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Snow Mesa to Miner's Creek

Consensus:    (details)
 5.0 from 1 vote
  Difficult from 1 vote
Rank: #3 in the Silverton and Ouray area
#40 in CO, #243 Overall
Views: 175. Last 30 days: 9
Condition:
unknown
Featured Ride near Lake City,  area, 
“A sublime ride experience starting on an alpine mesa and descending through a lush creek drainage.”
Evan Chute on Jul 30, 2014
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16.726.8 milesKilometers 1,686’514 m Ascent 12,349’3,764 m High 5.9% Avg Grade
100% Singletrack -3,550’-1,082 m Descent 9,048’2,758 m Low 21.1% Max Grade
Overview
A steep, rocky climb gives way to a large expanse of rolling mesa where you can see the trail for a few miles in spots. Amazing views surround you as you pedal across the mesa. Dropping in to the Miner's Creek drainage provides a semi-technical, loamy, rooty descent with small climbs interspersed all the way down the approximately 10-mile trail.
Need To Know
Best done as a point-to-point, leave one shuttle vehicle at the Miner's Creek Road trailhead outside of Creede, CO and take the other to the top of Spring Creek Pass. Finding where Miner's Creek starts can be challenging, but stay high and right along a low ridgeline as Snow Mesa veers left in to the Miner's Creek drainage and you'll see the trail just past the nose of the ridge. Miner's Creek has many creek crossings, you're likely to get wet feet on this ride.
Description
Truly unique topography and geography abounds on this ride. After leaving a vehicle at the Miner's Creek trailhead, return to and park at the Spring Creek Pass trailhead off Hwy 149 (10898') and climb two miles east on the Colorado Trail. Super strong riders might be able to ride half of the uphill, it's steep, rocky, and at altitude.

At the top you're on Snow Mesa, a nearly flat, yet still rolling, plateau across which the Colorado Trail rolls along at an altitude ranging from 12,250 to 12,420 feet elevation. At times you can see the trail itself for miles. Follow this for about five miles and you'll come to a subtle saddle, with large cliff bands emerging to the left and a low, flattish ridge on the right. There's an old, worn-out USFS sign here that most likely is warning you of the impending wilderness boundary.

Stay high and right on top of the flattish ridge, rolling through the tundra. As you come over the nose of the ridge, the Miner's Creek trail will become clearer. For the first couple of miles, Miner's Creek can be difficult to follow as it doesn't see much traffic. Be on the lookout for the trail junction with FDT#787 (La Garita Stock Driveway) is in the Southeast end of the open meadow about 2.4 miles from the start of Miner's Creek. You'll want to stay on Miner's Creek, which is a right turn that crosses the creek. This junction is signed.

Miner's Creek is a moderately technical, root-strewn, loam fest descending from an elevation of 12,300 to 9,100 feet elevation over approximately 10 miles through dense pine forest, aspen stands, and open meadows. The scenery is absolutely stunning, and looking back up valley near the top you can see excellent views of white chalk-like cliffs at the head of Miners Creek. Stay on your game, though! A myriad of small to medium technical challenges and multiple stream crossings will keep you on your toes for the entirety of the ride.
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COMMENTS
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PHOTOS of Snow Mesa to Miner's Creek
 5.0 from 1 vote
Shredding a steep, rooty section of Miner's Creek. (Creede, CO)
 4.0 from 3 votes
Rocky hike-a-bike to the top of Snow Mesa. (Lake City, CO)
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