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Outer Loop

 3.8 (9)

12.0 Miles 19.2 Kilometers


80%

Singletrack

797' 243 m

Ascent

-797' -243 m

Descent

3%

Avg Grade (1°)

14%

Max Grade (8°)

1,379' 420 m

High

1,031' 314 m

Low

Shared By Leonard Box

Conditions


Unknown

Getting forecast...

A loop route through the Government Canyon State Natural Area (Backcountry).

Leonard Box

Dogs No Dogs

Features -none-

Heavy rains will close the trails, and also it is only open Friday through Monday. There could also be flowing/standing water on the trails after heavy rains; typically found on Joe Johnston by the dinosaur tracks.

Overview

The Outer Loop brings together the trails of Joe Johnston, Caroline's Loop, Sendero Balcones (north), Far Reaches Trail and Recharge Trail to take the rider on an 11.8-mile ride around the GCSNA Backcountry.

Need to Know

There are several overlook locations built along the trail. There is a 'rustic' restroom off Joe Johnston if needed.

There are NO WATER POINTS!

If riding in the summer months, ensure you bring plenty of fluids on your person. Along Joe Johnston, if you choose to not take Caroline's Loop, you'll find dinosaur tracks along the trail. There is a restroom on Little Windmill near its intersection with Joe Johnston.

Description

The Outer Loop route can be ridden in either direction. Although clockwise seems to be less challenging as you are going down more the rock shelves than climbing them. It begins on Joe Johnston at the Backcountry Trailhead.

From there, it is either 0.8 miles to go counterclockwise to Recharge Trail or 2.6 miles to Caroline's Loop. Caroline's Loop covers 2.3 miles and reconnects you to Joe Johnston for 0.7 miles before it turns into Sendero Balcones (north).

Caroline's Loop starts to draw you the picture of what to expect on Sendero Balcones (north) in terms of rock gardens and shelves. At the end of the north section of Sendero Balcones, you'll hit the intersection (marked with signs and a stump marker) of Wildcat Canyon, the continuation of Sendero Balcones (south) and Far Reaches Trail.

Turning onto Far Reaches Trail, the rocks become a little less prevalent, but still provide for a technical ride. Towards the end of Far Reaches Trail, it becomes a nice, rolling singletrack that you can open up on as it transitions into Recharge Trail and the end of the ride.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Aug 6, 2018
Jared Luckey
Tough ride but fun 10.8mi
Aug 4, 2018
G M
Jul 3, 2018
Aaron Hinze
Did not complete entire loop. Lots of loose rock, creek bed style riding non stop.
Mar 26, 2018
James M
12mi
Aug 1, 2017
Cory Hartsfield
Jun 25, 2017
Berni Ainslie
Nov 28, 2008
Lost Justpastnowhere

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Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 9 votes

#1897

Overall
  3.8 from 9 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
11%
3 Star
22%
2 Star
22%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#70

in Texas

#1,897

Overall
96 Views Last Month
2,171 Since Jun 28, 2016
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this trail system was a hidden gem. Like a little Moab right in TX. Great rock shelves for climbing and descending. Had a blast! May 11, 2018

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