North of Durango, the Hermosa Creek Trail is one of the most popular trails in southwest Colorado. The 18.7 mile Hermosa Creek Trail starts west of Durango Mountain Resort and heads south to Hermosa Campground.
The route descends for 6 miles on wide doubletrack through meadows and dense ponderosa forest. Then the Hermosa Creek trail rolls another 12.7 miles singletrack through roadless ponderosa forest transitioning to dry scrub oak forest. The two river crossings can get waist high in the spring and early summer. The altitude ranges from 8,885 feet down to 7,670 feet, but there is plenty of climbing in the lower half.
Along the Hermosa Creek Trail, there are numerous side trails to explore or to create various loop options.
To reach the upper trailhead for the Hermosa Creek Trail from Durango, follow US550 north for 28 miles to Durango Mountain Resort (21 miles south of Silverton). Turn west onto Hermosa Park Road (FS578) for 8.8 miles. The trail starts on the left.
To reach the lower trailhead for the Hermosa Creek Trail from Durango, head north on US550 to Hermosa Creek Road (CR201/FS576). Turn left heading west up Hermosa Creek Road for 3.9 miles to the trailhead parking area.
If you are looking to start the mountain bike ride from US550 at Durango Mountain Resort, then look to picking up Seths Trail (shown on the map) about two miles into the mountain bike ride on Hermosa Park Road.
Overall, Hermosa Creek Trail is the 13th most popular mountain bike trail of all 176 mountain biking rides in Colorado.