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Half Ridge Trail BikingHikingTrail Running

Difficulty
Condition
Good

Notes: 08.04.22

Region
Trail Length
1.4 miles
Distance from Durango
1.2 miles
Directions
Gain
436 ft
Rating
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Half Ridge Trail

Biking, Hiking, Trail Running
Durango to TH

1.2 Miles

Gain

436 Feet

Condition

Good

Region

Trail Length

1.4 Miles

Part of the Horse Gulch Trails system.

In 2022, Durango Trails, working with the City of Durango, created this one-mile contour trail which connects to Charmed, EZ, Flame Out and Extended Ridge. Half Ridge Trail was formerly a 30% grade fire road which was never reclaimed after being built for a small fire in Horse Gulch around the year 2000.

Northwest of the Horse Gulch trailhead one can find many trails on the western ridge, including access up to the Progressive Ridge, which includes Half Ridge, Charmed, EZ, Kitty Charmer, Raider Ridge and Hyper Extended Ridge. Debra Winegarden writes an excellent piece on this area, photos in the link.

The ridge runs the length of Durango from southwest to northeast. It has a sharp western escarpment and slopes gently into Horse Gulch on the east. It gathers stature as it moves north; the highest knob is over 1,300 feet above the Animas River Valley. The trails described run along the ridge crest for five miles beginning at the Horse Gulch Trailhead and turn around at the tallest prominence on Raider Ridge. Views abound of Durango, the Animas River Valley, La Plata Mountains, and a thin wedge of the San Juan Mountains. Please share the trail with mountain bikers.

History of the area: Daryl Crites, a Durango native, then president of Goff Engineering and longtime Durango Trails 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, Durango Trails 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: 37.26448, -107.86679

Where's the Trailhead?

dIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD

Parking at Horse Gulch Trailhead

From 9th Street and Main Avenue in Durango, head south on Main and take a left on College Drive (6th Street). Take a right on East 8th Avenue and a left on East 3rd Street. Behind the Mercy Medicine parking lot is a trailhead and parking area for Horse Gulch Trail System.

Trailwork

help build our trails!

Big Canyon Trailwork | Wednesday, August 17

Join us for trail maintenance at Big Canyon on August 17th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Please note, registration is required to join us for Trailwork; please click below to register.

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