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Attention All Peakbaggers! We have some great news, but your help is still needed. We have recently found a graphic design company to migrate our site to a new platform at a very reasonable price. (The old platform is being discontinued December 31.) In addition, a very generous donor is offering a "matching" donation of up to $5,000 to help. With the help of that match, our goal is to raise $10,000 to complete the site migration and update. That's where you come in. We need 250 donors to contribute just $20 each to help reach this goal (or 500 to contribute just $10 each). Would you consider skipping the pizza and beer after your next adventure and make a $20 donation? Consider what you get from Climb13ers.com. We have the most complete, searchable database for Colorado 13ers on the internet with routes for over 600 summits and over 200 trailheads. There is no other site like it. If you have not made a donation before, please help now! Your donation will be doubled. This site must be on the new platform by the end of December and we can't do it without your help. Just click on the "Donate" button to make your contribution. Thanks to all those who have already pitched in to help.

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Directions

This trailhead description will begin from downtown Durango. If coming from the north of town on US550, drive south until 550 (aka: Main Street) crosses the Animas River. Less than 2 blocks after that crossing, turn east (left) onto 15th St. In a few blocks, this road turns NE and becomes Florida Rd., which in turn is CR240. Follow this paved road through mostly residential areas as it gains elevation for just under 12 miles to an intersection. Turn left onto CR243 and drive north to Lemon Reservoir. It's just over 4 miles to the reservoir where the road turns to graded gravel. Now drive 5.4 miles along the east shore of the reservoir and past the north end of it to a turnoff for the Florida Campground. Do not turn, but continue straight onto what will become FR597, aka: "East Florida Road" on the Trails Illustrated map. The road soon degenerates and heads generally NE, climbing up the mountainside on numerous switchbacks. The long and winding road continues from the Florida Campground turnoff for nearly 10 miles to the trailhead. There will be several at-large camping opportunities along the way as well as in the vicinity of the trailhead. The road is basically "single-lane," and though you really don't need 4WD, extra clearance is of help because the road is arduously rocky. You can never go very fast unless you want to rattle your vehicle to death. It took us about an hour and a half from Durango. Along FR597, there are numerous meadows with abundant yellow wildflowers. There were some potholes toward the end, but nothing challenging. We drove this road in 2006. Be aware that during our 2006 visit, we saw clear indications that a large group of domestic sheep are moved up this road and trail for summer grazing. You may encounter large trucks as a result.  

Update 2020: We received this update from a site user. As with many Forest Service roads, apparently budget constraints restrict the amount of grading and other work that can be done on FS roads so most roads tend to fall into neglect and worsen in condition over the years. This road has apparently become one of those casualties. We were advised that the road has become even rockier, requiring slower driving and more time from Durango. The site user suggests that it may now take a minimum of two hours to 2.5 hours to make this drive. He also strongly advises that AWD or 4WD vehicles should be used with higher clearance. He did report seeing a RAV4 at the trailhead with apparent undercarriage damage from the drive. Please take this information into consideration when planning your trip. 

Warning! Climbing peaks can be dangerous! By using this site and the information contained herein, you're agreeing to use common sense, good judgement, and to not hold us liable nor sue us for any reason. Legal Notice & Terms of Use.
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