Horse Gulch Trail System BikingHikingTrail RunningWinter Recreation


Notes: 6.10.21

Trail Length
Distance from Durango
1.2 miles
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Horse Gulch Trail System

Biking, Hiking, Trail Running, Winter Recreation
Durango to TH

1.2 Miles




Trail Length

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 connecting trails it’s easy to go for a quick ride or turn your hike into a longer adventure.

It accommodates beginners or advanced users, short rides, long rides, quick trail runs, dog walks, and more. You can start this trail any time of day, but plan ahead and make sure you are done before dark. In the summer months these trails are mighty hot so bring lots of water. The climb up the road is the hardest part for beginners, but once you arrive at the Meadow you are greeted with rewarding 360 degree views and wide open space vistas.

The trailhead features a self-service bike repair station with all tools for changing a flat, adjusting brakes and derailleurs, etc. You’ll start with a half mile climb that many people just walk up. But this walk/ride is worth it. Once up in the meadow, there are signs giving variations of different rides. For rides involving the whole family, or less experienced riders, it is suggested to stick to the “meadow loop.” It is relatively short and flat. There are many options for longer rides. The trail is very well marked with trailhead signs at major intersections.

History of Horse Gulch

Durango native Daryl Crites, then president of Goff Engineering and longtime Trails 2000 board member, kicked off the preservation of the Horse Gulch area. In the early 1990s, he approached Noel Pautsky, the owner of the vast area east of Durango, about preserving its many trails with permanent easements. Pautsky agreed, and Crites went to work surveying all of the trails, including Crites Connect, Telegraph and Anasazi Descent. Pautsky eventually gifted the easements to La Plata County.

That initial partnership laid the groundwork for a series of recent open space purchases in Horse Gulch by the City of Durango. In addition, Trails 2000 facilitated an easement opening legal access to Raider Ridge in 2009. The acquisitions have promised that the trail network and the pristine high desert surrounding it will be preserved for perpetuity and enjoyed by Durangoans and visitors for generations to come.


Map & Directions

Map Coordinates: 37.264339, -107.871870

Where's the Trailhead?


The Horse Gulch/Telegraph Trailhead is located just off of 8th Avenue and 3rd Street. If you are coming from the south, turn east off of 8th Avenue onto 3rd Street, by the Horse Gulch Health Center and Sonic. There is a paved parking area at the trailhead and a gate which leads you to the beginning of the trail system.


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Trip Reports and Recent Photos

Horse Gulch Trail System

Submitted by: Nina H Page

Date Visited:


Trail Condition:


Horse Gulch, Cuchillo/Sugar

Submitted by: Trail Reporter Pate

Date Visited:


Trail Condition:



Horse Gulch is riding great after the much needed moisture we received on Tuesday. The dust has settled and Cuchillo/Sugar trails are pristine.  And the views top of Sugar never disappoints.


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