Usually rideable from mid-June through early October.
Need to Know
This trail, as with other non-motorized trails on the Uncompahgre Plateau gets limited use. Chances are you won't see another rider, let alone another human. You'll encounter cattle, so give them a wide berth. The trails vary from buffed and well-defined to obscure and rugged. South Bear Pen gets limited use. This is wild country - bear, elk and deer are encountered on occasion. Excellent backcountry skills and orienteering are a must.
Access the trailhead off of the Divide Road 2+ miles northeast of Windy Point. The trail is marked with a small sign - South Bear Pen Gulch 124.1A. Initially follow short two-track to beginning of singletrack. The trail starts to descend through a mixed forest of spruce and aspen.
At about 0.4 miles, the trail enters a clearing that was created by logging aspen trees. The trail is hard to follow at times due to dense growth and irregular use. The trail is marked with widely-spaced poles as it passes through the clearing.
At about 0.8 miles, the trail makes a hard left into a dense forest and continues to descend. At 1+ miles the trail crosses a creek. Hike-a-bike the creek, then angle right up a slope to connect with the singletrack. Ride through an open aspen grove until reaching a meadow that is transected with fences. Cross the creek and pass through a gate to reach the trail on the left bank of the creek.
At about 1.5 miles, the trail enters a spruce and fir forest passing by several wet areas. At mile 3, cross a creek just before encountering the Bear Pen Gulch ATV trail. A nice 13-mile loop can be done by taking a left on the ATV trail, riding until it reaches the Love Mesa Road (FR500). Take a left and ride until reaching the Divide Road. Left again to return to start.
Shared By: Bill Harris