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Dome Loop via E. Contrabando Trailhead

 4.6 (14)
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19.8 Miles 31.8 Kilometers



1,035' 316 m


-1,035' -316 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (10°)

2,850' 869 m


2,396' 730 m


Shared By Kody Gibson



Getting forecast...

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

Kody Gibson

Dogs 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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Your Check-Ins


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.
Feb 15, 2017
Feb 2, 2017
Clay Campbell
18.8mi — 2h 40m

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Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 14 votes


  4.6 from 14 votes
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in Texas


429 Views Last Month
7,012 Since May 4, 2013
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Tim Gibbs
Terlingua, TX
Tim Gibbs   Terlingua, TX
This trail system will challenge you but keep you smiling the whole time. The best riding season is Novemeber through April owing to the oppessive heat of the Big Bend summer. Plan ahead and contact Desert Sports or the Barton Warnock Visitor Center (432-424-3327) for conditions before you make the trek out! May 15, 2016
This trail was well worth the trip! Bring LOTS of water and spare tubes (slime or tubless is a must), even if you go on a cooler time of yea it is still normally really dry and you may not see another rider the entire time you are out there. Oct 11, 2016

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