Mid & High Country Trail Systems
Get deep into the backcountry on these rides
Durango not only has amazing in town trail systems but has a wide variety of mid and high-country trails North of Durango that are snow free June 1- Oct 1. These trails range anywhere from 12,500ft (Windy Pass on the Colorado Trail west of Molas Pass) down to 6630ft (the bottom of Haflin Creek in the Animas Valley near Durango) but are generally above 8000ft and many are between 10 and 12,000ft.
The trails are more rugged than the in-town trails since they weren’t pioneered for bikes, but they do make for some fun, challenging riding, and incredible vistas. Besides those qualities the best things about mid and high-country trails are that above about 8000ft the soil is different and is passable when wet/raining, and it is much cooler in the summer months.
It is very important to be prepared for many situations in the mid and high country as severe weather can move in very rapidly and it can drop to freezing, lightning and sleeting sideways in a manner of minutes (take it from experience(s)). If there is imminent weather wait it out in safety or choose another day. Altitude sickness can also be a factor so be aware of and respond accordingly to any symptoms. In addition to regular bike tools and air it is highly advisable to bring extra clothing, plenty of water and fuel, first aid and emergency supplies and always ride with others or let someone know your planned route. Mechanical and medical situations can happen so riders should be prepared for the worst. Given the terrain, a bicycle and you, it is highly recommended to purchase and carry a Colorado Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card to support search and rescue efforts but also cover some costs in case you need search and rescue!
The Durango Trails website has a trail conditions page for some excellent beta: https://www.durangotrails.org/trail-conditions/