The Hermosa Creek Trail is one of the best and most popular rides in the Durango area. The trail is most frequently ridden as a shuttle from the trailhead above Durango Mountain Resort ski area, on Hermosa Park Road. to the trailhead on Lower Hermosa Road and that is how the trail is mapped here. While this direction gives you a big descent, keep in mind that there is quite a bit of climbing. If you dont want the shuttle, this trail makes for great out and backs as far as you desire from either end.
The trail starts in the alpine setting of Hermosa Park, but quickly joins the creek, which it closely follows for the first 6.5 miles. This first 6.5 miles is gently descending doubletrack that is generally smooth, with some rocky sections. There are several trail junctions along the trail, most of which are well marked. The first junction is with Corral Draw Trail at 3 miles. At 4.8 miles you'll cross a bridge, and the junction with the Elbert Creek
Trail, shortly after you'll pass Big Bend Creek Trail. At 5.7 miles you'll cross another bridge back over Hermosa Creek, and at 6.5 miles you'll reach a small meadow and the junction with the Salt Creek Trail. The trail becomes singletrack at this point and becomes more technical, expect some loose, rocky and rooted conditions.
This the end of your pure descent, the rollers start gently, but gradually get bigger. After a short, rocky descent you'll reach the junction with the South Fork Hermosa Creek Trail at about 10.5 miles. What feels to be the first significant climb comes at mile 12.5, it only gains ~150 ft of vertical, but gives you a taste of what is coming. After the top of this climb you'll descend steeply to the junction with the Clear Creek Trail at ~13.7 miles. This brings you to the most significant climb of the ride, which gains about 500 ft in a mile. The start and end of this climb are steep and will mean walking for many, but the middle is generally rideable. The junction with Dutch Creek
Trail will signal an end of the climbing and from here the trail mostly descends. The last 2-3 mi of trail are wider and obviously see more use. This is a popular section of trail, so while it may be tempting to let it fly, be aware of other trail users!
There are frequently a number of large puddles on the Hermosa Creek Trail, so plan to get muddy and dont widen the trail by trying to avoid puddles!
Trails2000.org provides regular trail condition updates.