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

Durango trails Map
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3 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.

Hiked on 10/27. Doable for sure but lots of snow— wish I would have had spikes but can be carefully done without. If you have gaiters use them. My feet were soaked.

I was plenty warm with a long sleeve and puffy vest.

The directions lead you to trailhead accurately.

I went on past ice lake but could not make it to island lake as the tracks stop right now due to snow.

I’m 34 and in good shape and it took me about 2:45 to get to ice lake. I also drank near 5L of water. Totally epic views if you follow tracks up about another 500-800 feet of vert— about 1/2 mile distance.

hiking
16 days ago

Breath-taking in more ways than one and our favorite hike on our honeymoon. The 'difficult' rating is no joke for low-elevation folk like we are, but it was worth the sweat. Above the treeline it's like Tolkien county, a different world than our Minnesota. We hiked on a Sunday in late September; we started early - around 7:30 - and only ran into a few other hikers. It was much busier on the descent.

hiking
19 days ago

A couple of inches of soft/slushy snow for the first 1/2 mile and then increasing to 4-6" of snow until you hit tree line. Once at tree line I couldn't locate trail at all and quickly got into snow a foot or more deep. Snowshoes or skis recommended above tree line.

Very well traveled with magnificent views

hiking
21 days ago

My first fourtenner and a good one for first timers and beginners. Awesome view and easy incline!

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.

Amazing and breath taking view

This was a great hike! Didn’t make it to the peak for a couple of reasons. The main being there was way too much snow on the ground. My lifted Jeep made it up until we started sliding back on the ice. Also, we started at about 3pm, so obviously we were losing sunlight. It’s doable if you start early and wear snow boots. Hiking stalks would’ve been a plus as well.

hiking
1 month ago

Most beautiful hike I've even been on. The reward at the top is unbelieveable. I've never seen anything like it. The wildflowers were blooming like crazy when we went in the end of August. It was very difficult for us being from Nebraska due to the elevation but I would do it again!

1 month ago

This is our go to trail near Durango with first hikes and folks that don’t hike a lot. It has a fair elevation, great trees, very nice overlooks, beaver dams, beaver chewed tree stumps, and the reward of a pretty lake you can walk around. We call it our highest ROI hike. It’s a great opportunity to try your light/easy/first time 4X4 skills to get to the trail head. It can be done with RWD only and some ground clearance. We did it in a RWD Suburban and once many years ago in a minivan. We think the drive has gotten slightly more difficult since then. We did see a Corolla with a smashed wheel being towed off, so pick your tire spots well.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with awesome views.

I went last week. Weather was perfect. If you don’t have 4WD, turnoff the highway and go down the hill. Park after the bridge and hike up to the trail (~1 mike).

Trail is steep for the first 2 - 2.5 miles once you get to the trail head. First 2 miles are a series of switch backs and then you climb uphill after that. Once you reach the top of the hill, you descend a bit and it flattens off until you reach the lake where there is a slight uphill.

The lake is gorgeous! It’s much bigger and less populated than Ice Lake.

Careful going down. The trail is steep and covered in loose rock. I had hiking poles and went slow but still managed to totally wipe out a couple of times.

The hike was great but the scenery leading up to the lake was okay (Ice Lake was better). The lake is surrounded by mountains so you also don’t get a view of the mountains like Ice Lake.

10 miles if you park after the bridge and 8 if you start at the trail head.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, not too steep. Pretty short. Amazing fall color views, though the trail doesn't take you through aspen groves. Big lake which unfortunately is down at least 10 feet in these dry conditions, but totally worth hiking this trail. For more info and fall color pics visit https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/09/30/roadtrip-to-the-rockies-from-telluride-to-durango/

EPIC!!!! There is really nothing I can say, nor are there pictures I can show that will accurately describe this hike. You just have to go and see it for yourself. Such an amazing lake, even more beautiful than Ice Lakes. There are plenty of peaks all around Columbine Lake to summit and you will see other lakes as well as gorgeous mountain ranges that seem to go on forever.

As others have mentioned, be prepared for a grueling first 2 miles. The switchbacks are steep and feel like they keep going, and then when you get out of the trees you will see how steep and high of a mountain you have to climb, basically straight up. After that, it’s nice and easy hills with spectacular views before you hit the last little incline that takes you to the lake. Get through those 2 miles and you will be rewarded with an experience that is unrivaled.

Went on 9/29/18 and the weather was gorgeous. Bring layers. Gets hot on the hike up and can get a little windy at times. Never needed a jacket, just one long sleeve to go over my short sleeve when it was windy up top. Mostly just had hiking pants and a short sleeve tee on.

This hike was truly incredible. Went on 9/28/18. Amazing views, so much to do, waterfalls to climb while on you’re way up, etc. Weather was perfect!!Getting to see that beautiful blue water was so worth all the effort to get up there. Pictures can’t show how clear and blue it really is. I highly recommend hiking the summit peak directly behind Ice Lakes. You will have a great birds eye view of the lake, you can see the other side of the mountain, and I got LTE up there to make a FaceTime call!

Take plenty of water and snacks. The hardest part is the very end of the hike as it becomes really steep before you hit the ice lake. I will definitely be back!

As beautiful as this lake was, I say Columbine Lake was even more beautiful and there was more to explore and do. We went on back to back days and I highly recommend both!

hiking
1 month ago

The best hike I have ever done - and I've been on many hikes throughout the US. The bluest blue I have ever seen in a lake - rivals Crater Lake in Oregon. Definitely worth the lack of oxygen... Took us around five and a half hours round trip with many many stops to catch our breath and take in the scenery. We are in our early 30's, pretty good physical shape, but we're flat landers from below sea level so the elevation change really tired us out... bring plenty of water (we ran out of 2L before the end of the hike) and snacks.. best to come early so that you can take your time and stop as often as needed. Listen to your body especially if you are from below sea level. Saw many dogs and a few kids doing the trail as well. The first lake is within 2.25 miles of the start and the 2nd lake (Ice lake) is another mile after that at around 3.5. My app calculated 7.20 miles round trip. There is another lake after Ice lake but we didn't have time nor energy to get there.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing! Recommend to anyone. Be prepared and start early, met many hikers that did not bring enough water and food.

backpacking
1 month ago

One of the most beautiful hikes that I’ve ever gone! Prime color season so it was amazing.

Went in late September. The weather was perfect and the fall colors were at peak season. The hike is not long, but the first half is straight uphill, so be prepared for a workout. The lake is amazing and well worth the work it takes to get there.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike with amazing views of peaks along the way and moraine lake and wilderness at the end

hiking
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.

hiking
1 month ago

I LOVE THIS HIKE! The first time I did it was a few years ago for 4th of July, and unfortunately the lake was iced over, but the plants were in full bloom and so pretty! The second time was this year for labor day and The lake was amazing and there was no snow, however all the plants were dying. I would recommend doing this hike early August to mid August. This hike literally has all four seasons. It was sunny to start and then rained and snowed all in one hike lol. The hike isn't too bad as far as toughness but it will have your heart going. We also hiked to island lake and it was a lot closer than expected, it isn't too far from ice lake. I highly recommend just pushing a little further. There is just so much to see on this hike.
As far a the road getting there it isn't bad, you don't need a 4WD unlike other hikes in this area.

on Ice Lake Basin Trail

scenic driving
1 month ago

Ice Lake Basin and Island Lake are the most beautiful trail in Colorado IMHO.

One of my favorites. This trail is increasingly popular so getting an early start is key if you’re interested in a quieter experience. Catching the sunset from the upper basin is incredible and completely worth it — be bear aware if you are going up ahead of the crowds, and definitely push for Island Lake if you’ve got the time!

You won’t hold the consistent (and, at times a bit brutal, haha) elevation gain against this trail when you see the payoff at the end. The lakes are unbelievably beautiful and the views are insane.

Amazing

hiking
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!

Now one of my favorite 14ers!
If you have 4 wheel drive and high clearance try to go as far up this road as you can! It will help eliminate you hiking up the whole road to get to the trail head! If you can make it far up that road, you will thank yourself on the way back down

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely worth the trip. The drive in from Cinnamon Pass was sketchy like a lot of people have said previously. I’m an inexperienced off roader driving a Jeep Patriot and I made it down but it was shaky. If you are about the views getting to Handie’s then definitely go through Ouray and Cinnamon Pass, if not and you want an easier drive in, take Co 30 in. The hike itself was a pretty steady gain. I did this as my first solo 14er and absolutely don’t regret it. But never underestimate a 14er, even the ones considered easier. Make sure to start earlier, 7/8 at the latest, so you can get down before afternoon storms start up.

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