Durango, Colorado

Hike to the top of Engineer Mountain

11 Miles Total - 2378 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Brian Wilson

Don't let the name fool you. Engineer Mountain is a beautiful hike full of wildflowers, wildlife and panoramic views.

We were vacationing in the San Juan Mountains for 2 weeks.  A local resident suggested the hike as a great place to see wildflowers.  The "Engineer Mountain" sounded a bit too technical to be a scenic hike but we decided to hike like a local and this was one of the best hikes we did in 2 weeks.  Accessible but still a challenge that we could take our dogs along.  Don't let their size fool you.  These are hiking dogs!

The trail head is located across the highway from the rest area in Coal Bank Pass.  There is plenty of parking and despite the amount of cars we saw very few people on the hike.

Right out of the car you step in to a wildflower field with flowers as tall as you!  Great start to a hike we were hesitant to take.  Flowers give way to a heavily forested trail filled with birds and deer.  Not any lookout points until the top but the scenery along the way more than makes up for it.  As you near the end, the terrain levels off and the "rock glacier" sits at the far edge of the mountain.  This flat area offers wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding ranges and a great place to stop and eat at picnic rock.  After a rest there is a steep incline to follow the trail to the top.  Loose gravel and steep incline make for a slow hike but the payoff is worth it.

Be careful in the final ascent, take plenty of water/supplies and enjoy the views. 

Read More


Mountain Biking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great Challenge

Went with my work group for team building great challenge and views are truly amazing and awe inspiring. It was tough but worth it.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Durango, Colorado

Haviland Lake Campground

San Miguel County, Colorado


Rico, Colorado

Cayton Campground

Durango, Colorado

Durango North / Riverside KOA

Nearby Adventures

Backpack to Crater Lake in San Juan National Forest

11 Miles Round Trip - 870 ft gain

Camp at Little Molas Lake

1 Miles Round Trip - 40 ft gain

Backpack into Chicago Basin from Purgatory Flats

26 Miles Round Trip - 6000 ft gain