Each photo and review that you add on The Outbound earns you points towards rewards, free gear, and access to exclusive discounts. Climb from the meadowland on a sandstone ridge to the highpoint, Peak 7,385’. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your Falls Creek Road was established as a public roadway in 1979 linking the Animas River Valley with Hidden Valley. The formation is common in Utah but unusual in Colorado. Please explore responsibly! A 10-foot-tall cylinder of ice with water trickling inside will form after a sustained winter cold spell. Falls Creek is essentially an “in-town” hike, but its secluded location lends to its wonderful feeling of remoteness. Durango, The trail starts off with a gradual uphill along Junction Creek. The 6 Best Trail and Ale Pairings in Durango, An Ode to Southern Colorado's Animas River Valley, An Insider's Guide to the Million Dollar Highway, Get Off-Road with Colorado’s Rock Pirates OHV Tours, How to Explore One of Colorado's Lesser-Known Adventure Towns. The Falls Creek trail system offers hiking and mountain biking for all skill levels. The full tour is almost eight miles with 1,100 feet of climbing. This hike, a local favorite is less than five miles from downtown Durango. Come join us for a stay at the Hemp House and learn more about our various organic farming methods, or simply enjoy an escape into the mountains and wilderness of southwest Colorado. The drive from Durango to Ouray via Colorado 550 (The San Juan Skyway) is one of the most gorgeous roads in the country. At a cottonwood grove, the trail splits. No. This 6-mile loop offers a great… You may also access Hidden Valley on foot or bike via the old Falls Creek Road. An open gate indicates passage onto public lands. Grasses are lush and diverse. 393 ft gain Hidden Valley almost fell to development in 1990 when a utility company based in Salt Lake City placed the 530-acre parcel on the open market. Distance and Elevation Gain: Build your own hike. Welcome to the Falls Creek Ranch (FCR) website. Just as the second roller begins to soften, take a few strides to the right (1.6 miles, 7,360 feet) and step onto sandstone. You'll also find some great local park options, like Bodo State Wildlife Area or The rock shelters are currently off limits to the public, but if you’re curious about Anasazi ruins and culture, make the drive out to Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez. Follow the narrow single track straight down the valley. Walk a segment or the full tour, 7.8 miles with 1,100 feet of climbing. Church Camp Trail to Valley Fire Overview (1.0 mile) The trail leaving the four-way bears east for a short distance before curving north. The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. An informative placard explains that the 1,500 acre Falls Creek Archaeological Area adjoins Hidden Valley on the west side of County Road 205. Turn south on the trail running up the ridge. Scampering is irresistible. Return to the South Meadow Trailhead (2.9 miles)Continue on the trail just a few steps west to the crest of a soft ridge and turn south. The Falls Creek Loop is a 4.1 mile trail in the San Juan National Forest, just outside of Durango, Colorado. On March 30, 1992, Hidden Valley became public property managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The shining needles of the ponderosa in this forest have a charmed capacity to reflect light. From the trailhead, elevation 7,000 feet, walk north up valley. FCR is a unique community of 940 acres of forests and meadows almost completely surrounded by the San Juan National Forest. The trail is shared by hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners. The trail tracks the west side of the meadow to avoid the wetlands and riparian habitat in its center. Florida Campground is located near the north end of Lemon Reservoir, in southwestern Colorado. It’s a low-angle and gradual climb to the first of several viewpoints of the Animas Valley, stretching away into the mountains. South Meadow to Mid-Meadow Lateral Trail (0.8 mile)Park adjacent to large, exfoliated boulders. Discovered in 1938-39 by Earl H. Morris, the Durango Rock Shelters are some of the oldest Anasazi ruins in the nation, dating back to 200-500 CE. CO, Debra Van Winegarden/Special to the Herald. The Animas Mountain Trail is a 6 mile loop trail, easily accessible from town, and best used from March until October. These easily accessible trails follow the remote CR 205 through a wide, grassy meadow with white sandstone cliffs flanking it on either side. Immediately after crossing through the gate, the... Drive the San Juan Skyway from Durango to Ouray. The Valley Fire Overview is the northern terminus of the hike at 4.9 miles. This is important wildlife habitat; the Falls Creek drainage is a migration corridor for deer and elk from the high country to winter foraging grounds in the Animas River Valley. Twenty-fifth turns into Junction Creek Rd., which then turns into CR 204. Discretely tucked away behind the hubbub of Durango, the Falls Creek trail system undulates through what many locals call Hidden Valley. For some years, a dispute with the adjacent land owner put public access into question. At the bottom of the hill, a trail forks left; stay straight. Two trails parallel each other, take your pick. Sign up for text alerts on your mobile phone. Discretely tucked away behind the hubbub of Durango, the Falls Creek trail system undulates through what many locals call Hidden Valley. Meadow, stone, and forest; wilderness moments from town. Sheltered beneath these cliff faces are some of the oldest known Anasazi ruins, which are currently closed to the public. These easily accessible trails follow the remote CR 205 through a wide, grassy meadow with white sandstone cliffs flanking it on either side. 37.27528, The Purgatory Trail in Durango, CO, is a little over five miles, and a great option for … Importantly, the site documents the transition from nomadic hunter-gathers to stationary farmers. The conflict was resolved in 2018. There are several points of entry into the meadow, and trails spin off every which way. Do a short Class 2-plus scramble. You can park here, or continue up the road to several other small parking areas. The Entrada overlies Dolores Formation red-beds. In a few feet, the trail splits again; go right and ascend from the drainage to a four-way junction. Sue Agranoff mounts a friction pitch. That said; don’t venture behind your comfort zone. The Falls Creek trail system can be enjoyed at most times of the year and would be a great area to snowshoe or cross-country ski if the snow were deep enough. Take the right branch and cross Falls Creek on the lower of two bridges at 3.9 miles. Because of it’s easy grade, kids and seniors alike will enjoy Falls Creek. You will find yourself on a steep downhill, which will lead to views of the waterfall. The smooth dirt path transports the hiker through a color wheel of red earth, green trees and blue sky. This introductory tour runs the length of the Forest Service property on primary trails. © 2020 RootsRated, Inc. All rights reserved. Welcome to one of Durango’s most unexpected and magical places. © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. This little crest is a wonderful lookout over home territory. The Valley Fire burned 439 acres and destroyed 10 houses. The entire hike offers beautiful views especially once your reach the top of Gudy's Rest. Forty-seven human remains were found along with jewelry, sandals, and pottery, making this a significant archeological discovery. This relatively easy hike is great for families, or anyone looking for a relaxing afternoon walk. The Falls Creek Loop is a 4.1 mile trail in the San Juan National Forest, just outside of Durango, Colorado. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! The view corridor is now wide open to Hermosa and beyond to the San Juan Mountains. adventures and follow local regulations. This area is closed to all public entry. Look out over cottonwood stands curving along Animas River oxbows. If you choose to incorporate an … The hike begins at the south end of Hidden Valley and goes north to the Mid-Meadow Lateral Trail. Seen from Animas City Mountain, the complete loop traverses the length of the open meadow in the center of this image and the sandstone ridge separating Hidden Valley from the Animas River Valley. You’ll frequently see trail runners and the occasional mountain biker. Be the first to leave a review! In the 1930s, archaeologists discovered a number of mummified bodies in a burial crevice, Esther’s Cave. Lots of side trails jut out from the main trail, and it is easy to lose your way. Have you done this adventure? Autumn days in Aspen are filled with sunshine and nights with crisp cool air. If you choose to incorporate an easy climb into your hike, the trail branches off to the east after a mile and gains the ridgeline for views of the Animas Valley. 4.1 miles As you head down the valley, you’ll begin to see trails leading up to the eastern ridge. The land to the immediate west, including the lake, is Falls Creek Ranch private property, so stay on the trail. These easily accessible trails follow the remote CR 205 through a wide, grassy meadow with white sandstone cliffs flanking it on either side. In early summer, they will morph into showy red blossom blotches. A popular trail ascends from CR 203 to the preserve. Learn More. Some people can handle the friction pitches on the ridgecrest, but most will need to back up and return to the southbound trail on the east side of the outcrop. If you are wondering whether you took an unexpected portal to Utah, consider that the windows in Arches National Park were carved from a salmon-colored variety of Entrada Sandstone. For some years, a dispute with the … With multiple trailheads and access points along CR 205, you can begin hiking at your leisure. A hiker walks on the Entrada Sandstone ridge. It transitions to Junction Street and then La Plata County Road 204. Turn around and head north to the Valley Fire Overview. Climb one last roller before descending back to the valley floor on a stony path. Visitors enjoy the area for its fishing, trail opportunities and scenic natural setting.Recre... Overview Look out the w... Overview Click here. Falls Creek Road was established as a public roadway in 1979 linking the Animas River Valley with Hidden Valley. Aside: East Portal to Hidden Valley (0.8 mile)A popular trail ascends from County Road 203 (elevation 6,600 feet) to the preserve. Total Time: Three to five hours for full loop, Difficulty: Trail; navigation easy; mild exposure on the ridge near Peak 7,385’, Map: Durango East, Colorado 7.5’ USGS Quad or Apogee Mapping. South Meadow parking is 2.3 miles out County Road 205 beside big boulders; Mid-Meadow parking is at 3.1 miles. Entrada Sandstone Ridge to Peak 7,385’ (2.2 miles roundtrip)Both northbound trails intersect the Mid-Meadow Lateral Trail which begins at a second parking area along County Road 205. Falls Creek. Heading north, we’ll be walking on quartz infused sandstones, grits and conglomerates characteristic of the Dolores Formation. Forester Tesche stands on Peak 7,385’ looking over Hidden Valley and the cliffs ringing Barnes Mountain. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy. Watch the mountains and valleys turn gold with the changing Aspen trees. Voters cast ballots in record numbers in La Plata County for the 2020 election. During this inferno, an electric-fence charger started a grass fire just west of County Road 203. Social paths spin off; stay on the ridge trail. Enter a forest and descend steeply to Falls Creek.

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