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Locals' Favorite Climbing Routes Near Durango

The best climbing destinations in and around Durango, Colorado.

Locals' Favorite Climbing Routes Near Durango

Nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, Durango is undoubtedly a climbers’ town. With help from notable local businessowners and adventurers, we came up with a guide to some of the best climbing routes in and around the city, so you can get out and get moving in no time.

Cascade Canyon

Recommended by: Luke Mehall, Heather Mobley, Bryant AuCoin

Luke Mehall of Climbing Zine, a Durango-based literary journal that celebrates the beauty of climbing, knows the local bouldering and mountaineering spots inside and out. His first recommendation is Cascade Canyon, for the scenery as well as the adventure: “We like to go up climbing at Cascade Canyon, which is a really cool area. It's got a small waterfall, and it's just a really scenic site.”

Sailing Hawks Bouldering Area

Recommended by: Luke Mehall

Mehall also recommends Sailing Hawks, Durango’s flagship destination for bouldering, along with mountain biking and hiking. Mehall has high praise for the rock climbing hotspot and its ultra-convenient location: “The Sailing Hawks bouldering area is really, really classic. It's right next to town, and I can pretty much look outside my window and see it. It has really good running, biking, and bouldering. Just an amazing spot.”

Lemon Reservoir

Recommended by: Bryant AuCoin

Bryant AuCoin, of local artisanal business Sticker Art, is a passionate outdoorsman with a love for climbing. One of his favorite spots is Lemon Reservoir, a more remote spot in the Florida River Valley just 16 miles northeast of the city of Durango. “Lemon Reservoir is another great spot for rock climbing lovers,” says AuCoin.

East Animas

Recommended by: Heather Mobley

Heather Mobley, the business and marketing manager of indoor rock climbing destination The Rock Lounge (along with owner Marcus Garcia), says that the East Animas climbing area is one of her personal favorites. “East Animas is kind of unique to Durango,” Mobley shares. “It’s the old school crag of the area. It’s also multi-pitch, which you can’t always find here in town.”

Engineer Mountain Trail

Recommended by: Heather Mobley, Ani Casabonne, Bryant AuCoin

Locals like AuCoin love the Engineer Mountain Trail, partly because it’s a regional classic for climbing and hiking. Says AuCoin: “Engineer Mountain is our classic thirteener here that everyone really loves doing. It's really easy and accessible, right off Highway 550. It’s a fun jaunt. You can do it in one afternoon.”

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