Animas River Trail

Written by Raymond Hamilton.

Elevation Difficulty Recommended Use Distance Season
8,300 feet Moderate to difficult
6.7 Miles Memorial Day Weekend - Labor Day Weekend

Driving Directions:

From Durango, Colorado, Access #1: This trail is a section of trail linking Purgatory Trail and Needle Creek Trail together. The first trail is the Purgatory Trail which begins at the Purgatory Campground located 28.0 miles north of Durango on U.S. 550, across the road from the ski area.Access #2: This trail can also be accessed from the Needle Creek Trail.

Hiking Directions:

The Animas River Trail is an alternative to taking the train to get to Chicago Basin. The trail follows the river banks for its entire distance offering fishing possibilities. The river canyon walls are steep and rocky, making the sun come up late and setting early. There are many good campsites along the way. Since this is a major drainage, all water used should be filtered to prevent possible Giardia contamination. This trail is used by horse outfitters, so expect to see horse traffic.

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