Debra Van Winegarden

Position: Special to The Herald

Perins Peak: Durango’s overseer

Playful features and wild creatures make Perins Peak an engaging hike for children. Adjacent to town, the easy-to-follow footpath wanders through gambel oak and ponderosa pine habitat. The...

DATE: Oct. 8, 2015 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Columbine Lake: Rhapsody in blue

Columbine Lake is a siege of ever-changing, iridescent color that will not be pinned down: cobalt, indigo, sapphire, turquoise. On each visit, it seems the lake dons a new hue, from shadowed to...

DATE: Sept. 24, 2015 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Hesperus, guardian mountain

Hesperus Mountain marks the northern boundary of the traditional homeland of the Navajo. It is the Sacred Mountain of the North. Colorfully banded and the highest peak in the La Plata Range at...

DATE: Sept. 10, 2015 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Mountain View Crest boasts breathtaking Animas views

The colossal summit plateau northeast of Durango’s Missionary Ridge is an arresting curiosity – come along and explore the west half of Mountain View Crest. Miles fly by while striding over...

DATE: Aug. 27, 2015 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Indian Trail Ridge a sky-high alpine connector

“Eastward the dawn rose, ridge behind ridge into the morning, and vanished out of eyesight into guess; it was no more than a glimmer blending with the hem of the sky, but it spoke to them, out of...

DATE: Aug. 13, 2015 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Hiking the Animas Forks Catwalk

An iconic, ridge-lover’s fantasy, The Catwalk is an 0.4-mile-long knife ridge located north of the Cinnamon Pass Road, east of Animas Forks. The constriction links Animas Forks Mountain and Point...

DATE: July 23, 2015 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Stem and loop

Ice Lake Basin has a devoted local following and an international reputation. We are seduced by the color of the lake, great swaths of tundra, ease of the trail, and the surrounding wildly high...

DATE: July 16, 2015 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

All roads lead to Jura

There are many paths to Jura Knob, an island in a sea of boundless tundra with a large-caliber vantage point. While our loop begins on the Coal Creek Trail and returns on the Pass Creek Trail, the...

DATE: July 2, 2015 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

A royal view

Castle Rock is accessible, heart-stirring and powerfully gorgeous any time of the year. This half-day hike north of Durango takes you to the top of a spectacular 800-foot precipice. The...

DATE: Feb. 19, 2015 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

A poetic look at the Druid Arch

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK, Utah Forceful and mighty, Druid Arch exerts its penetrating influence on all who approach. Two sky slits in the sandstone monolith have a shocking effect, multiplying the...

DATE: Jan. 8, 2015 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Double duty at Arches

MOAB, Utah – When I first rolled into Moab, Edward Abbey was alive, the streets were dirt, and it was off-season all year. Today, the quiet period is reduced to a mere sliver of annular time, and...

DATE: Dec. 11, 2014 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

Don’t overlook in-town mountain

While Animas City Mountain may be accessed from two locations, this counterclockwise loop starts at the West Fourth Avenue Trailhead. The route heads northeast along the perimeter of the mountain,...

DATE: Oct. 23, 2014 | CATEGORY: Outdoors

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