Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Animas River...Two Different Views - Part 1

Durango, CO
September 7, 2013

Last Saturday Joe and I hiked the Animas Mountain Trail. It was not the most difficult or the longest hike we have taken...about a 6.2 mile loop. 

But, it is rather steep for the first half mile or so. Then it tapers off to just a steady climb to the plateau. All total we went from 6500 to 8100 ft. in elevation. 

 Animas Mountain sits to the north and slightly west of Durango.
 We hiked the trail counter clockwise (the east to the west side of the mountain) and enjoyed the views of Durango and the Animas River from the very beginning.

I couldn't help but capture a most interesting cairn...not like the ones in Moab!

Here the forest was beautiful and many shades of green...Utah junipers, Ponderosa pines, and Gambel oaks dominated. 

And it sure helps to throw in some patches of yellow!

The trail could be confusing at times, but maps are provided at each juncture.

 Finally, the sign we were looking for..."you are here" at 8100 feet.

The north high point of the Animas Mountain loop overlooks the Falls Creek Archaeological Area  and the hidden valley.

 Heading down the trail (on the west side) were views of the LaPlata Mountains.

Eventually we were back where we started. The trail going down was rocky most of the way. You would think hiking down is easier, but not in this case. The rocks were not stable to walk on and some descents were steep...

which sure interfered with my picture taking!

The word Animas (ANN-i-muss) is Spanish for "souls". The river was originally named Rio de las Animas Perdidas, or River of Lost Souls. Both the mountain and the community of Animas Forks were named for this river.

 This was a great way to spend Saturday. Sunday, we had another view of the Animas River with friends Sue and Paul. That will be Part 2.
 Take care...until next time...

enjoy the view!


  1. I'm glad you explained the name. Very interesting.

  2. Beautiful photos! We're about 50 miles south of you, but the landscape (and elevation) sure changes a lot in those 50 miles. You could float a bottle down the Animas River & I might recover it in a week or two ;-)

  3. I, too, am glad you explained the name. And how to pronounce it. Gorgeous views.

  4. Just beautiful scenery around Durango from those heights. So glad there are still some flowers to pretty the trail.

    Sometime I feel climbing up is much easier than coming down a steep area.

    Looks like your weather is cooperating:)

  5. Gay, thanks for sharing your hike, it looks absolutely wonderful and you captured the area beautifully! Love your photo of the crooked tree! I also find going down is harder than going up!

  6. WOW! Very pretty. Thanks, and I am glad you are in a more comfortable climate. (I think we have another few days of upper 90's this year here in Sacramento....but it was a very nice low 80's today.) --Dave

  7. What a beautiful views on your hike. Interesting pics along the way too. I particularly liked the tree gnome. I have a fear of getting altitude sickness. Has that ever been an issue for you & if so, how did you deal with it? Looking forward to part two. - Gayle