Forums Splitboard Talk Forum Durango / Pagosa Springs
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  • #809062
    534 Posts

    Can anyone tell give me some basic info about the backcountry around Durango and Pagosa Springs? I think a couple of riders here are in that area.

    We would be there during the winter, so I assume we would need access to meadow skipping terrain to deal with the often sketchy snowpack? Does the accessible terrain get tracked relatively quickly? I don’t mind skinning a little farther to get fresh snow. It would be good to be relatively close to a resort, but we don’t ride inbounds very often so it is not that big of a deal.

    Thanks, Buell

    22 Posts

    Hey Buell;
    I have spent some time in the San Juans, but by no means am I a local (i live in the front range), so I can only give you some vague information, but I hope it still helps out. Try contacting a few of the locals as your trip approaches, I have gotten a few trip maps from members here for the area via PM, and I’m sure people will be more than willing to share info. I also don’t want to describe specific tours here as it’s kind of a faux pas to do so. I’ll mention a few places that are well documented on other websites to at least give you a reference.

    You have a couple of options in the Durango/Pagosa Springs area. Wolf Creek Pass and and Molas Pass being the closest and Red Mountain Pass being a little further but still accessible. You also have options around Silverton (Town on the other side of Molas Pass).

    Wolf Creek has a lot more mellow options as most of the terrain is part of the Uncompahgre formation with only a few of the steeper volcanic formations that the san juans are known for. There are a few options across the street from the resort there (powerline is pretty well known and described on a number of websites so I don’t feel like I’m giving away a secret stash by mentioning it).

    Molas Pass also has a few mellow options as well. I’ve ridden the stuff around Little Molas lake which allows for meadow skipping as well as venturing out to some of the chutes hanging above. There are a few well known big tours as well like Sultan and Grand Turk of this pass. The pass is pretty easy to explore as terrain is easy to spot and assess from the road; access is usually pretty good with parking options being fairly plentiful and skinning is pretty much starts right from the car.

    Red Mountain Pass is much more Volcanic in nature and thus has more steep options. There is fantastic tree skiing lower on the pass (towards the Silverton side). These trees are fairly steep (approaching 40 degrees in spots), but can be pretty safe due to elevation. Just drive up the pass and you’ll see the ski lines next to or in the avalanche chutes. McMillan Peak is a pretty popular and mellow tour as well and well described on various sites.

    In Silverton you have a few options in any of the Gulches you’ll drive by on the way to Silverton Mountain “resort”, although I don’t have a lot of personal experience in these Gulches, so can’t speak to how safe these would be during higher danger days.

    I hope this gives you a bit of a starting point. I’m sure some of the locals will be able to provide you with much better and detailed information.

    534 Posts

    Thanks FlorianS.

    That’s perfect. I am not looking for any detailed beta. I am mostly just trying to get a feel of the region and any differences between areas within the region.

    178 Posts

    PM Sent

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