It's a wonder why more people don't ride this trail. Pristine singletrack – breathtaking views from a several overlooks, towering pines and a mix of high desert terrain and mountain forests – Oh yeah, because it's brutal and relentless at times, that's why. But it's worth the pain, every crank of the way.
Animas City Mountain is a massive physical feature that juts up, tilting above the surrounding landscape, and can easily seen from other vistas in town.
The riding here is tough and technical. No matter what, you're climbing 1,600 feet right out of the gate, so it's better to just accept it and plan on working. Even the downhill is demanding.
There are a few trail options: it can be ridden in a clockwise or counter clockwise direction; and there are a few trail options that short cut the rim, but the true character of this trail is really about two things: climbing, and the stunning views it affords.
Should you choose to climb in a counter clockwise route, just stay right, and right about the time you begin second guessing the whole idea, the trail's western shoulder drops away into the Animas Valley. Even after a thousand times, one look and you remember why you're here in the first place. Keep going and the views grow bigger, gazing over the white cliffs of Falls Creek, and into the La Plata Mountains.
An incredible 5 or 6-mile loop, depending on route, Animas City Mountain is a required riding for a Durango mountain biking experience.