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A fun trail leading to the top of Animas City Mountain for great views of the Animas Valley.


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Map Key

5.9

Miles

9.5

KM

Loop

8,168' 2,490 m

High

6,721' 2,049 m

Low

1,473' 449 m

Up

1,473' 449 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Very popular for families, both local and those visiting

Upper Animas Mountain trails closed for wildlife December 1 to July 31st. Lower Animas Mountain trails (from Aquila to the south) are closed from December 1 to April 15.

Overview

Animas Mountain Loop is a very popular trail just north of downtown Durango with incredible views in every direction as you make your way around the rocky slopes. The trail is somewhat steep, so hikers often simply head up to one of the many lookouts and head back down at their own inclination. The distance can vary because there are many well-marked route options to choose from. The full loop spans about 6 miles and gains close to 1,500 feet, and is well worth the time it takes to complete. The views of Durango and the Animas River are quite stunning in the early going. Beyond you'll get to see the mighty San Juan Mountains at the far end of the loop. - Overview by Kyle Jenkins, Outdoor Project

Need to Know

Trails are shared by hikers and mountain bikers. Riders should yield to hikers, but hikers need to remain aware of bike traffic.

Description

Start the trail at the end of 4th Ave in north Durango. There is available parking at the trailhead, but it tends to fill up quickly. If it's full, you can park along 2nd Ave and take a small uneven path up to the trailhead.

The trail begins with several switchbacks, and climbs steadily for nearly three miles until reaching the high point of Animas Mountain. Take a moment to enjoy the well-earned views before you start your descent on the other side of the loop to return to the start. The east side of the trail is nice and smooth, while the west side can get pretty rocky. The trail is not heavily wooded, but there are plenty of opportunities for shade throughout the hike.

According to Durango Trails Association, this trail is best done in a counter clockwise direction, but it can be completed either way. I like to sometimes go clockwise direction so I can hike down along the edge with great views of the valley and the city.

Overall, the Animas Mountain Loop and the sections of trails that comprise it are among the most popular trails for hikers and mountain bikers in Durango, thanks to its proximity to town, beautiful views, and ample wildlife.

Flora & Fauna

Prickly pear and several other types of cactus sit below the fir, pine, and spruce that are all very common in southwest Colorado. Several species of wildflowers bloom in early May, and many more will pop up as summer progresses.

Along with a great array of wildflowers, wildlife is abundant on the Animas Mountain Loop, including large groupings of hawks flying overhead and hummingbirds searching for nectar. Keep an eye out for horned lizards, mule deer, elk, or the occasional moose along the way.

Contacts

Shared By:

aaron moore

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 18 votes

#1672

Overall
  4.1 from 18 votes
5 Star
28%
4 Star
61%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
6%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#308

in Colorado

#1,672

Overall
42 Views Last Month
6,351 Since May 21, 2016
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Photos

Enjoy a stunning view from the top of Animus City Mountain looking north.
Jul 6, 2017 near Durango, CO
Views from near the top of Animas Mountain.
Aug 23, 2023 near Durango, CO
Near the eastern end of Ollos.
Aug 23, 2023 near Durango, CO
Typical trail surface and surroundings on Animas Mountain.
Aug 23, 2023 near Durango, CO
Evidence of the prescribed burn.
Aug 11, 2023 near Durango, CO
Typical trail surface on Animas Mountain Trail.
Aug 15, 2023 near Durango, CO

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 27 days ago
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Check-Ins

Aug 21, 2022
Doug Odom
I do red Azeriegar a D at
Jun 17, 2021
Ashleigh Shunk
Jun 13, 2021
David Scott
Sep 13, 2020
Kari Vanderslice
Excellent hike. Counterclockwise was best, to avoid going up steep hill at beginning. Great views! Snow capped mountains & river below. 6mi — 2h 30m
May 31, 2020
David Scott
May 28, 2020
Private User
May 16, 2020
Taylor Harris
With Jamison, Lloyd and Catherine. First day in Durango.
Apr 17, 2020
Frank Anthony
Went hiking with Louisa 3.2mi — 15h 54m

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