Situated on the Northwest edge of Durango, Colorado, Animas Mountain Trail is a formidable 6-mile loop that rewards those willing to tackle its rocky ascents and descents. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the trail offers two paths: a singletrack for pedestrians and a former double track that's now a wide singletrack for bikes. It is a difficult-level trail, best suited for riders looking for a strenuous workout punctuated by panoramic vistas.
Steep inclines and rocky terrains define the Animas Mountain Trail. Cyclists have described it as a "brutal climb," and indeed, the track demands high energy and caution. But the hard work pays off: reaching the top offers a vantage point with breathtaking views of the Animas River Valley to the North and the town to the South.
While seasonal closures do occur, the trail generally opens earlier in the season because it's not heavily shaded. It serves as a good option for early-season training for those looking to build climbing stamina on a rocky trail.
The trailhead is easily accessible. From 32nd Street, turn West and proceed for two or three blocks until reaching a dead end. Turn right and continue until the pavement ends. From there, the trail entrance is quite obvious.
Animas Mountain Trail is not for the faint of heart. The steep, rocky path requires a high level of physical fitness and technical skill. However, those who conquer it are rewarded with views that can only be described as spectacular. The challenging nature of this trail, paired with its rewarding vistas, makes it a must-try for any serious mountain biker.