The total package. Intense, punchy climbs, loamy singletrack, rock gardens, amazing views, fast and winding descents.
No water or restroom access. No motorized vehicles or e-bikes. Rattlesnake and other wildlife habitat.
The initial climb, from the parking lot to the Limekiln Loop
split, is the most difficult part of the ride. Steep dirt road to chunky ATV trail until you reach the first singletrack. The climb is still rather steep in places but the terrain is mostly manageable. Prepare to dismount soon before the second switchback unless you can confidently navigate the boulder staircase.
The singletrack becomes relatively easy at this point. Fresh loam and rock gardens make up the majority of the rest of the trail. At the first split, stay right to take the Limekiln Loop
counter-clockwise (preferred direction). More of the same terrain with abundant rock staircases, both up and down. You'll reach the second split soon. You can opt for the Limekiln Ridge
to the right or continue forward to complete the Limekiln Loop
The trail becomes a bit more rocky as you approach the southern portion of the mountain but loosens up as you wind around the eastern side. There are two options to bail out, the ATV shooting straight down to the trailhead, or the original split that will send you back down the way you came up. Otherwise, the Limekiln Ridge
After turning off of the Limekiln Loop
, you'll drop down a heavily rocky section before hitting smooth singletrack. The trail climbs gradually on mostly smooth singletrack with occasional rock gardens. Two short, chunky hills can be a bit of a challenge.
You'll pass through an opening in the fence, heading toward the edge of the ridge. Large but manageable rocks make up a considerable portion of the trail along the ledge. You are rewarded with nice views of the area and the San Juans in the background. The trail smooths out as it meanders along the ridge, sweeping back and forth until you reach the next split.
From the split, take the righthand trail. The descent starts almost immediately after. Narrow, loamy singletrack with brief sections of rock gardens. Soon after, the trail swings to the other direction, two slightly deep gulches give you an opportunity for some airtime. A little further down, a third, deeper gulch will launch you straight up if you hit it fast enough. The trail soon changes to old ATV track modified to singletrack, switching back and forth between the two sides as you continue to zoom downhill.
Stay right once the trail meets BLM Road 5127
to return to the main trailhead at the base of Limekiln. The dirt road is easy enough but has two very steep sections before reaching the ridge with the trailhead. The effort will pay off on the other side as you descend to the parking lot.
The Limekiln trail system exists along a portion of the Old Spanish Trail.