Guidebook

Top Trail Runs in Durango's Expansive Trail System

Check out this greatest hits list from the epic trail system surrounding Durango.

Greg Heil

Description

The small mountain town of Durango serves as the primary jumping off point for mountain adventure across the entire southwestern corner of Colorado. With hundreds of miles of singletrack accessible from downtown and the main artery of Highway 550 leading deep into the San Juan mountain range, there are more trails accessible within day trip distance of Durango than you could run in a lifetime.

As southwestern Colorado's hub, you can choose to fly into the small regional airport if traveling from a distance. Once in town, a wide array of hotels and resorts offer lodging options, and the nearby national forest offers dozens of campgrounds. Local stores can easily outfit you with any gear you didn't bring. And even when you're not running, the bustling downtown food and beer scene will keep you entertained.

With so many trails to choose from, the question is: where do you begin? Well, with this guidebook, for starters! Within this guidebook we've rounded up the most-recommended trail runs accessible from Durango.

For in-town runs, the three most popular spots to start are Animas Mountain, Hogsback Ridge, and the Grandview Ridge Loop. All three routes gain vantage points above downtown Durango, with long-range views of the mountains beyond.

If you head up Highway 550 into the mountains, consider an out-and-back on the high alpine Molas Pass section of the Colorado Trail, or an out-and-back on the isolated Hermosa Creek Trail.

Looking to bag a peak? Engineer Mountain is a visually-impressive summit that rewards climbers with 360-degree views of the San Juan mountains.

Last but not least, Ice Lake Basin is renowned as one of the most beautiful spots in all of Colorado! While it requires the longest drive from downtown Durango of any route on this list, it is well-worth the commute, or even flying from around the world to experience!

Animas Mountain Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Animas Mountain Loop

Durango
9.3 km
466 m
466 m
One of the most popular trail runs in Durango.
Moderate
Private
Grandview Ridge Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Grandview Ridge Loop

Durango
14.2 km
379 m
379 m
A beautiful loop up and around Grandview Ridge.
Moderate
Private
Engineer Mountain
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Engineer Mountain

Durango
9.6 km
712 m
712 m
This out-and-back climbs the slopes of Engineer Mountain and rewards with high-altitude wildflowers and views of a rare rock glacier.
Severe
Private
Ice Lake Basin
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Ice Lake Basin

Durango
14.9 km
966 m
967 m
This pair of San Juan alpine lakes is guaranteed to take your breath away.
Difficult
Private
Hogsback Ridge
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Hogsback Ridge

Durango
3.9 km
266 m
266 m
Gain stunning views from the dramatic Hogsback Ridge.
Difficult
Private
Molas Pass Out-and-Back
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Molas Pass Out-and-Back

Durango
35.9 km
1,063 m
1,063 m
A stunning high-alpine traverse run.
Difficult
Private
Hermosa Creek Out-and-Back
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Hermosa Creek Out-and-Back

Durango
57.6 km
1,884 m
1,884 m
Traverse a stunning, isolated mountain valley.
Moderate
Private