Sale Barn - South Rim - Carbon Junction

Consensus:    (details)
  3.6 from 8 votes
blue  Intermediate from 2 votes
Rank: #2 in the Durango area
#178 in CO, #1,282 Overall
Views: 3,416. Last 30 days: 181
Condition Details | Update
Aug 27 Yellow - Mostly Dry, Fallen Trees, Rockier...
Featured Ride in the area near Durango,
“Excellent introduction to Durango singletrack for an intermediate rider.”
John Geronimo on Oct 11, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
7.211.5 milesKilometers 752’229 m Ascent 6,883’2,098 m High 4% Avg Grade (2°)
95% Singletrack -766’-234 m Descent 6,480’1,975 m Low 18% Max Grade (10°)
Grandview Ridge trails are subject to conditional winter wildlife closures. Call the BLM Tres Rios Field Office for the latest info: (970) 882-7296
1:00 average time for 8.5 miles. Details

This ride introduces the willing intermediate to exceptionally well designed trails that are aesthetically pleasing and help to build skills. In about 4 hrs you can see a good sample of the famed Telegraph Trail System and get a good workout.
Need To Know
Take plenty of water, sun protection, and tools/spares.
The namesake Sale Barn is long gone but the trailhead features a signboard and trail system map. After a steep rise from the parking area, Sale Barn settles into a pattern of gently curving runs up the narrow valley punctuated by switchbacks that will provide a good workout and test of skills.

The mesa top is achieved and here the rider finds gently curving singletrack that seems designed for mountain biking... because it is. The trail drops back down into the canyon in some steep turns then crosses the arroyo at about 1.2 miles and rises onto the west mesa.

Passing the junction with Cowboy Trail, you now head out onto the first portion of South Rim Trail. This is great cruising with minimal rocks. As the trail contours along the mesa edge, the proximity to the busy 550 corridor is apparent.

The trail descends into Big Canyon, which provides a shorter variant of this ride or a convenient bailout point if you've had enough. Rising out of Big Canyon is a series of very tight and fairly loose switchbacks that may require a bit of walking for the intermediate.

The next section is the west portion of South Rim Trail, featuring more cuising and views. The trail continues across another canyon and up onto the mesa. Here the trail splits, with the north branch heading up into the Telegraph System.

The south split contours around an open field, then begins a precipitous drop to Carbon Junction. Things get steep in a hurry: despite the views look ahead for abrupt and loose switchbacks. Missing the final switchback before the parking area would result in a steep drop onto the highway.

This was my introduction to Durango intermediate: a fine trail that mixes pleasurable cruising with technical challenges to build skill.
Land Manager: BLM Colorado - Tres Rios Field Office
Local Club: Trails 2000
View in 3D
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PHOTOS of Sale Barn - South Rim - Carbon Junction
  3.3 from 3 votes
Looking west before the last return towards 160. (Durango, CO)
  3.3 from 3 votes
Looking south towards 160 through Big Canyon. (Durango, CO)
  2.7 from 3 votes
South end of the Horse Gulch Trail (Durango, CO)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Un single bien sympa pour finir la sortie ! (Durango, CO)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Descent towards Carbon Junction with a sharp ridge and Durango in the ba... (Durango, CO)
  1.7 from 3 votes
Fine singletrack on dirt with few rocks (Durango, CO)