Hiking The Animas River Trail

The 18th most popular hiking trail in Colorado.

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North of Durango near Purgatory, the Animas River Trail runs along steep river banks through a rocky canyon. The route starts by following the Purgatory Trail (#511) east and then southeast down along Cascade Creek to the Animas River (3.7 miles). At the Animas River, turn northeast onto the Animas River Trail (#675) and follow upstream for 5 miles to the Weminuche Wilderness boundary. The trail continues into the Weminuche Wilderness up along Needle Creek.

To reach the hiking trailhead from Durango, head north on US550 for 28 miles to the NFS Purgatory Campground. The trail is on the east side of the road.

Note: This trail should not be confused with the paved Animas River Trail that runs through downtown Durango.

Overall, Animas River Trail is the 18th most popular hiking trail of all 72 hikes in Colorado. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Animas River Trail including Molas Pass Backpack Trail and Missionary Ridge Trail.

Animas River Trail Hiking Map



Local Contact(s):  San Juan National Forest (970) 247-4874; Durango Visitors (800) GO DURANGO; CO Visitors (800) COLORADO

Recommended Book:  "Hiking Colorado" from Maryann Gaug

Recommended Map:  "Durango Trail Map" from National Geographic

Best Season:  Jun. - Oct.

Average Difficulty:  Moderate

Base Camp:  NFS Purgatory Campground; Durango Hostel (970) 247-9905; Riverhouse B&B (800) 254-4775

Luxury Loding:  Tamarron Resort; Strater Hotel (800) 247-4431

Breakfast Restaurant:  Durango Diner; Durango Coffee Company

Reference Source:  click here http://www.fs.usda.gov/sanjuan/

GPS:  37.629, -107.8094

Date Published:  1/6/2016

Date Updated:  7/6/2016

ID:  13369

Animas River Trail Hiking Map


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