what we like to call the “Hall Pass,” are full day adventures [to explore Molas Pass, Coal Bank and Silverton Area Trails]
  • Regional Trails are those located in the Surrounding Areas of Mancos, Cortez, Moab, Rico, and Telluride usually within a short 2.5 hour drive [like Phils World, Mancos, Cortez, Rico, and Moab area trails]

Our trails are primarily two way; uphill traffic has the right of way. When it comes to mixed-use trails, remember that bikes yield to hikers and horseback riders, and hikers yield to horseback riders.

We are proud of our share the trails ethics. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with proper trail etiquette so that all users can have an enjoyable experience. Remember to say hello when greeted by other trail users!

Be sure to educate yourself on current COVID-19 guidelines as well as all active fire restrictions before setting out.

Welcome to Durango; we look forward to seeing you on the trails! 

Durango Trails is Durango, Colorado’s local non profit trails organization, connecting you to the outdoors. We plan, build and maintain trails; educate trail users; and encourage connectivity on the road, path and trail. If you’ve enjoyed our trails, we encourage you to please consider donating to Durango Trails so we continue our hard work! We also have awesome merchandise to help rep your #DurangoTrailLove!

A good place to start

locals' favorite trails

Urban Interface/In-Town

Biking on the Horse Gulch Trail System near Durango, CO

Horse Gulch Trail System

The Horse Gulch/Telegraph Trail System is the perfect trail system for all levels and user types. Located right in-town, it is a local favorite for hiking and mountain biking, and with so many different connectin

Read More »

Mid-Country

High-Country

Surrounding Area

Updated COVID-19 Recreation Guidelines

If you’re seeking best practices while on our area trails, here are suggestions. As of June 2020, the state of Colorado’s COVID-19 restrictions are now labeled as Level 2: “Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors.” While we are all still safer at home, the great outdoors provide a safe space to enjoy our trails and public lands while practicing social distancing. 

  • Limit the group you are recreating with to 10 or fewer people
  • Stay at least six feet away from members of other households unless it is unsafe to do so
  • Wear a mask or face covering when when driving to/from your activity in a shared vehicle 
  • Bring hand sanitizer to clean hands when soap & water is not accessible 
  • If you or anyone in your party is sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and reschedule your activity. 
  • You do not need to wear a mask while riding, running, etc. but please be considerate of those around you

In addition to following the above guidelines, please also make sure to follow all local fire restrictions. La Plata County, as well as the surrounding counties of Montezuma, San Juan, and Archuleta, all have active fire restrictions in place. 

With summer visitors in town, as well as a large number of new, local trail users out, please remember to follow “Share the Trails” ethics and proper trail etiquette by announcing yourself, slowing down, communicating with others about how to proceed, and always keeping your dog on a leash. Now is a great time to help educate new trail users to ensure all have a positive experience. Remember, just say “hi”.

Trails are the gateway to the outdoors; please continue to follow all local guidelines and public health orders so we can all continue to enjoy the outdoors together! See you on the trails!

Have you been enjoying our local trails more than usual while quarantined this spring? Please consider donating to Durango Trails so we can continue to build, plan, and maintain the regional trails you love. We also have awesome merchandise to help rep your #DurangoTrailLove!

Resources: 

State of Colorado Safer at Home Guidelines for Personal Recreation 

SkyRaider Trail Opens!

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

After an unprecedented spring season, Durango Trails, working with the City of Durango, has completed the construction of the SkyRaider Trail. Work on SkyRaider was initiated last season by our hard-working volunteers and was completed this season by the Durango Trails Crew Leader team, as volunteer trailwork days have been put on hold so far this year due to COVID-19.

“Durango Trails has been working with the City for over two decades, planning, building, and maintaining our area trails; partnering on education, outreach, and helping connect our town. We are so pleased that they are visionary and solution-oriented and can deliver top-notch trails to our community,” said Councilor Chris Bettin who also sits on the Park and Recreation Advisory Board.

“Trails are the cornerstone of our community, the gateway to the outdoors, and the work of Durango Trails can not be overstated as it relates to the branding of Durango and its role in our recovery from this global pandemic,” added Rachel Brown, director of Visit Durango, Durango’s destination marketing organization.

As a celebration of the Solstice, the SkyRaider Trail will officially open on Saturday, June 20. Since the opening celebration will be virtual, please help us celebrate by viewing and sharing the celebratory video below.

The trail is located off of the Powerline Trail and connects Powerline to Raider Ridge

*TENTATIVE* Trail Construction: June 6th

June 6, 2020 @ 9:00 am 1:00 pm

A note from Durango Trails: Due to the ongoing nature of COVID-19, our trailwork kickoff has currently been postponed. While we hope we will be able to meet for our First Saturdays Trailwork in June, we are closely monitoring developments, and dates and times may change as a result. Please continue to check in here and on our social media for updated trailwork days!

Durango Trails is pleased to invite volunteers to a series of volunteer trailwork dates throughout 2020.

No experience is necessary for trailwork, and Durango Trails will provide the necessary instruction, safety tool talk, tools, work gloves, and water and snacks for the entire crew. Please note, registration is required to join us for Trailwork; please register below.

Thank you for volunteering, and giving back to your trails and community!

When: The first Saturday of each month; April-September (please note, dates may be adjusted to accommodate holidays or trail conditions)

What to wear: Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes or boots, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sunhat, sunscreen, and bring a water bottle, and a rain jacket (optional).

Durango Trails will provide all tools, gloves, instruction and safety talk, extra water and snacks for our volunteers. We do live in beautiful, unpredictable Colorado, so please check the weather before your workday and plan to dress accordingly. If there is lightning or other workplace hazards the day of our scheduled trailwork which will impact our trailwork party plans, Durango Trails will notify you ASAP via email.

Thank you for volunteering and giving back to the trails that give so much!

Happy Trails!

ALL GUARDIANS MUST REGISTER IF THE PARTICIPANT IS UNDER 18 YEARS OLD; INCLUDE THE STUDENTS NAME IN THE BOX ASKING FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Please note, trailwork registration is capped at 15 participants per date. If your chosen date is already full, please consider a new date to join us!

National Trails Day

June 6, 2020 @ 2:00 am 2:00 pm

National Trails Day is a nation-wide event designed to recognize all the incredible benefits trails provide for recreation and exposure nature.

To celebrate National Trails Day, take the pledge to become a #PublicLandsProtector and commit to take action in 2020 to protect our trails and support our work.

Then get outside (while following COVID-19 trail use guidelines) and share why trails are important to you. Tag #NationalTrailsDay and #DurangoTrails in your social posts to share.

Wait!

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.