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Dome Loop via E. Contrabando Trailhead

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (19) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

19.8

Miles

31.8

KM

75%

Singletrack

2,850' 869 m

High

2,396' 730 m

Low

1,035' 316 m

Up

1,035' 316 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Kody Gibson

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 19 votes

#622

Overall
  4.7 from 19 votes
5 Star
79%
4 Star
11%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#21

in Texas

#622

Overall
120 Views Last Month
10,227 Since May 4, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

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

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 6 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

May 1, 2021
Norbert Barbosa
3h 02m
Apr 6, 2021
Darrell Hingle
Great shape, fun as always!
Dec 5, 2019
Eric Colquette
22mi
Apr 20, 2019
Michael Wyatt
Dec 8, 2018
Jennifer Johnson
28mi
Apr 14, 2018
Dylan Webb
Feb 16, 2018
Raul Salazar
Feb 15, 2018
Raul Salazar