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Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,450.00 ft (441.96 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Animas Mountain Loop is a very popular trail just north of downtown Durango with incredible views in every direction as you make your way around the rocky slopes. The trail is somewhat steep, so hikers often simply head up to one of the many lookouts and head back down at their own inclination. The full loop spans about 6 miles and gains close to 1,500 feet, but it is well worth the time it takes to complete. The distance can vary, however, because there are many well-marked route options to choose from. The views of Durango and the Animas River are quite stunning in the early going. Beyond you'll get to see the mighty San Juan Mountains at the far end of the loop. Along with a great array of wildflowers, wildlife is abundant on the Animas Mountain Loop, including large groupings of hawks flying overhead and hummingbirds searching for nectar.

Overall, the Animas Mountain Loop and the sections of trails that comprise it are among the most popular trails for hikers and mountain bikers in Durango, thanks to its proximity to town, beautiful views, and ample wildlife. Feel free to bring your pups to join on your adventure; they will make a ton of canine friends along the way. The trail is not heavily wooded, but there are plenty of opportunities for shade throughout the hike. Prickly pear and several other types of cactus sit below the fir, pine, and spruce that are all very common in southwest Colorado. Several species of wildflowers bloom in early May, and many more will pop up as summer progresses. Keep an eye out for horned lizards (often mistaken as horny toads), mule deer, elk, or the occasional moose along the way. The east side of the trail is nice and smooth, while the west side can get pretty rocky. Follow a loop counter-clockwise gives you the best bang for your buck. There is available parking at the trailhead, but it does fill up quickly. Extra parking can be found down a small uneven trail to 2nd Avenue.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Beautiful views. Close to town. Dog friendly. Lots of wildlife.

Cons

Can get very crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

6,722.00 ft (2,048.87 m)

Highest point

8,172.00 ft (2,490.83 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,450.00 ft (441.96 m)

Features

Family friendly
Near lake or river
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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Durango is nestled in the Four Corners area of Southwest Colorado, surrounded by mountain peaks and away from the frenzy. A premier four-season destination, Durango offers unparalleled cultural, historic and outdoor attractions. Your adventure starts within half an hour of touching down! Get More. Visit durango.org or call 970-247-3500.

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