“A great short challenging loop with outstanding views.
— Jeff Renfrow
This is a great short loop that takes in some of the best views in the Big Bend. It has a little bit of everything; long gradual jeep road climbs, some of the best singletrack in the area in the form of the Dome Singletrack, historic sites, great views and a screaming fun downhill for several miles down the Fresno Divide.
This ride can be combined with several other loops to make longer rides.
Head up from the West Contrabando Trailhead on a flowing old two track and jeep road. The trail climbs gradually up the Contrabando Waterhole overlook descends down a steep hill and then descends to the junction with the Contrabando Waterhole Trail (it's just a short ways down the Contrabando Waterhole Trail to a spring a outstanding historic rock house ruin). Continue following the Road until you turn left onto the Dome Singletrack. This will take you up a 300 meter long climb and onto some of the funnest singletrack in the area.
The Dome Singletrack is flowing with several short, steep climbs with limestone ledges and short drops. Once you hit the Dome Loop jeep trail on the other end, turn left and head down the gradually descending two track to the intersection with the Fresno Divide Trail
. This starts off with a steep, technical climb to the top but you are soon rewarded with a 2 mile flowing downhill that has incredible views of the surrounding mountains. Don't forget to stop and have a look around. Once you descend down the final grade off of the Fresno Divide it's an easy pedal back to the trailhead.
Built by the Big Bend Trails Alliance in cooperation with Texas Parks and Wildlife in January 2014, this is a great new addition to the local trail system. It ties together some of the historic routes into the cinnabar mining district and the interior of Big Bend Ranch State Park.