views

hiking

nature trips

forest

wildlife

birding

walking

wild flowers

dog friendly

trail running

dogs on leash

lake

mountain biking

camping

river

kid friendly

horseback riding

backpacking

waterfall

snowshoeing

off road driving

rock climbing

fishing

scenic driving

The San Juan National Forest spans more than 1.8 million acres of puclic lands near Durango in the southwestern corner of Colorado. The forest encompasses three wilderness areas: Weminuche Wilderness, South San Juan Wilderness, and Lizard Head Wilderness, two of which are alpine wilderness areas. San Juan National Forest was declared by president Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 and is now also part of the Chimney Rock National Monument. The park's terrain ranges from high-desert to alpine peaks of the San Juan Mountains. Popular highlights within the park include the San Juan Skyway, a scenic drive with excellent views, and numerous hiking trails including Ice Lake Basin Trail. Activities in the park include hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and skiing. The National Forest also offers many campsites for use, including Cayton Campground. If you want some history, take a ride on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a historic landmark that passes through the national forest.

off road driving
12 hours ago

Just read my post. It looks like I tried to drive up the mountain, we tried hiking up the mountain but it got too steep. Just want to clarify. I'm all for responsible trail riding.

off road driving
1 day ago

Drove up to the Notch and hiked down the east side past the crashed Bronco. Good drive also hiked to Taylor Lake.

Nice easy drive. Snowing the day we went out there.

Great hike with an incredible view at the top. Ice and packed snow in a few spots towards the top. Mostly clear as of 11/17

off road driving
1 day ago

Very good drive. Did this during the summer. Tried going up the mountainside, but it got very steep. Still a good drive. Very nice views.

No snow on the trail yet. Today was my first visit, nice mellow trail, only saw one other person on my way out. Several pools to choose from, all of which were nice and warm. Will definitely visit again.

Really pretty trail, beautiful forests and there are views of the mountains in a couple of places. There are a couple of places where you can see Pagosa in the distance with mountains in the background. It is an ATV trail but there was nobody on the trail. We went in November so it was quiet. Somewhat rocky, parts are a steep but easy climb. There is a place where trail loops but it wasn’t marked and we missed it and had to back track. It’s not obvious to turn there for the loop so watch for that or use this app to track your location.

Beautiful hike along the river with mountain and cliff views. Nice meadows for a picnic. We went to the bridge before turning back, it was a nice 2 hour hike.

9 days ago

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

A nice trail with a variety of terrain! A few steep ascents but pretty even mostly.
Not great views of the mountains (even in November) and very few open overlooks. Very pleasant since I love groves of pine trees and shady valleys. Loop was a bit confusing and not always clearly marked. I turned left at one point and ended up on a different trail. The length and the pretty sunset definitely made this worthwhile, but not a hike I feel like I have to do again soon.

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.

hiking
9 days ago

Nice steady ascent. Nothing difficult. Good views of Vallecito lake and dam on the ascent, but no views to speak of at the top. Good for 2 hour hike.

Beautiful variety of scenery!

backpacking
13 days ago

A wonderful trail! Slightly longer than what AllTrails says, but worth every step. One of the best we’ve ever tackled.

Did this trail the first part of Nov. Absolutely beautiful and a good family trail. Beware of the horse/mule trackings; while it is beautiful countryside, there is significant trail wear from the mule/horses. Still! It is worth the trek. I hiked this trail with my 66 y/o father and we loved it. Cozy enough to wear a mid layer sweater and get to it! Get outside, Colorado!

Great hike to top of Castle Rock with the stunning views. Recent horse and cattle hoof ruts on the lower part and snow/ice near the top. Be careful.

Amazing trail. Has some difficulty since most of the way back is uphill. Very beautiful scenery including waterfalls and the Animas River.

Pretty trail for seeing mountains. It’s well maintained and fairly flat for most of it - perfect for an easy afternoon.

Loved this trail! It’s uphill for 3/4 of the way, but the lake at the end was worth it. We hiked during a light rain - trail was slippery with mud as a result, but manageable.

hiking
21 days ago

Good well marked moderate trail.

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
22 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.

Easy ride through the Ponderosa’s!

hiking
25 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

off road driving
28 days ago

Ophir Pass was a beautiful trail due to its easy going to moderate terrain. It allowed you to take in the sights - snow capped peaks and valleys. Definitely a must do, but can be challenging once it snows. I felt the sliding of the tires over the snow, and shot my adrenaline up with the steep edge so close most of the way. Would love to do it again in August-September!

mountain biking
28 days ago

On mountain bikes-Rock chop all the way to the top! big climbs, punchy trail with lots of steep sections. The loop is fun and semi flowing in spots. Primarily an ATV trail but had it all to ourselves without a soul in sight. There's an unmarked T in the trail after an open valley - stay left and start gradually climbing. great ride in the fall with lots of shade. Not as bad going down as you would expect. Rode the whole loop in 2.5 hours including photo ops.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

The best hike I’ve ever done after years of admiring this mountain from the ground in Pagosa Springs. Not for the faint of heart - not the off road drive to find the unmarked trail nor the strenuous back half of the hike when you’re hiking a steep narrow path flanked by precipitous drips. But it’s SO worth it. Incredible 360 panoramic views once you break the tree line and a rewarding bottle of names for those who reach the true Pagosa summit. (Beware the 2-3 false summit sighting before the real one). Difficult several hours hike but definitely doable if you’re in pretty decent shape.

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