The Animas Mountain Trail is one of the Durango, Colorado in town trails. The main loop is about 6.2 miles with a starting elevation of 6600 feet and a high point at about 8100 feet. This is a good trail system during the early summer when the higher mountain trails still have snow.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The Ramparts Hills Loop Trail circles around the south part of the Ramparts Hills, an igneous rock outcrop in the Echo Basin area of the San Juan National Forest in southwest Colorado.
The trailhead is marked in two places, on opposite sides of a primitive campsite area. The trailhead elevation is about 9200 feet. In late May, a lot of snow is visible on the mountains just to the east. The trailhead area is mostly Ponderosa Pine and Aspen forest.
I had a Black Bear sighting along this segment. The bear was following the trail heading straight for me, about 100 feet away. I pulled my camera out and made a noise at the same time, and the bear immediately turned into the Aspens and disappeared. I got a picture but not a good one.
There are some views to the southwest toward Mesa Verde and Sleeping Ute Mountain with several reservoirs visible. This lower area is good elk winter pasture.
The return segment climbs about 800 feet through Gambel Oak forest along another creek. At the base of the cliffs there is a large meadow and then a segment through Aspen forest back to the trailhead.
My hike took 3:00 hours for about 6 miles. It was a 58 F degree end of May day. I carried and drank 2 liters of water. I didn’t see any other hikers during my visit.