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City of Durango News Flash

Posted on: November 28, 2023

Seasonal closures of public lands around Durango begins December 1


Durango, CO: Public lands in the Durango area will be closed from Dec. 1 through the end of April to protect wintering mule deer and elk that move down from higher elevations to ride out harsh winter conditions.

The Bureau of Land Management coordinates with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the City of Durango to identify key wildlife areas for protection while continuing to offer areas open for winter recreation. Closures may be lifted earlier if mild conditions permit.

“Every year the BLM partners with the City of Durango and CPW to close key areas around Durango to provide conditions that enable wildlife to make it through the tough winter months,” said Tres Rios Field Manager Derek Padilla.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife data on deer and elk movements throughout the year indicates that closing areas to human activity protects critical foraging habitat and enables animals to conserve energy for winter survival. 

The following Durango area trails are closed to public use:

  • Grandview Ridge
  1. Big Canyon and Sale Barn trailheads (access located east of U.S. Highway 160)
  2. South Rim Trail, portions of Sidewinder and Cowboy trails on BLM accessed from Carbon Junction Trail or Crites Connect
  3. Grandview BLM trails (access from Three Springs)
  • Animas City Mountain - BLM lands above the lower loops (approximately 1.5 miles above the 32nd Street trailhead).
  • Twin Buttes Area - All upper trails as marked.
  • Bodo State Wildlife Area - Exception: Smelter Mountain Trail is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dogs are prohibited. Small game hunting is allowed in the area south of La Plata County Road 210.
  • Durango Mesa Park Flow Trails will also be closed to use beginning December 1 through April 30 (dependent on spring conditions) to minimize damage and erosion to the new flow trails.  The Mesa Connector, Telegraph Connector, and Meadow Knob Connector trails will remain open.

The following Durango area trails will remain open for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and skiing:

  • Horse Gulch, Telegraph, Crites, and Skyline areas
  1. Meadow, Stacy’s, Mike’s, Telegraph, Crite’s, and Sugar trails
  2. All of the Raider Ridge Trail to Medicine
  3. Ben’s Down and Out and Charmed trails
  4. Carbon Junction trailhead at Highway 3 to Telegraph via Crites Connection are open.
  • Lower Twin Buttes trails - Access off of Highway 160 West; upper loops are closed.
  • Dalla Mountain Park - Access off of Junction Creek Road.
  • Overend Mountain Park - Access at Leyden Street, Montview Parkway, Crestview Drive, and Hidden Valley Circle.
  • Trails around Fort Lewis College and along the Rim
    • Lions Den, Chapman Flow, and Jump Line
    • The Rim, Squawker, Tawker, and Skyline trails (accessed from the Powerline Trail).
  • The Colorado Trail - Access at Junction Creek.
  • A 1.5-mile loop trail on the lower portion of Animas City Mountain - Access from the Birket Drive and 32nd Street trailheads or Dalla Mountain Park.

When recreating on public lands in winter, remember to observe wildlife from a distance and keep dogs under control at all times.  Please consider alternative locations or activities if these trails are muddy to prevent trail damage.Seasonal closure map


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City of Durango logoMedia Contact
Tom Sluis
Public Information Officer 
Phone: (970) 375-5090


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