Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year to go hiking in Durango, as the leaves are changing color in the most spectacular way. The landscape is a stunning tapestry of orange, red and yellow. The breeze is crisp and cool. And the golden sunlight makes the mountains glow.
Animas City Mountain Trail
Start at the trail head on 4th Avenue, and take this six mile round-trip hike through the forest and up the mountain for a great view of the valley. This is a popular climbing and bouldering area, so you even might see a few people scaling the rocks. It’s a challenging climb, but when you reach the top of the mountain, you will be able to see stunning views of the fall colors in the valley below.
Columbine Lake and Pass
Drive to nearby Silverton for this amazing 7 mile round-trip hike, set within the gorgeous San Juan National Forest. The hike requires a steep climb through dense forest, which will be full of vivid fall leaves. After the ascent through the beautiful alpine meadows, you will reach Columbine Lake, a stunning glacial lake with pure, cold turquoise water hidden like a jewel between rugged peaks.
Hermosa Creek Trail
This hike is considered to be one of the top trails in Durango and perhaps even one of the best in Colorado. It is 20 miles, beginning high in the San Juan Mountains, following a dirt trail along Hermosa Creek. Many people complete it via shuttle – getting dropped off at the trail head and picked up at the bottom. The fall trees are especially spectacular here in the gorgeous aspen groves of the wild back country of Colorado.
Twin Buttes Trail
This is a popular mountain biking trail, but it is also a beautiful place to hike. It’s a steep climb up to the Twin Buttes, which are two rocky top mountains that are similar in size and shape. You’ll traverse some beautiful forest where you can admire the fall colors, as well as perhaps spot hawks or eagles.
Spud Lake Trail
Looking for a hike that will be just the right speed to bring your kids along? The Spud Lake Trail will take you through some beautiful forests with plenty of aspen trees bursting with color. It is an easy two mile hike to a lake, so it is suitable for families with young kids. Take a picnic and have lunch while enjoying the gorgeous scenery!
These are just a few of the many great hikes in Durango that will give you a glimpse of the fall colors, but there are many others to choose from as well– so why not get out there and explore?