Spanning seven miles, the Animas River Trail is the backbone of Durango. Running alongside the beautiful Animas River, the paved trail starts at the north end of Durango and snakes its way through town, providing a perfect in-town adventure and serene river views, whether you’re walking or riding a bike.
One of the newest ways to see the Animas River Trail and everything along it is from the seat of an ebike! Roll ebike is a new, solar-powered electric bike rental company offering free door-to-door delivery in Durango.
Their ebikes can travel up to 40 miles on a single charge and allow you to control all aspects of your ride. Don’t feel like pedaling? Let the ebike do the work for you and cruise at speeds of 5, 10, 15 or 20 miles per hour (perfect for longer rides). Want to do some of the work? Pedal yourself and allow the electric assist to help you on the inclines or harder parts of the ride. Your ride is completely in your hands (or feet!). Ebikes are great for friends, couples and families— all abilities can ride together and have fun.
Skip the hassle of renting, set up an ebike delivery directly to your vacation home or hotel, and set out to see the sights along the Animas River Trail, Durango’s favorite in-town trail:
Start at the north end of the trail. A great place to hop on the Animas River Trail is at 29th Street along Memorial Park. This first section of the trail is quiet and peaceful (and also makes for a beautiful ride in and of itself first thing in the morning or at dusk).
As you cross the first of many bridges over the Animas River, take a moment to pause and count the number of rafts and river tubes going by underneath you. The north end of town is a popular put-in for both commercial rafting companies and locals looking to cool off with a float down the river.
After you cross the bridge, keep an eye out for a large co-commuter: the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad! The train crosses the River Trail at this point, and if your timing is right, you’ll be able to pause and wave a friendly hello to all the riders heading to or from Silverton. Past the train tracks, look for the Durango Fairgrounds, which is sometimes easier to identify by the sounds of weekly rodeos and events coming from it.
Continue along the trail past Durango’s local public library. You’ll be able to spot it by its beautiful garden and bookshelf-themed sculpture. Past the library is the Durango Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum. Open 7 days a week from May 15 to September 15, this a great place to let the kids take a break and feed the fish (parents, your break place is just around the corner!).
After the Fish Hatchery, jump back on your rented Roll ebikes, and cruise just a bit further, across another bridge (be sure to look to your left to see the bridge for the Durango Train) and to Rotary Park. Situated just on the other side of Rotary Park is Animas Brewing Company, the perfect spot to take a break and enjoy a delicious craft beer. Animas Brewing also offers a full food menu (including a kid’s menu), making it a great spot to enjoy lunch or a mid-afternoon snack on the river.
Once you’re rejuvenated, continue down the Animas River Trail until you come to the Powerhouse Science Center. The Powerhouse, Durango’s original coal-fired steam-powered AC generating plant, now houses an interactive science center full of exhibits and activities the whole family will enjoy. Just past the Powerhouse Science Center, you can also branch off the Animas River Trail and cross Camino del Rio to head into historic downtown Durango for restaurants, shopping, and more. On Saturdays, you can take the 9th Street bridge from the River Trail across Camino del Rio one block and find the Farmer’s Market in the parking lot of First National Bank. Enjoy fresh produce, handmade breads, music and more.
If you choose to stay on the River Trail, keep heading south by going across and under the 9th street bridge. You’ll cross the river again before ending up across the river from the Durango Dog Park and Smelter Mountain. Smelter Mountain was home to Durango’s original mineral smelting plant from the 1880s to the 1960s, and is now a popular in-town hike, offering some of the best views of town when you make it to the top.
As you continue on, you’ll come to Santa Rita Whitewater Park. This community-designed whitewater park is the perfect place to take a break and watch the rafts go through the Animas River’s biggest rapids, or watch kayakers and body boarders play in the surf. Rock, riser-style seating even provides the perfect amphitheatre-like viewing for all of the action taking place on the water!
From here, you could turn around and power up your Roll ebike to carry you home or keep heading south to complete the full span of the River Trail. Either way, your Roll ebike will make the rest of your journey easy!
If you choose to keep heading south, you can continue along the River Trail another half mile or so, then hop off to head to Lake Nighthorse. Colorado’s newest lake, Lake Nighthorse is located just three miles from historic downtown Durango.
Or, you could stay on the River Trail for another couple of miles and wind your way along the quiet, southern half of the trail. You’ll pass by Serious Texas BBQ, a locals’ favorite and home to Durango’s only mini-golf. The patio here offers beautiful river views and is a perfect place to stop for another snack, liquid libation, or quick round of mini golf.
As you come to the end of the River Trail at Dallabetta Park, you’ll be able to see the beautiful Purple Cliffs on the opposite side of the river. Across the highway from the end of the trail are multiple mountain biking trailheads, leading to connecting trails in the Telegraph Trail System.
Enjoy a leisurely ride along the Animas River Trail with a rented ebike from Roll ebike. Whether you’re looking to get some exercise, or simply relax and enjoy the views, a rented ebike allows you to make your journey what you want and is the perfect way for the whole family to enjoy the ride.