The Jumbo Mountain trailhead is east of downtown Paonia. Take 2nd or 3rd Street, heading east, over the railroad tracks and to Rio Grand. At Rio Grand take a left. Rio Grand turns into Pan American Avenue just past the Forest Service office. The trailhead is at the end of Pan American Avenue. Apple Valley Park is on your right not too far past the Forest Service and is the preferred place to park. There are a handful of parking spaces at the top of the hill but be respectful of the residents at the trailhead.
To ride to Jumbo Ridge, the highest point of the trail system, enter the trailhead gate (if it's closed, keep it closed; cattle may be grazing the area) and proceed east on Gully Trail
. Do not take a left turn uphill from the trailhead to parallel the housing development, or you'll be riding up the recommended downhill route, Elitches
After approximately a mile on gentle up and down terrain on Gully Trail
, you'll come to the Powerline Road
which sits directly ahead of you as you come off the singletrack. In a few hundred yards the road curves left and then up to a high-tension powerline tower, AKA The Tower of Power, at the top of the hill. Just before the Tower of Power, the Powerline Road
turns almost 180 degrees and heads up the ridge to the northeast. As the Powerline Road
leaves the ridge and breaks to the left, the start of Slant n' Dicular
is straight ahead.
Begin a steady climb (1.6 mi) with some switchbacks up Slant n' Dicular
to the Grassy Knoll. You are now on the north shoulder of Jumbo Ridge. Enjoy the spectacular view of the West Elk mountain range, with iconic Mount Lamborn and Lands End in the forefront.
From the Grassy Knoll, you proceed up and to the east or left where Slant joins Jumbo Ridge
at the Grassy Knoll. As you reach the top of this short climb, be careful as the trail begins to traverse the face of Jumbo and drops into the Toilet Bowl.
CAUTION: exposure and rough terrain.
Most of the face is rideable until the final 200’ or so of hike-a-bike terrain. Take a break here and enjoy the hammock, you have reached the top of the Jumbo Ridge
trail. On the descent, you ride a fairly technical, fun, and stunningly beautiful section of trail as it crosses the upper flank of Jumbo Mountain. You'll pass the turnoff for Rock n' Roll
on the right and do a short grunt to gain the southeast shoulder of Jumbo Ridge
From here, the trail descends for 1.5 miles. Toward the bottom, you'll scream passed the turnoffs for Seven Bridges
, and Plumber's Crack
, but stay on the ridge. After an up, and a bunch more flowy descent, you'll connect with the bottom part of Herfendoodle
and follow it over a bridge and up to Bang Zoom
, passing the Cactus Cut Off
on the right.
At Bang Zoom
, take a right and follow it for about a ¼ mile looking for a sharp left onto Zip n' Out
. Take Zip n' Out
across Horseshoe Ridge
and follow it until it crosses the gully and joins back up with the Gully Trail
. Hang a left here and follow Gully back to the trailhead.