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Top 10 Summer Hikes in Durango

Top 10 Summer Hikes in Durango

There’s nothing better than summertime in Durango, Colorado! Whether you're most interested in exploring downtown mainstreet or finding the nearest lake or river to cool off in this summer to escape the heat, hitting the trails and exploring at least ONE of these awesome hikes is an absolute must. Even if you’re a hard-core hiker, or you just want to dip a toe into adventuring the Durango mountains surrounding our town, these top 10 hiking trails in Durango are all relatively moderate and easily conquered by anyone!  


The Skyline Trail in Durango is a moderately easy local-favorite hike. With views of the north-eastern valley, the 6 mile round trip trek is absolutely worth it! Skyline only takes about 3 hours, but it’s mostly shaded the entire trip so you won’t be bombarded with the hot Colorado sun. Check out the map to Skyline and more information here.


Funny name, but so worth it. Hogsback Mountain is located in the heart of downtown and is one of the most beloved by locals. Be prepared to see trail runners and/or mountain bikers when you are exploring! Hogs back is a 3 mile loop and takes the average hiker about 2 hours to complete. Be prepared to be in the sun at some points during this hike! Check out the map to Hogsback and more information here.

If you’re in the heart of downtown Durango, look west and you will be able to see Perins Peak! With spectacular views from the top of the peak, this is a must-do hike when visiting Durango, Colorado. The best time to hike Perins Peak would preferably be in the morning, as it can get very hot at some points during your trek that offer little to no tree coverage. Perins Peak is a 6 mile hike that generally takes about 4 hours to complete. Check out the map to Perins Peak and more information here.


Smelter Mountain has to be the most dog-friendly hike in Durango, Colorado. Smelter Mountain has a bit of a drier terrain compared to most in-town hikes, so it is suggested that you start your trek in the early morning to beat the heat. The Smelter Mountain hike is 3.8 miles and takes about 2 and a half hours to complete. Check out the map to Smelter Mountain and more information here.


Animas Mountain trail has to be one of the best trails located in-town, Durango because you can pick and choose where you want to explore! You can choose to do the full hike that takes you all the way to the top of the mountain with spectacular views of northern Durango, or you can choose to just do the lower half of the loop. Further, Animas Mountain is a great spot not only for hiking, but for mountain biking and rock climbing as well. The full Animas Mountain hike is 6 miles and takes roughly 3 and a half hours to complete. Check out the map to Animas Mountain and more information here. 


The Falls Creek trail in Durango is located just north of town and gives explorers what they’re looking for– scenic views within the forest, a waterfall and beautiful wildflowers! The Falls Creek trail offers many variations, so be sure to check which trail you are taking and follow it back the same way you came from. The Falls Creek trail is a full 4 mile loop and takes approximately 3 hours to trek. Check out the map to Falls Creek and more information here.

The Spud Lake trail is located about 30 minutes outside of Durango. This is an easy to moderate hike that is quite popular with family, dogs and, of course, paddle boarders. The Spud Lake trail is 3 miles and only takes about an hour to complete as there is not much of an elevation gain during the trek to the lake. Check out the map to Spud Lake and more information here. 


The Cascade Canyon trail head is located just 30 minutes north of Durango, Colorado. Cascade Creek provides breathtaking scenery along your trek with wildflowers, multiple wildflowers and you’ll never get lost because the trail follows the creek itself! You can explore the full 11 mile out-and-back trail, or turn around at anypoint you’d like. The full hike takes about 5 hours, so if you would like to do the entire thing then be sure to plan to make a day out of it. Check out the map to Cascade Canyon and more information here.   


Andrews Lake is not much of a hike, but you can explore your way around this beautiful Durango, Colorado mountain lake! Bring the whole family and any water sports you prefer to use and go find your adventure. Check out the map to Andrews Lake and more information here.


We saved the best for last. The Engineer Mountain trail head is located at Coal Bank Pass and is about 40 minutes north of Durango, Colorado. With breathtaking views of the peak of Engineer, wildflowers and vast meadows, there is a reason that the Engineer Mountain hike is so popular. Being that it is a popular hike, it is best to start as early in the morning as you can to avoid the crowds of fellow adventurers. If you plan to summit to the top of this mountain, be sure to come prepared and equipped for it as the shale rock can be tricky for first time hikers. Engineer Mountain is a 12 mile out-and-back hike and takes about 7 hours to complete. Be aware that the elevation at the top of the summit is almost 13k feet, so if you struggle with high elevation, this may not be the best choice for you. Check out the map to Engineer Mountain and more information here. 


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