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Hogsback Ridge rises dramatically above downtown Durango, an easily-identifiable landmark that has become one of Durango's go-to trails.
If you're in search of world-class views that you can hike to from downtown Durango, read on. The hike begins by ascending a narrow stream valley on the Slime Gulch trail, slowly gaining elevation but still hidden deep in the trees.
As you climb, you'll pass a few different trails that lead to Hogsback Ridge.
While the route mapped here only covers 2.4 miles, you can shorten this hike even more by taking one of the other ascent options. After you leave the gulch, you'll climb in earnest to gain the top of the ridge.
After traversing to the left, you'll break out onto a fully exposed ridgeline with absolutely stunning views of the region! Mountains tower above you, and ridgelines drop away below you.
It's a good idea to sit down, grab a snack, and enjoy the incredible viewpoint that you just reached.
But you still have more hiking ahead of you. Turn and look over your shoulder, and you'll see an exposed knob towering above you.
And if you look very carefully, you'll spot a trail leading up the ridge to the top.
Yes, you're going up THAT. The ascent to the pinnacle of the ridgeline requires a short but absurdly-steep section of hiking.
Most of the way, small steps have been cut into the dirt to aid in the ascent up the seemingly-vertical ridge.
The hike is a true grunt, and merely putting one foot in front of another can be a real challenge.
But once on top, the views crank up to 11! You'll enjoy mind-blowing 360-degree views of the entire region.
Best take another snack break—you earned it. Once you've finished with the view, descend the steep trail down the front of the ridge.
Take care, as the trail, while wide, is steep and extremely exposed on both sides.
But before you know it, you'll be back in the trees.
The route finishes by dropping back into the gulch and returning to the same trailhead that you began at. Congratulations, you've conquered Hogsback Ridge!