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Grandview Ridge & Horse Gulch Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.9 (30) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Grandview Ridge, Horse Gulch, Animas River - sample it all in one awesome workout.


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Map Key

16.0

Miles

25.8

KM

85%

Singletrack

7,512' 2,290 m

High

6,411' 1,954 m

Low

1,690' 515 m

Up

1,722' 525 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

24%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Unknown

Grandview Ridge trails are subject to conditional winter wildlife closures. Call the BLM Tres Rios Field Office for the latest info: (970) 882-7296

Overview

For the hearty rider who... likes adventure and variety but prefers mostly singletrack, is willing to go the distance, who wants to sample just about everything, and who really dislikes touching the same ground twice on a single ride, this ride is for you!

Ride exceptionally well-managed singletrack while exploring Grandview Ridge, Horse Gulch, and the famed Telegraph Trail systems. Make a brief encounter with the concrete-paved Animas River Trail and enjoy Durangos only bit of singletrack along the river as you round out the loop on the old railroad grade. So there's up to a couple miles of roadway riding - view it as a well deserved break.

Need to Know

Take plenty of water, tools, flat repair, and sun protection.

Description

The loop could be ridden in either direction, but this description takes it counterclockwise for a more front-loaded workout. Of the 16 miles, only 3 miles are on pavement, 1 mile of which is on the Animas River Trail.

After a steep rise from the parking area, Sale Barn settles into a pattern of gently curving runs up the narrow valley to achieve the top of the east mesa. The trail drops back into Sale Barn Canyon after an easy wander along the east mesa top and gently achieves the west mesa top where it meets up with Cowboy.

Cowboy showcases the Grandview Ridge. Fun singletrack parallels dirt roads in some locations and then wanders out to explore more of the mesa top through stands of juniper and oak brush with a scarce rock here and there. The east-most edge of the mesa sports a nice view over Highway 160 and the Bridge to Nowhere.

Cowboy continues its steady but gentle climb along the mesa and arroyos as it finds its meandering way toward the upper end of Big Canyon to finally meet up with Sidewinder beneath Grandview Ridge itself past the upper end of REA Canyon.

Sidewinder continues a steady climb on a wide trail to achieve the top of a wide saddle before following an old road grade around the hillside to meet Telegraph. A short but tough climb with some rocks and eroded trail thrown in for good measure takes Telegraph out of the tributary starts, to slip through a saddle and follow the contour to where Telegraph reaches its high just beneath Pautsky Point.

From the viewpoint, keep right to take the Anasazi Descent. Anasazi starts off with some steep, technical rocky sections that many will walk past, but quickly transitions into great flowy singletrack through the scrub oak. If you're not up for the difficult terrain at the top, it can easily be walked around. Novice riders may prefer to descend into the meadow via Telegraph, but should anticipate lots of uphill traffic and yield.

Mellow out after taking a right on the easy Meadow Loop and undulating terrain to meet up with Staceys Loop. Another right extends the mellow loop farther. Take another right on Mike's for the a final climb. The ascent has a few steep pitches, but is all quite rideable. A fast, steep, tightly dipping and blind hairpin descent will have you congratulating Mike until connecting with Cuchillo.

A right turn on Cuchillo makes a moderate ascent to achieve a narrow ridge line oddly poking up from the canyon floor. The ridge line delivers an overall lengthy descent over technical sections with interesting tilted rock and knife-edge sandstone (hence the name, I think).

The ridge delivers its riders onto the west side of the lazy Meadow Loop and a high-speed descentthat spits the rider out onto Horse Gulch Road. A left on the old road, which is closed to motor vehicles, makes a rocky descent through the canyon to the trailhead at East 3rd Street.

Take the streets toward the left on a short stint to Santa Rita Park to meet the concrete paved Animas River Trail. Follow the trail left for a mile, crossing the Animas River at the bridge below the Animas Medical complex. If youre game and still have legs, take a spin on the Durango BMX Track for some fun jumps before crossing the bridge.

To avoid riding through private property, take a short detour on Sawmill Road. Catch Railroad Trail before the intersection with Highway 3 and skirt along the bank of the Animas River on singletrack following the old Railroad Grade. Pop out on Highway 3 at its south end and Carbon Junction to catch the frontage road back to the trailhead.

If youre a really hearty SOB, take the Sale Barn South Rim Carbon Junction featured ride in reverse to trim yet another mile of roadway off your ride, adding 7.2 miles of singletrack and only repeating a little over a mile of trail!

Contacts

Shared By:

Robert Stump with improvements by Max Molello

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 30 votes

#739

Overall
  3.9 from 30 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
37%
3 Star
20%
2 Star
7%
1 Star
3%
Recommended Route Rankings

#167

in Colorado

#739

Overall
62 Views Last Month
19,380 Since Sep 12, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Our favorite Durango spot on the Meadow Loop!
Sep 10, 2015 near Durango, CO
A rapid descent that's super fun! Un descente rapide et bien fun!
Dec 24, 2015 near Durango, CO
Goes down quick on Anasazi.
Sep 21, 2015 near Durango, CO
Nadine on the rise of Sidewinder.
Dec 24, 2015 near Durango, CO
At the high point of Telegraph Trail.
Sep 12, 2014 near Durango, CO
Viewpoint over Mercy Medical complex and the "Bridge to Nowhere."
Sep 12, 2014 near Durango, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 53 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Sep 23, 2022
Jackie Curtis
Sep 23, 2022
Joseph Holguin
Fun ride but getting around down my the main roads is a little sketchy.
Sep 18, 2022
Molly Harris
Agree with others that there are better options to loop the trails in this area. Enjoyed riding up telegraph and down sidewinder, cowboy, big canyon. — 2h 00m
Aug 7, 2022
C MAC
It is a shame this loop has you exiting onto road and crossing highways and then pedaling on paved paths. Rework the loop to keep us on the dirt! 16mi — 2h 00m
Jun 24, 2022
Jac White
Jun 23, 2022
Kurt Schwemmer
So muddy
Jun 21, 2021
Mike Plansker
Mainly a doubletrack and gravel road loop. nice place to get some miles in but nothing technical. Some steep climbs with loose dirt on the eastern… 10.6mi
May 8, 2021
Conor Felletter

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