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A demanding sub-alpine trail with extreme grades and rockiness at the west end.


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Map Key

6.4

Miles

10.3

KM

Singletrack

9,626' 2,934 m

High

8,223' 2,506 m

Low

1,511' 461 m

Up

1,073' 327 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Snowy in the winter months.

Description

And off the rim you go! The first quarter-mile drops 400 feet as you plunge down narrow, steep, and chunky switchbacks.

At the creek you'll see signs for horse and hiker routes. The latter refers to a log bridge that is washed out as of July 2014. Just splash across the creek.

The other side of the creek is almost as steep and even narrower. This section, unfortunately, is mostly hike-a-bike. And then suddenly, it's over. You emerge on a gently rising plateau. Be sure to close the gate at 1.4 miles.

Threading along cow trails you'll pass the grandly-named Box Canyon Reservoir, a large and muddy stock tank. Right about four miles into the ride, you'll reach a four-way intersection. Turn left. If you were to stay straight or turn right here, you'd join the Mancos Box Canyon Spur.

Cruising on through sparse aspens, you descend into the Deer Lick Creek drainage. Except for roots, this is less chunky and more gradual than the west end plunge. Deer Lick opens into a meadow that eventually deposits you beside the West Mancos River.

After splashing through two crossings, you emerge to find a very steep climb and then a river-bank ride to the old site of Golconda. Here you can pick up the West Mancos Trail to continue the loop.

Given the steepness of the west end gorge crossing, riders might want to consider riding this trail in the opposite direction. They could take West Mancos Trail downhill then climb gradually up Deer Lick. This would save the plunge down and the hike-a-bike up for the very end.

This is a remote area with no cell coverage. Riders should be well-prepared with repair and weather gear.

Contacts

Shared By:

John Geronimo

Trail Ratings

  2.3 from 3 votes

#13

in Mancos

#35056

Overall
  2.3 from 3 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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3 Star
67%
2 Star
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1 Star
33%
Trail Rankings

#13

in Mancos

#3,290

in Colorado

#35,056

Overall
1 Views Last Month
2,261 Since Aug 22, 2014
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Photos

view as you ride across the plateau
May 13, 2018 near Mancos, CO
The initial plunge into the gorge is quite steep and rocky, with bedrock steps and water bars
Aug 22, 2014 near Mancos, CO
One of two crossing points near Golconda
Aug 22, 2014 near Mancos, CO
Sparse aspens
Aug 22, 2014 near Mancos, CO
Tight switchback
Aug 22, 2014 near Mancos, CO
Descending through meadow in Deer Lick Creek drainage
Aug 22, 2014 near Mancos, CO

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May 12, 2018
Ben Calvert
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