Once the snow has fallen in Durango and the winter season kicks off, many people forget about all of the hiking trails in favor of ski slopes, snowmobiling and other winter adventures. But even when the area is covered in white, shimmery snow, our hiking trails are ready for you to trek. Colorado winter hikes are one of the best ways to enjoy our beautiful state. Check out some of our favorite winter hikes below.
La Plata Canyon Trail
La Plata Canyon Trail is located near Hesperus. It is a 3.6 mile out and back trail, but you can go further and continue to Kennebec Pass if you are looking for a challenge. During winter months, cars driving in this area stir up dust from the road, making it less than ideal for hiking. In the winter months when the area is covered in snow, it is perfect for hiking and other activities like snowshoeing, fat biking, and cross country skiing.
Junction Creek Trail
The Colorado Trail at Junction Creek is 5 miles out and back. This hike has a little bit of everything you'll love- including an easy grade, beautiful views and a bridge to mark the end of your journey. This section is great for all seasons and all skill levels, but those looking for a bigger challenge can continue on to Gudy's Rest. Keep in mind that this section will involve challenging switchbacks, but it will also provide great views of Durango.
Hermosa Creek Trail
Hermosa Creek Trail is one of the longer hikes to take in the winter months at 18.6 miles out and back. Even if you're not up for the entire trek, any portion of this trail is stunning during the winter. As you hike, you'll be surrounded by snow, huge pine trees towering over you and the creek just steps away. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks if you plan to hike the entire trail- it is easy to get dehydrated even in the cold.
Animas River Trail
Right near downtown, the Animas River Trail is a favorite for visitors of all ages and experience levels. The trail winds along the Animas River offering great views of Durango's wintery landscape. The trail is more urban and just a short walk away from all of your favorite Durango businesses and restaurants. See the best of Durango during winter without needing to drive out of town at all.
Purgatory Creek Trail
Purgatory Creek Trail is rated as a 2.5 mile out and back winter hike near Durango. The trail is downhill first, so it will be more challenging once you turn around and head back to your car. The trail has incredible towering aspens, snowy views and wildlife along the way. After 1.25 miles you will reach a rocky bench to relax on and take a breather. From here, turn back and return to your car or continue on further to destinations like Cascade Creek, the Animas River and more.
If you take on a Colorado winter hike this season, tag @durangocomin your photos on Instagram for a chance to be featured. When you head out, be sure to dress warm, pack plenty of food and water and start early in the day. Happy hiking!