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Exploring Durango’s Amazing Wilderness: Hiking and More

Nestled in the southwestern corner of Colorado, the city of Durango is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore its amazing wilderness. From the towering peaks of the San Juan Mountains to the rolling hills of the Animas River Valley, Durango’s landscape is a perfect playground for hikers, rafters, mountain bikers, and anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Durango is home to a variety of trails, ranging from beginner-friendly strolls to more challenging hikes. Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the scenery or tackle a multi-day trek through the mountains, Durango has something for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best trails in the area, as well as the unique activities available for outdoor adventurers who want to take their exploration of Durango’s wilderness a step further.

Hiking Trails

Durango’s landscape offers plenty of options for hikers, from easy strolls to more challenging treks. Here are some of the best trails in the area.

Animas Mountain Trail

The Animas Mountain Trail is a beginner-friendly hike that offers stunning views of the Animas River Valley and the surrounding mountains. The trail is 4.5 miles out-and-back, and the trailhead is located at the Durango Mountain Resort. The trail follows an old jeep road for the first two miles before turning into a single-track for the final two miles. The last stretch of the trail is steep and strenuous, but the views are well worth the effort.

Lime Creek Trail

The Lime Creek Trail is a moderate, 6-mile out-and-back hike that follows Lime Creek up to a series of small alpine lakes. The trailhead is located at the Lime Creek Campground, and the trail winds through a mix of pine forests and open meadows. The hike is relatively easy until the final mile, which is steep and strenuous. The views at the top of the trail are stunning, and the alpine lakes are a perfect spot for a picnic.

Missionary Ridge Trail

The Missionary Ridge Trail is a challenging, 11-mile out-and-back hike that follows the ridge of the Missionary Mountains. The trailhead is located at Missionary Ridge Campground, and the trail winds through a mix of pine forests, meadows, and alpine tundra. The last mile of the trail is steep and strenuous, but the views from the top of the ridge are worth the effort. The trail also passes by a few alpine lakes, which are perfect spots for a picnic.

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Mountain Biking Trails

Durango is home to a variety of mountain biking trails, ranging from beginner-friendly rides to more challenging trails. Here are some of the best trails in the area.

Animas Mountain Trail

The Animas Mountain Trail is a relatively easy ride that follows the same route as the hiking trail. The trail is 4.5 miles out-and-back, and the trailhead is located at the Durango Mountain Resort. The trail follows an old jeep road for the first two miles before turning into a single-track for the final two miles. The last stretch of the trail is steep and strenuous, but the views are well worth the effort.

Lime Creek Trail

The Lime Creek Trail is a moderate, 6-mile out-and-back ride that follows the same route as the hiking trail. The trailhead is located at the Lime Creek Campground, and the trail winds through a mix of pine forests and open meadows. The ride is relatively easy until the final mile, which is steep and strenuous. The views at the top of the trail are stunning, and the alpine lakes are a perfect spot for a picnic.

Missionary Ridge Trail

The Missionary Ridge Trail is a challenging, 11-mile out-and-back ride that follows the same route as the hiking trail. The trailhead is located at Missionary Ridge Campground, and the trail winds through a mix of pine forests, meadows, and alpine tundra. The last mile of the trail is steep and strenuous, but the views from the top of the ridge are worth the effort. The trail also passes by a few alpine lakes, which are perfect spots for a picnic.

Rafting

Durango is a great spot for whitewater rafting, and there are a variety of trips available for all levels of experience. Here are a few of the most popular whitewater rafting trips in the area.

Animas River

The Animas River is a popular spot for whitewater rafting, and there are a variety of trips available for all levels of experience. The most popular trip is the full-day stretch from Durango to Bakers Bridge, which is a 10-mile stretch of Class III and IV rapids. There are also shorter trips available for those who don’t have the time or inclination for a full-day trip.

Piedra River

The Piedra River is a great spot for whitewater rafting, and there are a variety of trips available for all levels of experience. The most popular trip is the full-day stretch from Arboles to Pagosa Springs, which is a 14-mile stretch of Class III and IV rapids. There are also shorter trips available for those who don’t have the time or inclination for a full-day trip.

San Juan River

The San Juan River is a great spot for whitewater rafting, and there are a variety of trips available for all levels of experience. The most popular trip is the full-day stretch from Navajo Reservoir to Bluff, which is a 20-mile stretch of Class III and IV rapids. There are also shorter trips available for those who don’t have the time or inclination for a full-day trip.

Camping

Durango is a great spot for camping, and there are a variety of camping spots available for all levels of experience. Here are a few of the most popular camping spots in the area.

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Lime Creek Campground

The Lime Creek Campground is located at the intersection of Lime Creek and the Animas River. The campground offers tent and RV sites, as well as a variety of amenities, including restrooms, showers, and a camp store. The campground is a great basecamp for exploring the surrounding trails and rivers.

Animas Valley Campground

The Animas Valley Campground is located near the headwaters of the Animas River. The campground offers tent and RV sites, as well as a variety of amenities, including restrooms, showers, and a camp store. The campground is a great basecamp for exploring the surrounding trails and rivers.

Missionary Ridge Campground

The Missionary Ridge Campground is located near the summit of Missionary Ridge. The campground offers tent and RV sites, as well as a variety of amenities, including restrooms, showers, and a camp store. The campground is a great basecamp for exploring the surrounding trails and rivers.

Fishing

Durango is a great spot for fishing, and there are a variety of fishing spots available for all levels of experience. Here are a few of the most popular fishing spots in the area.

Animas River

The Animas River is one of the best spots for fishing in Durango, and it is known for its trout fishing. The river is also home to a variety of other fish, including bass, catfish, and walleye. The river can be accessed from a variety of public access points, and there are a variety of guided fishing trips available for those who want to maximize their fishing experience.

Piedra River

The Piedra River is another great spot for fishing in Durango, and it is known for its trout fishing. The river is also home to a variety of other fish, including bass, catfish, and walleye. The river can be accessed from a variety of public access points, and there are a variety of guided fishing trips available for those who want to maximize their fishing experience.

San Juan River

The San Juan River is another great spot for fishing in Durango, and it is known for its trout fishing. The river is also home to a variety of other fish, including bass, catfish, and walleye. The river can be accessed from a variety of public access points, and there are a variety of guided fishing trips available for those who want to maximize their fishing experience.

Wildlife Viewing

Durango is a great spot for wildlife viewing, and there are a variety of spots to view wildlife in the area. Here are a few of the best spots for wildlife viewing in Durango.

Animas Mountain Trail

The Animas Mountain Trail is a great spot for wildlife viewing, and it is known for its deer, elk, and bighorn sheep. The trail is 4.5 miles out-and-back, and the trailhead is located at the Durango Mountain Resort. The trail follows an old jeep road for the first two miles before turning into a single-track for the final two miles. The last stretch of the trail is steep and strenuous, but the wildlife sightings are well worth the effort.

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Lime Creek Trail

The Lime Creek Trail is another great spot for wildlife viewing, and it is known for its deer, elk, and bighorn sheep. The trail is 6 miles out-and-back, and the trailhead is located at the Lime Creek Campground. The trail winds through a mix of pine forests and open meadows, and it is a great spot to spot wildlife.

Missionary Ridge Trail

The Missionary Ridge Trail is another great spot for wildlife viewing, and it is known for its deer, elk, and bighorn sheep. The trail is 11 miles out-and-back, and the trailhead is located at Missionary Ridge Campground. The trail winds through a mix of pine forests, meadows, and alpine tundra, and it is a great spot to spot wildlife.

Horseback Riding

Durango is a great spot for horseback riding, and there are a variety of trails and rides available for all levels of experience. Here are a few of the most popular horseback riding trails in the area.

Animas Mountain Trail

The Animas Mountain Trail is a great spot for horseback riding, and it is one of the most popular rides in the area. The trail is 4.5 miles out-and-back, and the trailhead is located at the Durango Mountain Resort. The trail follows an old jeep road for the first two miles before turning into a single-track for the final two miles. The last stretch of the trail is steep and strenuous, but the views are well worth the effort.

Lime Creek Trail

The Lime Creek Trail is another great spot for horseback riding, and it is one of the most popular rides in the area. The trail is 6 miles out-and-back, and the trailhead is located at the Lime Creek Campground. The trail winds through a mix of pine forests and open meadows, and it is a great spot to spot wildlife.

Missionary Ridge Trail

The Missionary Ridge Trail is another great spot for horseback riding, and it is one of the most popular rides in the area. The trail is 11 miles out-and-back, and the trailhead is located at Missionary Ridge Campground. The trail winds through a mix of pine forests, meadows, and alpine tundra, and it is a great spot to spot wildlife.

Conclusion

Durango’s amazing wilderness offers something for everyone, from leisurely strolls to multi-day treks, and from whitewater rafting to horseback riding. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventurous outdoor experience, Durango has something for you. So grab your gear and hit the trails!