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    Engineer Mountain Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    20.4 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    947 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Hiking the Engineer Mountain Trail is a fun, albeit challenging, adventure in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado that will take you through the rugged landscape just below the summit. While out on the trail, you will climb uphill through the forests and meadows that make up the lower slopes of Engineer Mountain, passing just below the summit while taking in amazing views of the rugged peak and surrounding landscape. While this route doesn’t climb up to the summit of the peak, it is still an exceptionally scenic journey that is perfectly suited for those who don’t want to challenge themselves with technical terrain.

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    Route Description for Engineer Mountain Trail

    While it does feature some steep and rugged terrain, the only challenging aspect of the Engineer Mountain Trail is the overall length, as you will not actually be making the technical ascent of the mountain. Be sure to wear proper hiking boots and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated on your hike. Additionally, you should make sure to bring bear spray in order to protect yourself in the event of an interaction, as well as bug spray to keep the pests away.

    The Engineer Mountain Trail might not have an amazing summit viewpoint, but there will be plenty of scenic views to be had along this lengthy trail. In addition to climbing through the serene woodland landscape, you will also pass through wonderful alpine meadows and have the chance to gaze out at nearby peaks, making this an excellent option if you are looking for a long distance hike near Durango.
    Setting out from the trailhead, follow the path leading to the northwest for 79 m, where you will quickly come to a junction. Taking the path on the right, you will begin climbing uphill through a mixture of meadows and tranquil forests, gaining elevation as you work your way towards the Engineer Mountain.

    Once you have been on the trail for 3.9 km, the forest cover will begin to thicken and the terrain will become more rugged, as you continue climbing further uphill. After another 3.9 km, you will break free of the forest and enter into a beautiful alpine meadow that offers amazing views of Engineer Mountain to the west.

    Continue on to the north and make your way across the peaceful meadow. If you time your hike properly, the warm summer weather will help countless wildflowers bloom across the meadow, making for a truly amazing backdrop as you traverse the trail.

    After another 2.7 km along the trail, you will descend slightly through the forest and make a brief climb up to the endpoint of the route near a junction with the Coal Creek Trail. At this point, you can pause for a quick rest before heading back along the same trail to relive the wonderful scenery of Engineer Mountain and the surrounding Colorado landscape.

    Trail Highlights

    Engineer Mountain

    Situated in the San Juan subrange of the Rocky Mountains, Engineer Mountain is a prominent peak that can be found just west of Coal Ban Pass. The position of the mountain along US-550 makes it one of the most-photographed peaks in the San Juan Mountains, thanks to the numerous scenic viewpoints along the highway that feature it in the backdrop.

    Insider Hints for Engineer Mountain Trail

    • Wear good hiking boots with ankle support.
    • There are plenty of bugs along the trail, so repellent will come in handy.
    • Bears are sometimes spotted in the area, so bring bear spray and exercise all precautions.
    • Time your hike for the summer to experience the beautiful wildflower covered meadows.

    Getting to the Engineer Mountain Trail Trailhead

    The starting point for the Engineer Mountain Trail can be found 30.7 km north of Hermosa, just off US-550.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Engineer Mountain Trail Elevation Graph

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    Engineer Mountain Trail Reviews

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