There are three directions from which to access the Durango valley in the southwest corner of Colorado. Driving into the valley from the south reveals the massive San Juan Mountains to the north, the Animas River flowing through the town, and a long glacial valley stretching as far as the eye can see.
Coming in from the north, the drive traverses Molas and Coal Bank Pass from Silverton, following the route of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, roughly paralleling the southern 80 miles of the Colorado Trail.
From the west, the route passes dozens of trailheads as it drops into the valley from the Four Corners area.
A quick glance at a map will quickly reveal why so many people who choose to have their lives revolve around mountain biking, either professionally or recreationally, choose to make Durango their home.
There are trails close to town in the Horse Gulch area, which are free of snow early in the spring and late in the fall. Then there’s the Ned Overend Bike Park, formerly known as Test Tracks. Then there’s the southern terminus of the Colorado Trail, which includes 74 miles of high altitude trail to the top of Molas Pass and countless trails that spur off of it.
Combined with a vibrant community that embraces bicycles in all forms and a town large enough to create a job market, Durango might well be a mountain biker’s paradise.