I'll be staying with my family near Durango Mountain Resort. Never been to the San Juans before and I'm looking for recommendations for peak climbs or really scenic hikes with 2000-3000 feet of gain that are within 30 minutes drive that can be accomplished at a moderate pace in 3-4 hours. Engineer Mountain is on my radar and Spencer Peak near Molas Lake looks doable in a quick trip. Can anyone vouch for either of these climbs in Spring conditions? What are the snow conditions like in these areas? Is avalanche danger something to worry about right now? I have snowshoes and crampons/ice axe, if necessary, but would prefer to leave them at home. Thanks!
There is a great hike to the Old 100 boarding house high on Galena Mountain outside of Silverton. Trail starts at about 10,500 and ends at the boarding house about 12,500. Take the rd from Silverton to Howardsville, then towards Stony Pass. Scott Fetchenhier at Fetch's in Silverton can give you co-ordinates and more info. Narrow trail, steep in places with a 200 ft. scramble to get down to the boarding house. Spectacular scenery, very historical also.