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A long trail following Chicken Creek.


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Map Key

7.8

Miles

12.5

KM

Singletrack

8,936' 2,724 m

High

7,671' 2,338 m

Low

1,325' 404 m

Up

244' 74 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Unknown

Snowy in winter.

Description

The south trailhead for this route is located at the northwest corner of Jackson Gulch Reservoir in Mancos State Park. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead. The trail heads north passing the Black Bear Trail and crossing a broad open valley. It then descends into the Chicken Creek drainage on what appears to be the old road to Deans Sawmill. At one point, this road is blocked by a huge boulder that has slid down the hill, but you can ride around it. After crossing Chicken Creek, the road mostly stays on the west side. Note that all the crossings on this trail are are easy rides or stone stepping under normal flow conditions.

The Deans Sawmill site has some small metal artifacts, but also portions of the firebox, boiler, and stack of a steam engine. The engine seems to have been abandoned, then at some later point it was cut up for scrap. For some reason the final pieces were not hauled off. I like to speculate that the boulder blocked access, providing us a lucky glimpse of history.

From the sawmill site, the most technical section of the trail extends for about 1.5 miles north. The trail hugs the east wall of the valley and there are lots of rocks, roots, and hikes. But there are also some pleasant interludes.

The trail turns east, crossing a small meadow where there are possible remains of a cabin. After about 400 feet there is a level area with a curious artifact. It is a small very heavy coal stove. This area is only a few hundred feet from FR561, so it is likely that a road came down into this area and there were some dwellings.

From this area north, the trail is often on old logging road grades. There are still plenty of rocks, roots, and climbs but it is generally less technical. Rim Trail comes in from the east, and from here north the trail is open to off highway motorcycles (OHMs) so it is wider and most deadfalls are cleared. Finally, the trail intersects Morrison Trail. Turning east, it climbs to the northern Chicken Creek Trailhead which has a parking area.

Camping is prohibited within one mile of Transfer CG. Options: To the south, 416 at Doc Lowell Flats is a large area. Going north beyond the intersection of 327 and 350, there are large flat areas not far up 327 and about 2 miles up around 561D. I have gotten AT&T cell reception in these higher areas when there is none in the Transfer area.

Contacts

Shared By:

John Geronimo with improvements by Abe Gold

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 8 votes

#20443

Overall
  3.5 from 8 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
13%
1 Star
13%
Trail Rankings

#1,782

in Colorado

#20,443

Overall
7 Views Last Month
2,080 Since Nov 4, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
17%
67%
17%
0%

Photos

The east side of the valley is steep and rooty.
Nov 4, 2016 near Mancos, CO
Chunky section.
Nov 4, 2016 near Mancos, CO
Hillside.
Nov 4, 2016 near Mancos, CO
Upper reaches of Chicken Creek.
Nov 4, 2016 near Mancos, CO
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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 10 days ago
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Check-Ins

Oct 1, 2023
Ol' Elk Dickens
Chunky, but most of it is blueish if ridden N to S 10mi — 2h 00m
May 22, 2021
Matt Carrigan
mack dropped me at top. frickin awesome ride. 4.5 stars in my opinion. about 11 creek crossings. climb at end by the lake is loose and shitty but s… — 1h 10m
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