Photo: Jon Suzuki
Photo: Jon Suzuki

Road Rides

The Four Corners region of Colorado hosts some of the best road rides of anywhere in the United States. Starting from different points around Durango, rides travel through western lands steeped in history, breathtaking vistas, winding canyons and wide-open spaces.

Climbing the majestic San Juan Mountains to the north, west towards Mesa Verde NP, the rolling hills east of town, south down to the fields and meadows or a simple spin around the Animas Valley, there is something for every rider – type and ability. Stopping at Bakers Bridge at the north end of the Animas Valley, where the famous scene of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid jumping into the river was filmed, is a must. And, as all local riders know, waving to the passengers on the world-famous Narrow-Gauge Train becomes a high point of your ride.

Every year there is an annual pilgrimage to Durango on Memorial Day weekend for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary! Around 2500 riders and racers ride 47 miles from Durango over two mountain passes to Silverton. HWY550 is closed in both directions from Purgatory to Silverton so riders can truly enjoy the ride. The weekend also hosts other cycling events during the weekend that include Gravel rides, MTB races and other competitions – it is a must do weekend of cycling celebration. Be sure to click on their link in the Pedal Durango Events menu.

Being aware of your surroundings means something a bit different here in Durango. You might ride alongside a deer herd, or a ride may slow down as wild turkey’s cross the road. Sharing the road with fellow riders and wildlife we ask that you be courteous and appreciate the breathtaking scenery and fellow wildlife making their own journeys.

  • Make sure you ride single file when traffic is present.
  • Don’t wear headphones so that you can hear traffic.
  • Highly recommended to ride with a taillight so that you can be more visible to vehicles.
  • Obey the rules of the road! We want to make sure that Durango is a spot you return to again and again.

Durango Road Biking

Explore a selection of some of the best road rides Durango has to offer.

Shooting Range Out and Back

Moderate to Strenuous 34.5 miles / 2627ft Elevation 1.75 – 2.5 hours
This ride climbs, rolls and meanders through the Florida River Valley and east towards Bayfield.

La Posta Road

Easy to Moderate 26.4 miles / 1128ft Elevation 1.5 – 2.5 hours
This ride is a local favorite and is a go to in the winter months. It is perfect for a leisurely cruise or a group ride along the Animas River.

Nighthorse / Breen Loop

Moderate to Strenuous 31.1 miles/2187ft elevation 1.5-2 hours Looking for a ride with a bit of everything? Check this route out for some flats, rollers, and hills. Combined with this unique scenery, it is a ride that you will look forward to riding again.

Lemon Reservoir / Vallectio Reservoir

Moderate to Strenuous
Lemon – 26.9 miles/2178ft Elev, 1.5-2.5hr
Vallecito – 39.4 miles/3006ft Elev, 2-3.5hr
These town standards start east on County Road 240, Florida Rd, going east toward the Florida and Pine River valleys.

Half Valley Loop

Half Valley Loop
15.5 miles/516ft elevation
Limited on time or just want to spin out your legs? The Half Valley Loop is a great ride that can do both.

Durango to Hermosa

Moderate 23.1 / 1995ft elevation 1.5-2.5 hours This is a great ride to see the beauty of the Animas Valley, hopefully see some wild life, the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Train, and takes you past Durango Hot Springs in case you want to soak. A personal favorite

Bakers Bridge / Valley Loop

Moderate Out and Back 23.1 miles / 818ft elevation 1.5 – 2.5 hours , Bakers Bridge Loop 26.8 miles / 1000ft The pavement is excellent and don’t be surprised if you are passed by one of the many professional cyclists using this ride for training before racing season starts.