Take A (Guided) Hike in San Juan National Forest

There are so many gorgeous hikes along countless trails in the San Juan National Forest — and, frankly, we’re too lazy to try to list them all here. Maybe one day. Ahem.

But, seriously, guys, the San Juan Mountains Association offers an easy way to try out some hikes in the company of a group and with the help of a guide.

Although the summer season is wrapping up, there are still a few opportunities to head out with the San Juan Mountains Association before winter blankets the forest — including a 7-mile, day-long Ice Lakes Geology Hike this Saturday.

East end of Ice Lake near Silverton, Colorado. (Copyright Matt McGrath Photography)
East end of Ice Lake near Silverton, Colorado. (Copyright Matt McGrath Photography)

Here’s a list of remaining educational hikes the SJMA is offering this year:

Ice Lakes Geology Hike
8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21

This could easily be one of the most scenic hikes in the San Juans, dishing up wide skies, wildflowers and waterfalls before arriving at ice-blue lakes. Enjoy a beautiful hike up to Ice Lakes near Silverton while learning about the geology of the surrounding area. Bring water and food to sustain you through this moderately strenuous hike.  Email mk@sjma.org or call 970-759-9113 to sign up.

Ladies Backpacking
Friday, Sept. 27, to Sunday, Sept. 29

This is such a great idea, especially for women who may not be experienced backpackers. Enjoy a 3- to 5-mile hike along the Bear Creek Trail north of Dolores before camping for the night. Explore the area and relax for the day then return on Sunday. This is an easy hike at a casual pace for women and girls (ages 15 and up) only. Email mk@sjma.org or call 970-759-9113 to register.

Arborglyphs in Beaver Meadows
1-5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 5

We had no idea such a thing as “arborglyphs” even existed — and we think it’s pretty freakin’ awesome that they do. Arborglyphs, which are historic carvings in aspen trees made by sheepherders, are numerous in the Beaver Meadows area of San Juan National Forest. Join Ruth Lambert, Cultural Program Director for SJMA, on an educational hike to see and learn about these fascinating carvings. Contact Ruth Lambert at ruth@sjma.org or at 970-385-1267.

The San Juan Mountains Association is a grassroots volunteer group that promotes education, stewardship and hands-on involvement of Southwest Colorado’s public lands.

If you’re not one for sleeping under the stars, try sleeping in one our rooms at the Durango Quality Inn!

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