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Top 5 Hikes | Durango, Colorado Area

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

June and July are such beautiful months to visit Colorado. I’ve been so lucky to spend the last five summers in Durango. Each summer I’ve made it a point to hit fourteeners all over the area, as well as all the local favorite hikes! Hiking is totally my summer pastime, and the most fun way to get in a workout. Some of these hikes really do kick your butt! If you’re in the Durango area, don’t miss these.

Ice Lakes

This is the Instagram photo that has gone viral! People come from all over the world to hike this heavily traveled trail. The hike is 7.5 miles round trip and gains a gnarly 3,000 feet in elevation. This is one of my favorite hikes for a good workout! Make sure to wear good hiking shoes and bring a day pack, you’ll definitely want a snack at the top. Don’t forget your camera, the flowers go OFF in August. Check out my Ice Lake Hike Guide.

Columbine Lake

This lake is my favorite new find, on the way to Ouray from Silverton. If you can find it, you’re going to love it. You’ll find creeks and waterfalls run all the way to the top of this one. Bring a swimsuit, or some clothes that dry fast. Don’t miss the opportunity to cannonball into this crystal blue pool!

Mt. Sneffels

This one is awesome for intermediate hikers. The trail isn’t always marked at times, and you’ll get a sweet adrenaline rush at the top! You’ll certainly be bouldering without ropes to summit. This hike was my first fourteener, and after this, they get addicting! It is hard to breath at the top, and the views are next level. From this summit, you can see to Telluride, Ouray, and Silverton. Don’t forget a 4WD vehicle!! is my go-to for navigating these big trips. Make sure you go early and don’t get caught in a storm. My friend Rachel and I were running down in a lightning storm our first try! It’s super scary when there are no trees and lightning striking down all around you! Make sure to wear ankle supports, as this trail is mostly rock.

Handies Peak

This hike is PERFECT for beginners or the whole family. There didn’t seem to be much traffic when I went last summer, and the trails wind at a slow incline. There are pools of water all the way up, which makes it perfect for stopping to cool down. This hike features super cool rock formations and visibility for miles! I did this one in late September, it was cold, but the orange and yellow leaves are to die for.


If you’ve only got 24 hours in Durango, this hike is perfect. A couple of hours, a half-day hike, and you get to see the entire town from up above. This trail is heavily used by hikers and bikers, and the last part is a scuffle to get to the top. I prefer this hike to any other hike in town, because of the 360 the top provides you.


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