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Hiking trails are ubiquitous around Durango. Many trailheads around the edges of town lead to backcountry settings, and the San Juan Forest has plenty of mind-boggling walks and trails for those who want to backpack into wilderness.
Trails2000. Before you go, check the local organization Trails2000 for directions, information, and news about hiking in and around Durango. Durango, CO. 970/259–4682. www.trails2000.org.
Animas View Overlook Trail. If you're pressed for time (but still want spectacular views), try the 0.7-mile Animas View Overlook Trail. It takes you past signs explaining local geology, flora, and fauna before bringing you to a precipice with an unparallelled view of the valley and the surrounding Needle Mountains. It's the only wheelchair-accessible trail in the area. Trailhead at Forest Rd. 171, Milepost 8, Durango, CO.
The Lion's Den Trail hooks up with the Chapman Hill Trail west of Fort Lewis College for a nice moderate hike, climbing switchbacks that take you away from city bustle and hook up with the Rim Trail.
Colorado Trail. Starting a few miles northwest of Durango, the Colorado Trail covers about 500 miles on its way to Denver. You're not obliged to go that far, of course. Just a few miles in and out will give you a taste of this epic trail, which winds through mountain ranges and high passes and some of the most amazing mountain scenery around. Trailhead off County Rd. 204, Durango, CO. www.coloradotrail.org.
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