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Perins Peak


The most popular route to the top of Perins Peak, beginning in Rockridge.

Hiking Difficult

9 km
474 m
474 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
2.1 km
High Point
2.5 km
Perins Peak Map

8,346-foot Perins Peak soars above downtown Durango, but hikers often forget about it because it's only open four months per year: August 1 to November 30. However, if you manage to hike Perins Peak within that narrow window, you'll be richly rewarded!


Since many hikers forget about this peak, you're unlikely to encounter much foot traffic on your way to the summit, "which creates a wonderful sense of calm and immersion in nature," according to DurangoTrails.org. As an added bonus, this is one of the few trails close to downtown Durango that's closed to mountain bike traffic. That said, the route shown here is the most popular ascent to the top of Perins Pea, beginning in the Rockridge neighborhood.

The hike to the top follows pristine, rarely-traveled singletrack the entire way. Immediately after leaving the trailhead, you'll find yourself immersed in the beautiful waving grasses of the State Wildlife Area. Soon, the trail enters a section of gambel oaks as it begins climbing up a narrow valley. You'll find yourself hiking through a dense mix of pines and oaks before the trail grade kicks up in earnest as it begins ascending the steep side of the ridge.

Here the trail really climbs, switchbacking up the mountainside via a steep and sometimes rocky grade. The views of the region begin to open up, with the glimpses of the San Juans to the north a mere taste of what you'll experience from the top!

Soon you'll reach a trail junction on the top of the ridge where the route from the Twin Buttes side joins this one. Take a left turn and keep climbing to the top of the mountain.

The views from the top of Perins Peak are absolutely stupendous! As you sit on top of a sheer precipice, you can soak in gorgeous views of the San Juans to the north, the town of Durango spread out below you, the Hogsback in Overend Mountain Park directly below you, Smelter Mountain to the right, Fort Lewis College and Raider's Ridge in the background behind town... the more you look, the more you'll notice!

Once you've had your fill of the views, return to your car the way you came. Take care to return via the same route—you don't want to accidentally end up on the other side of the mountain!



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between August and November


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area