Hiking in Durango offers visitors the opportunity to explore the mountains and nature of southwest Colorado. Durango, Colorado is home to thousands of hiking trails weaving through the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Below are some of the best Durango hikes as well as a few hiking tips before you leave on your hiking trip.
Hiking In Durango & Hiking Trails
Animas Mountain Trail
Offering some of the greatest views in Durango, Animas Mountain is a moderate 5 mile hike with views of the Animas Valley and Animas River. Use caution as this trail is frequently used by horses, hikers and bikers. This is a great trail if you just have a little bit of time and need to get outside for a bit. From downtown Durango, make a left on 32nd Street (west of Main Avenue) to its end on W. 4th Avenue. Turn right and travel about 2 blocks to the end of the street where parking is available.
Goulding Creek Trail
Goulding Creek Trail is a moderately difficult, 6 mile hike that climbs above Hermosa Cliffs. Three miles into the hike is an overlook into the Hermosa Creek Roadless Area which is one of the best elk summering grounds in Southwest Colorado. There's also a gorgeous waterfall! The trail begins about 17 miles north of Durango on the west side of Highway 550, mile north of Tamarron Resort’s entrance.
Lion's Den Trail
Part of the Fort Lewis College trail system, Lion's Den Trail is a fairly easy and kid friendly 1.3 mile long multi-use trail for hikers and mountain bikers. The trailhead starts at Chapman Hill Ice Skating Rink and goes up toward the Fort Lewis Mesa. About halfway through is a nice bench overlooking the Animas Valley. The top includes a brick covered area overlooking the La Plata Mountains. You'll also find a playground, picnic area, and restrooms at the top across from the college rec complex.
Raider Ridge Overlook
Raider Ridge Overlook is and easy 1 mile hike that offers views of Durango and the Fort Lewis College campus. To get there, follow 8th Avenue, off of College Drive, to 3rd Street and go one block east to its end where the trailhead begins.
Colorado Trail & Junction Creek
Colorado Trail and Junction Creek offers an excellent chance to explore part of the 469-mile Colorado Trail. Children have the perfect opportunity to explore the woods and search for signs of wildlife along this spruce-covered trail. The trail follows Junction Creek and provides beautiful views in all directions. Use caution as this is a multi-use trail.Colorado Trail
From Durango, head north on Main Avenue, and turn left onto 25th Street, Junction Creek Road. Travel on Junction Creek Road for about 3 miles to where it enters the San Juan National Forest. A parking area is located on the left, near the trailhead.
More Durango Hiking Trails
Hiking & Backpacking Tips
- Tell someone where you will be hiking in Durango.
- Bring along at least two liters of fluids. Do not drink water from wilderness sources.
- Be prepared for adverse weather conditions such as rain and cold. Bring rain protection and warm clothing.
- Carry a backpack with first aid supplies, a compass, map, water, warm clothing, raingear and quick energy foods, such as candy or dried fruit.
- Protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun with sunscreen.
- Avoid hiking in high elevations during the afternoon when risk of rain and storms is higher.
- Wear sturdy footwear.
*Every year the Bureau of Land Management Colorado implements seasonal closures of trail access across the state to reduce disturbance to wintering wildlife. These closures usually take place between December & April. Please see BLM Colorado's interactive map of seasonal closures before planning your outdoor activities.