Mountain View Crest boasts breathtaking Animas views

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Mountain View Crest boasts breathtaking Animas views

Mountain View Crest boasts abundant scenery
Elaine Boutilier, Jodie Petersen and Debra Van Winegarden, well along on the journey, consider what awaits: Needleton and the westward ridge to the end of Mountain View Crest.
Across the cavernous Needle Creek rift, the earthline is cluttered with fantastical, sky-scraping peaks. Standing on Needleton, Chris Blackshear and Jodie Petersen feel the compelling force of The Other Side.
The west end of Mountain View Crest tapers and terminates at a petite overlook. The heart-stopping view of the audible Animas River 4,300 feet below is so powerful it trumps even the mighty West Needle Mountains.

Mountain View Crest boasts breathtaking Animas views

Elaine Boutilier, Jodie Petersen and Debra Van Winegarden, well along on the journey, consider what awaits: Needleton and the westward ridge to the end of Mountain View Crest.
Across the cavernous Needle Creek rift, the earthline is cluttered with fantastical, sky-scraping peaks. Standing on Needleton, Chris Blackshear and Jodie Petersen feel the compelling force of The Other Side.
The west end of Mountain View Crest tapers and terminates at a petite overlook. The heart-stopping view of the audible Animas River 4,300 feet below is so powerful it trumps even the mighty West Needle Mountains.
Trail basics

Travel: From Durango, drive approximately 8 miles north on U.S. Highway 550 to the signal at Trimble Lane. Zero-out your trip meter as you turn right/east. Turn left on East Animas Road (County Road 250), at .8 mile. At 4.0 miles, make a shallow right onto Missionary Ridge Road, (County Road 253). The road is good, though prone to washboard. Passage is on a mild shelf for miles. At 16.0 miles, go straight toward Henderson Lake on Forest Service Road 682. At 22.7 miles go right on Forest Service Road 081. Immediately pass Henderson Lake. The road gets rougher but is plausible with a two-wheel-drive vehicle with moderate clearance and sturdy tires. Park at 25.9 miles just before the road degenerates substantially. Allow 1 hour from the bottom of Missionary Ridge Road and 1:15 from Durango. If you wish to start hiking from the standard Lime Mesa trailhead, continue for 2 miles in a four-wheel-drive vehicle with high clearance.
Distance and Elevation Gain: 14.6 miles roundtrip to the end of the west ridge; 3,250 feet of climbing
Time: 6.5 to 8 hours
Difficulty: Trail, off-trail; easy walking with two slightly more demanding segments; navigation moderate; no exposure
Map: Mountain View Crest, Colorado 7.5 Quad
Durango Herald

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