The majority of this trail is little more than a rough dirt road. There are definitely some spots with steep climbs and obstacles, but on the whole a straightforward route. A friend and I reached the summit and decided to give the pass a try. The road was definitely on the moderate scale, however steep dropoffs got the better of our nerves and we quickly returned the way we came. A great time but not for the faint of heart.
Nice views of Durango and easy to get to from the center of town.
Most of the climb up is not necessarily scenic or beautiful, but it is a good workout with some switchbacks and elevation gains. We did the loop, and the path down was a little more forested and had some pretty meadows too.
Our Garmin clocked 6.13 miles, but we did take time to check out the lookout points. From some of the lookout points, we could see the river curving through town, and it was beautiful.
Great trail and great views at the end. When you reach the top (the saddle), just before the decent to Ruby lake there are many great views and places to stop for pictures or lunch. I will admit, looking down at Ruby lake knowing I was going to have to climb back out was a bit daunting. Not to mention the thunder in the distance.
The trail itself is not very steep except towards the end before Ruby Lake. There is plenty of water along the way if you have dogs.
The road to the trailhead is a whole other story. The last 2-3 miles is a pretty rough high clearance road. There was one last feature about .5 miles from the trailhead I just couldn't navigate. My F150 only has a 1" body lift and I didn't trust the rocks and ruts in just one specific spot. By this point there were some pull-offs though. Just be careful not to catch grass on fire with your cats, it is fire season.
Gorgeous views of the mountains and a beautiful walk along the Animas river. Recommend having Off as mosquitos were numerous. My phone showed the trail as being 5.9 miles and we did not quite make it to the bridge and picnic tables. Some may find the 1000' climb back out challenging. Worth every minute!!
Wonderful views and it's nice that it's a loop. We veered to the left on the way up and realized on the way down we'd chosen the harder way to the top. The right side of the loop is more switchbacks and not as much of a constant incline. Taking the longer outer trail was a good idea, the viewpoints are worth it.