Best trails in San Juan National Forest

5662 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in San Juan National Forest, Colorado? AllTrails has 125 great hiking trails, running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 60 moderate trails in San Juan National Forest ranging from 0.6 to 32.7 miles and from 6,696 to 12,906 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description
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.
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Map of trails in San Juan National Forest
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Top trails (125)
#1 - Island Lake Via Ice Lakes Trail
San Juan National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(234)
Length: 6.9 mi • Est. 4 h 35 m
Island Lake Via Ice Lakes Trail is a 6.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ophir, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking,Show more
#2 - Columbine Lake Trail
San Juan National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(137)
Length: 8.3 mi • Est. 5 h 20 m
First 2 miles are tough but once you get up to the saddle it's much easier. There are 16 discernible switchbacks before you meander through to the end of the trees. Once you top out of the trees, the Show more
#3 - Animas Mountain Trail
San Juan National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(447)
Length: 6 mi • Est. 3 h 27 m
Please note: As of March 08, 2020, users have reported that the back of the trail is closed so only the front loop is available. Please consult the park's website before visiting. Great loop that youShow more
#4 - Piedra River Trail
San Juan National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(215)
Length: 7.3 mi • Est. 3 h 26 m
Piedra River Trail is a 7.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Pagosa Springs, Colorado that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activiShow more
#5 - Highland Mary Lake Trail
San Juan National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(83)
Length: 4.9 mi • Est. 2 h 56 m
Highland Mary Lakes is a series of high altitude lakes, tarns and awesome views. You can catch the Continental Divide trail from above the lakes, consider a day hike up and back or an overnight, but Show more
#6 - Potato Lake via Spud Lake Trail
San Juan National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(195)
Length: 3.1 mi • Est. 1 h 32 m
Potato Lake via Spud Lake Trail is a 3.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Silverton, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hikiShow more
#7 - Vallecito Creek Trail
San Juan National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(242)
Length: 12.7 mi • Est. 6 h 11 m
Trailhead is in the parking lot just outside the campgrounds. The trail travels around the campground and starts again. The trail is well marked with a small elevation gain. It follows right along theShow more
#8 - Chicago Basin to Mount Eolus
San Juan National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(31)
Length: 17.4 mi • Est. 10 h 57 m
Chicago Basin to Mount Eolus is a 17.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Silverton, Colorado that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trShow more
#9 - Molas Lake To Animas River
San Juan National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(89)
Length: 8.1 mi • Est. 4 h 36 m
Starts at Molas Lake and ends up at Animas River. Down hill trailShow more
#10 - Crater Lake Trail
San Juan National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(81)
Length: 9.9 mi • Est. 5 h 20 m
Crater Lake Trail is a 9.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silverton, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options aShow more
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