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FATMAP difficulty grade
The Skyline Trail quickly ascends the northern side of Raider's Ridge via a switchbacked singletrack.
The hike gains a fast 950 feet, but the reward for your effort is a stunning 360-degree view above Durango! The climb to the top of the ridge follows a relatively non-technical switchbacked trail.
"The first 1.7 miles is almost predominantly comprised of switchbacks, affording some amazing views of the mesa and reservoir below," according to [RootsRated.com](https://rootsrated.com/durango-co/trail-running/skyline-trail-running).
"This first section of trail is fairly even underfoot and offers quite a bit of shade before you hit the top of the ridge." From the very top of the Skyline Trail, you'll enjoy stunning views of the region, but you could continue along Raider's Ridge for a short ways as mapped here to continue enjoying the views for a little while longer.
This upper section is more technical, so if you want an easier hike with more secure footing, simply turn around at the top of the ridge.
Turning around at the top of the ridge and heading back down would reduce the difficulty rating from "difficult" to "moderate."