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Dome Loop via E. Contrabando Trailhead



19.8 mile 31.8 kilometer loop
75% Singletrack


Ascent: 1,035' 316 m
Descent: -1,035' -316 m
High: 2,850' 869 m
Low: 2,396' 730 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)


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Trail shared by Kody Gibson

Great views of Big Bend State park, covering 5 trails.

Kody Gibson

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


Awesome views, covering several trails along the Epic route. Mostly singletrack, with a little bit of jeep road.

Need to Know

Lots of erosion can be found on the Jeep road. Be cautious approaching dry creek beds.

Contrabando Waterhole Trail is very loose/sandy.

Desert Sports bike shop is an excellent shop, and they know everything about these trails.


Follow flowy singletrack through Dog Cholla, which is a fun singletrack section, until you take a left on an old jeep trail. Take a right on the appropriately named Crystal Trail - another fun singletrack section with a couple short technical spots. The highlight of this trail is an entire hill covered in Calcite Crystal.

After taking a right on the jeep road, follow the singletrack on Camino Viejo Trail to the Contrabando Waterhole trail, where a sharp left takes you down along a loose sandy creek bed.

Meet the east side of the Contrabando Dome Loop, where you'll head north and start a nice climb. The Dome Loop consists of mostly old jeep trail that has slowly turned into singletrack. It flows through loose washes and volcanic rock. It's 250 feet of climbing until about mile 8 of this route, then you'll start to descend. There are a few spots with exposure. Around the 10.5 mile marker, you'll cross a deep wash. If you lose the trail, just look straight ahead for the 3-4 foot ledge you should be riding/hiking up.

Stay to the left until you start the decent, and eventually land back at the Contrabando Waterhole.

On the way back along the jeep trail, don't miss Rock Quarry Trail on the right, which is one of the singletrack trails built for mountain bikes. Sail down Dog Cholla once again before hitting the parking lot.

History & Background

This trail rides through the ruins of abandoned cinnabar mines. Most of the trail is along an old contraband road used to access the mines, and transport illicit goods.


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Dec 5, 2019
Eric Colquette
Apr 20, 2019
Michael Wyatt
Dec 8, 2018
Jennifer Johnson
Apr 14, 2018
Dylan Webb
Feb 16, 2018
Raul Salazar
Feb 15, 2018
Raul Salazar
Apr 29, 2017
Michael Adames
Feb 17, 2017
Jeff W.
Great ride. Smooth climbing on great singletrack. Great fun and some nice tech sections. The Big Bend State Park trails are AWESOME.

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 16 votes


  4.6 from 16 votes
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in Texas


73 Views Last Month
8,579 Since May 4, 2013



Into the arroyo.
Dec 30, 2015 near Lajitas, TX
Snaking down Dog Cholla
Apr 18, 2013 near Lajitas, TX
Crystal Hill!
Apr 18, 2013 near Lajitas, TX
Trails in vast desert.
Dec 30, 2015 near Lajitas, TX
A dry riverbed crossing along the trail getting to the Dome loop.
Jun 2, 2016 near Lajitas, TX
View from atop the dome and back on the trail ridden to get to the top.
Jun 2, 2016 near Lajitas, TX

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