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Martin Mesa East Bench Out-and-Back

Intermediate
 5.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Historic cow trail accessing the spectacular canyon rims above the confluence of the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers.


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Map Key

7.5

Miles

12.1

KM

65%

Singletrack

5,696' 1,736 m

High

5,259' 1,603 m

Low

793' 242 m

Up

795' 242 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

8%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Allowed

Features Views

Rideable year round.

Overview

This historic cow trail offers users a unique perspective of the high canyon rims above the confluence of the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers from the WEST side of the Dolores River. Long slick rock sections offer riders fun, unfettered access to natural and mostly smooth bands of stone running for a quarter of mile or more.

There are spectacular views of the area from high vantage points.

Need to Know

High clearance vehicle recommended for trailhead access although one could ride the extra six miles from Hwy 141 and the Biscuit Rock Area. There is great dispersed camping in this area with no restrooms or water available. Please pack out all waste to protect this unique high desert environment.

Description

The first mile follows a bench on a sometimes rough two track down canyon to the first large slick rock section directly across the Dolores River from the Hanging Flume overlook on Hwy 141. Stay high on the slick rock where eventually it turns to singletrack as it crosses over two main drainages.

Evidence of trail construction by the CC Corps in the 30's can be seen along with old brush fence lines to control livestock. At about mile 3, the trail rounds a point where there is hiking access to this "island in the sky" where you cross a narrow neck leading out to this remote area. There are three main slick rock sections connected by short trail segments where eventually users will return back at about mile 3.7.

Contacts

Shared By:

Paul Koski

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1

in Paradox

#1254

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Paradox

#218

in Colorado

#1,254

Overall
38 Views Last Month
481 Since Dec 27, 2021
Intermediate

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Photos

Returning back up the canyon two track to the trailhead.
Dec 27, 2021 near Gateway, CO
Riding the "Martin Mesa Blvd".
Dec 27, 2021 near Gateway, CO
Overlooking the confluence of the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers.
Dec 27, 2021 near Gateway, CO
Riding the Martin Mesa Blvd.
Jan 7, 2022 near Paradox, CO

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