First Fork Trail is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Durango, CO that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October.
Directions from Durango, Colorado: Drive approximately 8 miles east of Durango on Florida Road (County Road 240). Turn north at Colvig Silver Camp and go past the camp, over the cattle guard and continue to follow the road for approximately 1 mile. A strong 2WD with good clearance may be needed for the last mile of the road. Limited parking is available.
Road Directions are good. Last mile or so of road to trailhead is a bit rutted-need some ground clearance on your vehicle. Room for parking about 4-5 vehicles at trailhead. Trail starts at road end. Follow old jeep road past trailhead for about .2 mile to sign for trail indicating 1st Fork, turn to left at sign. Go thru gate (close it behind you) and trail generally follows a valley floor heading west beside a small stream. Pleasant walk-we saw thousands of grasshoppers and hundreds of butterflies and lots of wildflowers in May on the partly shaded trail. Not much in the way of views until you get to a big meadow at about 3.3 miles then you have some nice views back the way you came from the center of the meadow. You cross the meadow and go off to the meadow's right side where the trail climbs steeply and switches back to dead end into the Missionary ridge trail at 3.83 miles. From the Missionary Ridge trail there are nice views both east towards trailhead and west toward the animas valley and you can see the LaPlatas off in the distance to the west. Trailhead elevation 7900', trail end at 9460' or roughly 1600' gain-more if you go north or south on the missionary ridge trail. When we went there were lots of newly fallen trees across the trail in the old Missionary ridge fire burn area many yrs ago about halfway up the trail. Trail description says wildlife but we did not see any large mammals-lots of deer scat on the trail however.