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black Abajo Loop: Spring Creek to Robertson Pasture

  3.1 ( 7 )

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14.7 mile 23.6 kilometer loop


Ascent: 2,544' 775 m
Descent: -2,545' -776 m
High: 10,516' 3,205 m
Low: 8,279' 2,523 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)


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Trail shared by Nick Wilder

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A superb alpine adventure with forests, meadows, rocks, and epic views.

Nick Wilder

E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

No bicycles or motorcycles October 1 - May 15.


Many people consider this the finest singletrack ride in the Abajos: it has a bit of everything from deep, dark pine forests, aspen glades, meadows, rock gardens, and views of the entire area, including distant mountain ranges and desert canyons nearly 8,000 feet below.


From the huge parking lot with amazing views, head east on the road just a couple hundred yards to Road 5113/0172. Start a steep climb and grind up until you reach the Spring Creek Trail (159) intersection on the right.

This trail is quite easy and pleasant for the first half mile as it winds through aspen and pine forest. It breaks out into semi-desert territory and begins to climb for quite a while, and some folks will have to hike-a-bike, though the only excuse is lung capacity! Enjoy some nice high views before heading back into forest for a technical, rocky section. Though the trail doesn't climb or descend much here, it will take some time to navigate the rocks. You'll eventually hit the Robertson Pasture Trail, where you take a right.

Robertson Pasture Trail has got to be one of the finest trails anywhere in North America. You'll start by climbing a mile. For most cyclists, parts will be hike-a-bike. The first 0.7 miles are the hardest. Top out at 10,522 feet and begin an exhilarating cross-country descent.

You start out on switchbacks that comprise what amounts to a superb natural flow trail. You zip in and out of alpine meadows and very dark forest areas, going from the landscapes of Crested Butte to British Columbia to California's Lost Coast and back again in just a couple of miles. When not in the forested parts, you have views of and beyond Canyonlands National Park that probably extend more than 100 miles to the north and west.

There are moderately technical rocky parts and moderately steep parts, but an intermediate rider should be OK with a bit of walking. Then, around 9500 feet elevation, you traverse Robertson Pasture, a first-class alpine meadow, on pleasant, mellow singletrack. Still descending, you reach aspen stands around 9000 feet and you feel like you're in Park City, Utah or the Gunnison/Crested Butte area again.

Below that, you reach what feels like the best of Southern California, with rocky desert trails and some stiff power climbs (hike-a-bike for some, but short) and beautiful views into a typical mid-elevation Utah valley.

Once you hit the bottom, follow a short stretch of road back to the parking area.


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Jul 16, 2017
Mark Mastalski
Sep 30, 2016
Nick Wilder
Great day in the changing aspens! 15mi

Trail Ratings

  3.1 from 7 votes


  3.1 from 7 votes
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in Utah


63 Views Last Month
5,369 Since Sep 22, 2016
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Just did the loop (10/15/17). Some beautiful sections, especially Robertson. But overall was too technical--had to walk a dozen times due to stretches of choppy uphill rocks--not rideable in several sections. Long trail, very tiring. A lot of diversity of terrain, some great views, and a few fun flowy sections. Oct 17, 2017
Does anyone know if you can see Bears Ears Monument from anywhere on this trail? Oct 17, 2017
Nick Wilder
Boulder, CO
Nick Wilder   Boulder, CO  
Eric, you cannot see Bears Ears from this trail. They are a long way south, and quite a different climate zone. Easy to see them in the same day though. Oct 17, 2017

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