Seasonal closure of key Durango winter wildlife habitat begins December 1


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Tres Rios Field Office

Media Contact:

DURANGO, Colo. – Annual seasonal closure of wildlife winter range goes into effect today for public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), and the City of Durango. These closures remain in place through April 15 to protect wintering mule deer and elk that move down from higher elevations to ride out harsh winter conditions. The agencies coordinate to identify key wildlife areas for protection while continuing to offer areas open for winter recreation.

“The public’s cooperation helps ensure that these critical areas around Durango remain optimal for wildlife that are under increased stress during winter months,” said Connie Clementson, BLM Tres Rios Field Manager.

CPW data on deer and elk movements throughout the year indicates that closing areas to human activity is necessary to protect critical foraging habitat and enable the animals to conserve energy for winter survival. The following Durango area trails are closed to public use annually from December 1 through April 15, with possible extension to April 30 if conditions warrant:

  • Grandview Ridge
    • Big Canyon and Sale Barn trailheads (access located east of U.S. Highway 160)
    • South Rim Trail, portions of Sidewinder and Cowboy trails on BLM accessed from Carbon Junction Trail or Crites Connect
    • Grandview BLM trails (access from Three Springs)
  • Animas City Mountain - BLM lands above the lower loops (approximately 1.5 miles above the 32nd Street trailhead).
  • Twin Buttes Area - All upper trails as marked.
  • Bodo State Wildlife Area - Exception: Smelter Mountain Trail is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.;  dogs are prohibited. Small game hunting is allowed in the area south of La Plata County Road 210.

In addition, the Perins Peak area east of County Road 208 and west of Hogs back is closed through July 31 to protect nesting peregrine falcons

The following Durango area trails will remain open for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and skiing:

  • Horse Gulch, Telegraph, Crites, and Skyline areas
    • Meadow, Stacy’s, Mike’s, Telegraph, Crite’s, and Sugar trails
    • All of the Raider Ridge Trail to Medicine
    • Ben’s Down and Out and Charmed trails
    • Carbon Junction trailhead at Highway 3 to Telegraph via Crites Connection are open.
  • Lower Twin Buttes trails - Access off of Highway 160 West; upper loops are closed.
  • All of Dalla Mountain Park - Access off of Junction Creek Road.
  • Overend Mountain Park - Access at Leyden Street, Montview Parkway, Crestview Drive, and Hidden Valley Circle.
  • Trails around Fort Lewis College and along the Rim
    • Lions Den, Chapman Flow, and Jump Line
    • The Rim, Squawker, Tawker, and Skyline trails (accessed from the Powerline Trail).
  • The Colorado Trail - Access at Junction Creek.
  • A 1.5-mile loop trail on the lower portion of Animas City Mountain - Access from the Birket Drive and 32nd Street trailheads or Dalla Mountain Park.

When recreating on public lands in winter, remember to observe wildlife from a distance and keep dogs under control at all times. Maps and a complete list of areas affected by winter closures are available online at and at both Tres Rios Field Office locations: 15 Burnett Court in Durango and 29211 Highway 184 in Dolores. For additional information, call the BLM Tres Rios Field Office at (970) 882-1120.


- BLM -

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.