North Perins Peak hike offers a solitary world

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North Perins Peak hike offers a solitary world

Trail only open four months of the year
Perins Peak is a distinctive natural landmark rising west of Durango. North Perins Peak is to its right.
North Perins Peak is at the far end of a gently rising cuesta. Hikers see the summit from the west ridge of Perins Peak but few have made the journey to the taller of the companion mountains.
From the Rockridge Trailhead walk southwest on the Perins Peak Trail for two miles, the black-line route. To reach North Perins Peak, turn right on the blue-line route and walk north off-trail to the summit. Visiting the stone boy on the return is an optional side trip.
Travel basics

Travel: From Main Avenue and 25th Street in Durango, go west. Pass Miller Middle School and in two blocks turn left on Clovis Drive. Go up the hill and enter the Rockridge subdivision. Drive just under a mile and turn right on Tanglewood Drive. Cross a small bridge and take an immediate left. The parking area is on the right.

Distance and Elevation Gain: Roundtrip to North Perins Peak is 8.4 miles with 2,000 feet of vertical. A visit to the stone boy adds one mile and 200 feet of climbing.

Total Time: 4½ to 6 hours

Difficulty: Perins Peak Trail for the first two miles, then off-trail; navigation moderate; scrambling and precipitous exposure on the optional cliff platforms.

Map: Durango West, Colorado 7.5’ USGS Quad or Apogee Mapping

Open Aug. 1 - Nov. 30: Seasonal closure in the Perins Peak State Wildlife Area provides winter shelter for deer and elk. The closure is extended through July to safeguard peregrine falcons nesting and raising their young.

North Perins Peak hike offers a solitary world

Perins Peak is a distinctive natural landmark rising west of Durango. North Perins Peak is to its right.
North Perins Peak is at the far end of a gently rising cuesta. Hikers see the summit from the west ridge of Perins Peak but few have made the journey to the taller of the companion mountains.
From the Rockridge Trailhead walk southwest on the Perins Peak Trail for two miles, the black-line route. To reach North Perins Peak, turn right on the blue-line route and walk north off-trail to the summit. Visiting the stone boy on the return is an optional side trip.

North Perins Peak hike offers a solitary world

Travel is easy up the North Perins backslope. Arthur Howard and Janna Ranson converse while walking on the gently rising tabletop last autumn.

North Perins Peak hike offers a solitary world

Climbers perch on the airy and exposed tip of the sandstone blade.

North Perins Peak hike offers a solitary world

A seemingly bottomless crack severs the sandstone promontory. John Bregar and Lynn Coburn hover on the precipice.

North Perins Peak hike offers a solitary world

John Bregar admires the nine-foot-tall cairn monument erected by sheepherders. The yellow rock is characteristic of Cliffhouse Sandstone.
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