Raider Ridge Trails
Part of the Horse Gulch Trails system.
Raider Ridge is a long, difficult and beautiful ride or hike. This trail is met by several spurs from Horse Gulch Road, segmenting Raider Ridge into: Hyper Extended Ridge, Extended Ridge, and Half Ridge. The top of the ridge meets Sugar Trail at Hyper Extended Ridge; Extended Ridge is met by Rocky Road Trail and Half Ridge is met by several short trails near the base of Horse Gulch Road. To access Raider Ridge, start from Horse Gulch Road and head past the Meadow to your 2nd left, called Rocky Road. Head up Rocky Road and stay right. You’ll continue climbing until you reach an overlook of the Hillcrest Golf Course and the La Plata Mountains. Head down by staying to the trail on your left and you’ll end up back on Horse Gulch Road. Or, head north to Hyper Extended Ridge and descend Skyline to Jenkins Ranch/Bread Express or to Sugar Trail.
The Horse Gulch Trail System is the perfect trail system for all levels and user types. It accommodates beginners or advanced riders, short rides, long rides, and more. You can start this trail any time of day. It gets dark around 7-8 p.m., depending on the time of year, so you’ll want to be done by then. In summer, these trails are mighty hot so bring plenty of water. Remember, the climb up Horse Gulch Road is the hardest part for beginners, once you arrive at the signed intersection at Meadow trail, you are greeted with 360 degree views and wide open space vistas. This intersection also provides a variety of trail options throughout the system.
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: 37.280704, -107.846625
Where's the Trailhead?
dIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD
From 9th Street and Main Avenue in Durango, head east on 9th Street toward Fort Lewis College Mesa. Take a right on East 3rd Avenue, and a left onto 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.
help build our trails!
Join us for trail maintenance on Animas Mountain on October 5th from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Please note, registration is required to join us for Trailwork; please click below to register.