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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > San Juan National Forest > Columbine Ranger District

Quick Facts

Animas River Trail

Beginning Elevation: 7,700 Feet (2400.2 Meters)
Difficulty: More Difficult
Elevation Gain: 600 Feet (187.0 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 8,300 Feet (2587.3 Meters)
Length, One-way: 6.7 Miles (11.17 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 675
Usage: Heavy
USGS Maps: Electra Lake, Mountain View Crest

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Animas River Trail 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. The river canyon walls are steep and rocky, making the sun come up late and setting early. There are many good campsites along the way. Since this is a major drainage, all water used should be filtered to prevent possible Giardia contamination. This trail is used by horse outfitters, so expect to see horse traffic.

Directions from Durango, Colorado: Access #1: This trail is a section of trail linking Purgatory Trail and Needle Creek Trail together. The first trail is the Purgatory Trail which begins at the Purgatory Campground located 28.0 miles north of Durango on U.S. 550, across the road from the ski area.Access #2: This trail can also be accessed from the Needle Creek Trail.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
open Updated: 2003-09-03 12:15:00.0

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing Animas River
ICON Hiking & Walking Animas River Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Used by horse outfitters

Related Activities
Animas Overlook Interpretive Site - 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.

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.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Columbine Ranger District, 367 South Pearl Street, P.O. Box 439 , Bayfield, CO, 81122, Phone: 970-884-2512, Fax: 970-884-2428, TTY: 970-884-1433


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