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Lime Mesa Trail

Basics
Location:
North of Durango
Length:
14.4 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
7.5 to 8.5 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
11500 feet
Elevation Change:
1100 feet
Season:
Summer - Fall

Description

The trail begins in a meadow, winds along an old four-wheel-drive road, and crosses through timber for 2 miles before heading down to Dollar Lake. The trail then climbs gently above timberline to a crest on the hill with spectacular views. The overlook is reached in 4 miles, and at that point the trail sharply descends to Ruby and Pear Lakes.

The government trail ends at Mountain View Crest and it is NOT recommended to continue down to Ruby Lake. Do not descend into the basin to the lakes unless you feel comfortable climbing back out.

Campsites are limited near the lakes and you must camp farther than 100 feet from water. Fires are not permitted in the area. The alpine meadows are full of blooming wildflowers in late July and in August. This area has excellent views and photographic possibilities. As with all high-altitude areas, storms can move in rapidly, bringing severe wind, lightning, rain, snow, or hail—at any time of the year. Plan accordingly.

Fishing Considerations:

Ruby Lake (Jewell Lake), Pear Lake, and Emerald Lake, at 11,910, 11,579, and 11,276 feet, respectively, are rated fair for cutthroat and rainbow. Please check the fishing regulations regarding limits, allowable lures, and restrictions on certain lakes, rivers, etc.

Details

Location:
North of Durango
Length:
14.4 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
7.5 to 8.5 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
11500
Elevation Change:
1100
Season:
Summer - Fall
Useful Map(s):
USGS Quads: Lemon Reservoir, Mountain View Crest,

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

Take East Animas Road (CR #250) from Durango to FDR #682 (Missionary Ridge Road). Follow the road for 17.5 miles to the Henderson Lake turn-off. Drive FDR #081 for 5 miles to its end (FDR #081 is 4WD for the last 2 miles). Take the City Reservoir trail for ¼ mile to a large meadow where the Lime Mesa Trail branches to the north as the City Reservoir Trail heads southeast.


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