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Molas Pass to Durango Hike & Rail Ride

October 5, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 6:15 pm

Free – $45.00


Join trip leaders Dr David Gonzales and Dr Jonathan Harvey on the bus ride from town up to Molas Lake.  Hike through the fall colors from Molas Lake down to Elk Park, in the Animas River gorge, following part of the Colorado Trail.  The hike starts near the Mississippian-Pennsylvanian contact and continues down section across the “Great Unconformity” into spectacular sedimentary and structural exposures of the Precambrian Uncompahgre Group in the gorge.  Catch the train for an enjoyable 3-hour ride back to Durango.  The hike is a little over 2.6 miles down to the Animas River, then another mile to the train pick-up at Elk Park, for a total of about 3.6 miles.  We begin at an elevation of 10,610’ descending ~1,700’ to 8,925’.  The switchback segment descends ~1,400’ in 1.2 miles, thus it’s fairly steep, has some loose footing and can be hard on the knees.

Dr. David Gonzales, FLC
Dr. Jonathan Harvey, FLC









Please Note:

  • Wear sturdy hiking boots and bring your camera, sunscreen, hiking sticks, and rain gear.
  • Bring  your own lunch and plenty of water in a light daypack.
  • Packable snacks and water refills will be provided at the Molas Lake Trailhead.


  • Meet at 7:00am on Saturday, Oct 5th, in the D&SNGRR train parking lot next to McDonalds. Gather at the bus labeled “Mountain Waters Rafting“.
  • Note there is an $8 fee to park in the lot
  • We are scheduled to arrive back in Durango by 6:15pm.


  • Bus to trailhead at Molas Lake.  Hike to Elk Park train rendezvous for ride back to Durango.

Trail Guide and Literature:

  • Please download and print your own Trail Guide here before the trip.
  • A link containing relevant articles will be sent to participants. Download and print any that you wish.


  • $45 per person. Includes bus and train transportation, water refills & snacks.


  • Register early! Limited to 20 FCGS Members + 20 FLC Participants
  • Registration opens September 6th at 6:00AM MST.
  • Must be an active FCGS member to participate. Click here to renew or become a member today!
  • Cancelation deadline for refund is September 20th.


Please bring a signed copy of the Field Trip Liability release with you on October 5th to our assembly point in the train parking lot. Download the waiver here.


For more information, contact Jim Corken through our contact form here.




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October 5, 2019
7:00 am - 6:15 pm
Free – $45.00