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Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
383.00 ft (116.74 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
6.50 mi (10.46 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.

The hiking in this part of the San Juans is spectacular...and often steep. It is hard to find a hike of any interest with less than 2,000 feet of elevation gain. One great option for families or anyone looking for a beautiful hike near Pagosa Springs, without a lot of climbing, is the Piedra River Trail. This trail runs for 11 miles from trailhead to trailhead, but, a wonderfully varied and beautiful hike is to go about 3 miles down the river starting at the Piedra River Trailhead and then return the same way.

From the trailhead parking area, the trail follows the river through some open country with views of the Continental Divide. It soon drops between rock walls into a narrow canyon with some impressive fallen boulders This area is popular with rock climbers. The canyon ends at the 1-mile point, and from here the trail follows the river though several beautiful meadows. The sound of the river and the scenery make this an extremely pleasant hike. There is a footbridge over Williams Creek and second at the 3-mile. To get to this bridge (which makes a great destination and turning point for this adventure), take the Piedra Pack Trail fork to the left and follow it for a quarter of a mile down to the river crossing.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Mostly flat. Beautiful scenery. River access. Interesting canyon.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

7,370.00 ft (2,246.38 m)

Highest point

7,655.00 ft (2,333.24 m)

Features

Family friendly
Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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