We have visited the Durango area many times and always spend some time up in the mountains. The scenery is spectacular and the opportunities for outdoor activities are unlimited. If you enjoy hiking, consider the Pass Creek trail. The trailhead is located very near the Coal Bank Pass rest area on highway 550. It is a high altitude and fairly steep trail (2300 feet in elavation gain) but after only about 2.6 miles you are near the base of Engineer Mountain and rewarded with amazing views in all directions. If you are more adventurous you can continue on a much steeper rocky trail to the summit of the mountain. We were there on Labor Day weekend so the trail was fairly busy but I imagine at other times (especially during the week) it is not very crowded. It is appropriate for older children who are used to hiking but not for younger ones. Please be aware that it is a strenuous hike at a high altitude so you should have a decent level of fitness before attempting it.
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