Explore 2015 vacation - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2015 vacation Map
5 days ago

Popular in town trail shared with mountain bikers resulted with poor quality hiking. Otherwise great trail with views and nice gradual gains.

Moderate ascent with some great views of Durango and the valley to the north on the east side of the loop. Full loop is 6 miles, so it makes for a good 3 hour hike. Also a pet friendly hike. If I do it again, I’ll just do the east side up and back as it offers great views and terrain. The west side is a straight descent through the forest with little to no views.

Beautiful, relatively taxing hike through the canyon with spectacular views. Entire hike is along the river. 6 miles to second bridge. Good morning hike if you’re up and about early, otherwise plan for 1/2 day hike - roughly 4-5 hours - if you go to second bridge.

Trail is indeed open and lovely!

This was a great trail to hike! I’m in town for work, had a day off, and loved spending it on this trail. The trail itself was in good shape, the people I encountered were friendly, and the views were 100% worth the trek. No dogs were on leashes, but they were all amazingly well trained. There were a lot of cyclists, but 95% were polite and careful around us. The one small group that wasn’t was a bit scary as they came around a hair pin turn a little too quickly for me to be able to get out of the way comfortably.

I’d recommend this trail and just suggest you watch the cyclists and the horse poop.

The best hike in all of Mesa Verde and I know because I did almost all of them in two days and this was my last. Amazing views at the top! The hike was challenging going up, not much covered, but doable. Downhill was super fast! Park at the amphitheater and look for the trail sign. I would do this ten more times if I could!

This was a pretty cool hike. Good views and a decent workout. I was able to finish it in a little over an hour. Take time to pick up the map for the “tour”. I did not, but if I did, I would have spent much more time here.

Open today! Lots of people hiking. Gorgeous as always.

Anyone know if it’s still closed?

Lovely walk in the woods, gradual steepness. Highly recommend for a 1.5- 2 hour walk or trail run. Shaded so it stayed cool even though the sun was high. Bench at the top to rest and enjoy the scenic views. Can keep going up the colorado trail or turn back after Gudys Rest.

Hiked in mid October and went CCW. Might be easier to go CW but either way is awesome. The hiking was pretty easy and the views second to none. Like others I would recommend the guide book. It’s free at trailhead if you promise to put it back or it’s a dollar donation at the visitor center.

A good trail close to town with fantastic views up the Animas valley. We took the eastern loop which branches often to the right towards viewing places. The view at the top is fabulous. We opted to come back down the same trail as locals on the trail mentioned the western section is steep, rocky, and limited views. Overall a great 6-7 mile hike.

LOVED this trail! We liked both the complexity of the trail itself, as well as the fantastic views along it - both of the canyon, as well as the intriguing sculpturing of the walls you were walking by. If you have even the slightest fear of heights, you should NOT go on this trail. There were a number of times you walk on a (?)one foot wide path with a sheer, long drop into the canyon right next to you. Also, people of size might have quite some difficulty getting through some of the narrow squeezes. The scamper/climb up very tall stone steps after the petroglyphs can be very challenging, but it's only a short stretch.

1 month ago

Great hike with awesome views.

1 month ago

Wonderful short hike in the park. Best petroglyphs I’ve seen yet. Definitely get the $1 brochure in the museum that guides you through the hike’s 34 points of interest.... always nice to know what you’re looking at when it comes to native plants, uses, animals, and historical/ cultural facts.

1 month ago

Goes down first, then back up so save a little energy. Easy. There are a few side trails, but these seem to go to campsites. When in doubt go right. Lovely aspen groves and amazing valley with aspens. Can pick any distance on this out and back since it doesn't lead to anything amazing like an alpine lake. Colors past their prime, but worth hiking in the fall. For more info and pics visit https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/09/30/roadtrip-to-the-rockies-from-telluride-to-durango/

Great trail, easy to follow, and great for kids. Our five year old completed the round trip down to the river and back up - circa 3 miles. It was not too crowded despite the weather and fall colors and there is plenty of parking at the trailhead.

The dog restriction is unfortunate but was bound to happen. We would frequently hike out dog poop that others had left behind on this trail. To add insult to injury, the town didn’t have any disposal bins at the trailhead, so often times we would have to drive into town to dispose of the waste properly...that certainly didn’t help matters, I’m sure. I wish there was a way to punish the irresponsible dog owners and not all of all of us (some poop cams following by some social media shaming?) because this is bound to happen on all of our trails. If the city willing to spend money to have police officers patrol the trail, then please ticket the people not following the rules instead of punishing all of us. It’s frustrating to the good dog owners out here who are cleaning up after the bad ones.

Amazing trail. I was blown away. One of the best trials I’ve been on in the 40 or so hiked I’ve done in Colorado. Not easy by any means. For sure a moderate trail.

1 month ago

I took the recommendations below and went counterclockwise which I think was a very good idea. I started early on a Tuesday, and saw just a few people with dogs in the first mile and last mile, but no one on the rest of the trail. The views are spectacular, but beware that the trail is very rocky. Easy to lose your footing if you are not careful. The trail is adequately marked but found it helpful to have the map on my phone as well.

Nice trail! I would definitely do this one again. Just getting used to altitude. It was perfect for that. Lots of people on the trail for a Monday morning.

This trail was OPEN yesterday-rough ascent and descent due to steep incline and trail conditions but worth it for views at top. Palmer lake police were patrolling it to enforce no dogs rule.

1 month ago

Great trail! Beautiful views of Durango and hard enough to get your heart going. Only one caveat, there are quit a few cyclists and one has to be careful.

I enjoyed!

1 month ago

GORGEous trail. As long or short as you like (out & back). You run into fewer people the farther out you get. After you go up and up for a little while on some moderate switchbacks, you will descend down further into the gorge and will find access points to the river. Wonderful little lazy shady spots to enjoy from there up to the first bridge. Large boulders strewn throughout the river on which you can relax a while.

1 month ago

Worth doing while you are in the park! A nice and relatively shady loop along the middle rim of a canyon, starting near Spruce Tree House. The petroglyphs really aren't that much to write home about compared to others in the general area, but petroglyphs are always exciting to see. I was more enamored with the trail itself. It's sort of rocky and jaunty - a fun hike that loops back and drops you near the museum and parking area up on top. It might not be a great option for folks who aren't in good physical shape. There are a couple of little points where you have to climb up a little on some rocks and it is somewhat vertical or steep, though most of the trail is quite tame.


2 months ago

Loved this hike along the river. The water was so clear. We had the trail to ourselves and found a nice spot close to the first bridge where we stopped for lunch and dipped our toes in the water. There are good sized rocks and small boulders on most of the trail, so I would suggest good ankle supported boots. We turned around at the first bridge (3+ miles), which made a great day hike. Stopped at the Rusty Shovel on the way out for a brew. :-)

Trail closed due to erosion. No repairs are in progress. The gate blocking the road is closed and they placed tons of barbed wire as a deterrent as well.

I do enjoy a nice loop with a view. If I were to go again I would probably stay right once I got to the main trail as it is pretty steep for about a mile and a half. You get to the top at about 2 miles and it is a little over 3 down. If you stay right it is easier going uphill then the downhill will be steeper but quicker. It can be quite rocky on the trail but it isnt the whole trail and it didnt ruin the hike for me. I gave it four stars because there are definitely better hikes around with better views but it was a great morning hike, and not having to drive an hour to get to it is definitely a plus.

We hiked in about 6 miles, past twin bridges. Round trip, according to Map My Hike app, was 12.8 miles. Great views, with constant sound of water flow. There were lots of horse dung. we saw a couple with 5 horses walking back out. it was day after the Labor day so we didn't see any body else.

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