Molas Pass to Engineer Mountain Trail Out and Back
ElevationAscent: 2,310' 704 m
Descent: -2,310' -704 m
High: 12,094' 3,686 m
Low: 10,891' 3,320 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 16% (9°)
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“Epic alpine trail accessible to the day rider.”— John Geronimo
While the grades are forgiving, this is a serious trail. Take plenty of liquid and calories, and be prepared for wind, rain, sleet, and hail.
Head west, passing Little Molas Lake and gradually climbing into a clear area that is an old burn. The first three miles are all uphill so you can turn around at any point and be pretty confident of getting home. The trail is a bit rutted but in good condition. Watch for hikers and others.
Beyond 5 miles the trail enters forest, becoming narrower with a steep cross slope in places. There are few technical obstacles but some riders might want to walk short sections that are above cliff bands.
On the way back there are some hills, but they are relatively minor.
As you get out about 9 miles there is some muskeg (swampy) trail but it is not too bad. Keep an eye out for the interesting "karst" or cavernous terrain: a spring, sinkholes, and a stream that sinks underground.
At the junction with Engineer Mountain Trail continue on to a big loop or roll back east.
Note that the segment of the CT immediately to the east passes through wilderness. The next section that mountain bikers can ride is Colorado Trail: Stony Pass to West Pole Creek Trail.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed, History & Background
Land Manager: USFS - San Juan National Forest Office