Durango's Hermosa Creek Trail has been acclaimed as one of America's Top Ten Singletrack rides, a title it truly deserves. The 19-mile point-to-point trail offers a variety of terrains, featuring long sections of singletrack, multiple river crossings, and a few challenging climbs. If you're planning a biking adventure in Colorado, this trail promises an unforgettable experience.
From Durango, drive north on Hwy 550 towards Purgatory ski resort. Go past the resort, and turn left onto road FS 578 or San Juan CR 38. Make a right at the T-junction on top and follow the dirt road down into the valley. Follow the signs for Sig Creek Campground and Hermosa Creek Trailhead. Keep in mind that a short river crossing is required to reach the parking area, usually shallow, but it's advisable to check the conditions.
Before setting out, make a trip to Pedal the Peaks and invest in the Singletrack Maps Durango Colorado Trails map. The shop owner, Cliff, is a treasure trove of trail information.
The trail starts on the West side of the parking area and kicks off with several miles of exceptional singletrack. As you head South, the trail dips into a steep canyon, following the river towards the town of Hermosa. Approximately 6 miles in, you'll cross the well-marked Salt Creek Trail.
For an extra challenge and variety, consider starting with Corral Draw. It offers a gradual downhill on a 4-inch wide, off-camber trail. However, this alternate start requires a more complex route, so plan ahead.
Hermosa Creek Trail ends near the town of Hermosa, making it a convenient place to park a car for your return journey. Shuttle services are also available for those interested.
Hermosa Creek Trail offers a mixed bag of terrains and challenges that make it ideal for intermediate riders. Whether you opt for the classic route or throw in the alternate Corral Draw start, it's a ride that will keep you captivated from start to finish.Remember, this is more than just a trail; it's a full-day adventure that demands preparation and respect. Prepare well, ride safely, and you'll leave with memories of one of the best cross-country trails around.