Gate 5 is a National Forest trailhead located 6.4 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs. It accesses the Martinez Canyon Area, which connects with the Turkey Springs Trail System. Gate 5 is one of the most popular forest access points since it's close to Uptown Pagosa Springs and offers great views of Martinez Canyon and the surrounding mountains. At Gate 5, Martinez Creek enters a scenic canyon that cuts through the Dakota Sandstone. The Upper Rim and Lower Rim trails trace the canyon edge. The rim trails are rockier than the most of the Turkey Springs trails. Because it's mostly south-facing, Upper Rim is one of the 1st trails to dry out in the spring (it's usually mostly dry by mid-April).
A variety of forest treatments have been on-going in this area to improve the health of the forest and reduce the catastrophic wildfire risk. The area has seen controlled burns, mastication, and biomass harvesting. As a result, the forest is returning to the natural, park-like state with widely spaced pines and a grass understory.