Missionary Ridge traverse: Durango’s training ground

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Missionary Ridge traverse: Durango’s training ground

Missionary Ridge a calf burner
Lynn Coburn and Janna Ranson leave Missionary Ridge and start down the Stevens Creek Trail. They have walked almost 12 of the 19.2-mile traverse.
Panorama of Missionary Ridge from across the Animas River Valley on Animas City Mountain.
A stalwart stand of burned aspen are enveloped by life.
Members of Durango’s hiking club Seniors Outdoors! walk up the First Fork Trail. The Missionary Ridge Fire spared some of the mature aspen in the First Fork drainage.
Haflin Creek to Stevens Creek, the black-line route is a grand, all-day tour on Missionary Ridge. The red-line route is the Red Creek Trail, the purple-line is First Fork, and the blue-dot route is an off-trail ridge option paralleling Haflin Creek.

Missionary Ridge traverse: Durango’s training ground

Lynn Coburn and Janna Ranson leave Missionary Ridge and start down the Stevens Creek Trail. They have walked almost 12 of the 19.2-mile traverse.
Panorama of Missionary Ridge from across the Animas River Valley on Animas City Mountain.
A stalwart stand of burned aspen are enveloped by life.
Members of Durango’s hiking club Seniors Outdoors! walk up the First Fork Trail. The Missionary Ridge Fire spared some of the mature aspen in the First Fork drainage.
Haflin Creek to Stevens Creek, the black-line route is a grand, all-day tour on Missionary Ridge. The red-line route is the Red Creek Trail, the purple-line is First Fork, and the blue-dot route is an off-trail ridge option paralleling Haflin Creek.
Trail basics

Travel: At U.S. Highway 550 and Trimble Lane (County Road 252), zero-out your trip meter and drive east. At 0.9 mile, turn left/north on East Animas Road (County Road 250). At 3.6 miles, turn right at the Stevens Creek Trailhead. There is room for only one vehicle. Drop a car and head back south on County Road 250. The roomy parking lot for the Haflin Creek Trailhead is on the left at 7.5 miles. Alternatively, if you wish to go directly to Haflin from Durango, it is 5.4 miles north from the corner of East Animas Road and Florida Road (County Road 240), on the right.

Difficulty: Trail; navigation easy; no exposure.

Distance and Elevation Gain: Haflin Creek to Stevens Creek: 19.2 miles, 4,440 feet of climbing.

Time: Eight to 10 hours.

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