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Mountain Biking: Colorado > San Juan National Forest > Columbine Ranger District

Quick Facts

Animas Overlook Interpretive Site

Elevation: 7,400 Feet (2306.7 Meters)
Handicapped Accessible: Yes Trail is paved and gently sloping

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Forest Road 543 goes north from the campground and winds its way up the south side of Barnes Mountain for six miles to the Animas Overlook. Here, at 9,000 feet, a leisurely walk will take you along an interpretive trail to nine information signs, with topics including history, geology, wildlife, archaeology, ecology, and forest management.

You can see a panoramic vistas of the high peaks to the north and east, with Animas Valley in the foreground. To the south are views of Durango and the mesa country. Animas Overlook is accessible to the disabled. The trail is paved and gently sloping, to aid the use of wheelchairs. The vault toilets have wide doors and handrails.

Directions from Durango, Colorado: On north Main at 25th Street, turn left across from the La Plata County Fairgrounds, and go 4 miles to the Forest Boundary. Continue on Forest Road 171 for 1.5 miles to Junction Creek Campground. Continue another 6 miles to Animas Overlook.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend (NOTE: Wheelchair accessible. No fee. Amenities: water, trash pickup, and vault toilets.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Open. Wheelchair accessible. Until snow closes the road. Updated: 2001-11-14 12:23:00.0

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking An interpretive trail
ICON Viewing Interpretive Signs Nine information signs on various topics
ICON Mountain Biking Forest Development Road 171
ICON Picnicking Permitted
ICON Viewing Scenery High peaks to the north and east

Related Activities
Animas Overlook Trail - The self-guided interpretive loop trail points out geology, history, flora and fauna as it goes through ponderosa pine and Gambel oaks and offers spectacular views. The trail offers overlooks with great views of the Animas Valley and Needles Mountains.

Animas River - The upper portion of the Animas River is Federally managed. Some segments are runnable with kayaks and cata rafts, other segments are unrunnable at all times or during certain months.

Animas River Trail - The trail follows the riverbank within the steep and rocky canyon walls and is an alternative to taking the train to get to Chicago Basin. The trail follows the river banks for its entire distance offering fishing possibilities.

Junction Creek Campground - Junction Creek Campground is a good base camp for Durango activities. The campground is on a south-facing hillside a small distance above Junction Creek.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Durango Area Chamber Resort Association, 111 South Camino Del Rio , Durango, CO, 81301, Phone: 800-463-8726, Fax: 970-385-7884, durango@frontier.net


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