Outer Loop

  • Rating: Long

  • Distance: 20.3-mile loop

  • Elevation

    • Trailhead: 7,840 feet

    • Max: 8150 feet

    • Min: 7450 feet

    • Gain: 1480 feet

  • Trailhead Directions: Turkey Springs Trail (#301), 9.1 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs)

  • Trail Map

  • Road Status: Piedra Road (CR600) - open year-round

  • Notes: Non-technical, rolling forested terrain  

Turkey Springs Trail

Turkey Springs Trail

Turkey Springs Trail

Turkey Springs Trail

Turkey Springs Trail

Turkey Springs Trail

Gopher Trail

Gopher Trail

Gopher Trail

Gopher Trail

Turkey Springs Trail

Turkey Springs Trail

Gopher Trail

Gopher Trail

Catamount Trail

Catamount Trail

glacier lily

glacier lily

Lower Rim Trail

Lower Rim Trail

Lower Rim Trail

Lower Rim Trail

Upper Rim Trail

Upper Rim Trail

Upper Rim Trail

Upper Rim Trail

Upper Rim Trail

Upper Rim Trail

Upper Rim Trail

Upper Rim Trail

Located 9.1 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs, the Turkey Springs Trail begins as multi-use, double track trail that is shared with ATVs.  At mile 0.4, the single track trail diverges to the left (look for the Turkey Springs Trail sign).  The trail is rocky in spots as it climbs steadily to the junction with the Catamount trail at mile 1. 

 

To do the loop clockwise, take a left (south) at the Catamount trail sign.  Catamount trail will wind through the pine and then descend a few rocky outcrops, cross an intermittent stream, and contour to a junction with Park Avenue Trail at mile 2.9.  Take a left (east) and continue on this fast section of Catamount. 

 

At mile 4.3, you'll reach Newt Jack Trail near a fenceline.  Cross the blue cattleguard through the fence (Newt Jack Trail and Catamount Trail merge during this short rocky section).  Catamount trail veers right about a tenth of a mile below the cattle guard, but stay left on Newt Jack Trail as you pass by a stock pond and climb a short rocky section.  At mile 5.3, Newt Jack Trail Ts and becomes the Upper Rim Trail.  Take a left at the T and follow Upper Rim down to the Martinez Canyon Rim (near the Gate 5 trailhead).  The Upper Rim Trail travels south along the edge of the Dakota Sandstone offering great views into Martinez Canyon.  This section is mostly downhill as you descend to the lowest point in the loop.   

 

At mile 7.9, you'll reach a junction with Creek Trail.  Take on left on Creek Trail and follow it a short way into a small canyon and then take a left on the Lower Rim Trail.  After about 0.5 miles, you'll drop into the "Powerline Meadow" and continue straight where Boulder Trail veers right.  After a tenth of a mile, Lower Rim Ts at the Powerline Trail.  Take a right (Powerline Trail and Lower Rim join briefly) and about 200 feet later, take the Lower Rim Trail left (mile 8.6).  

 

Like the Upper Rim Trail, the Lower Rim Trail returns to the Dakota Sandstone on the edge of Martinez Canyon and offers new views towards Oakbrush Hill above the Parelli Property and Highway 160.  At mile 9.9, Gopher Trail takes off to the left (west).  Take Gopher Trail for 1.2 miles and pass by the Brockover Trail junction at mile 11.1.  Continue on Gopher Trail as it drops into a fun, narrow canyon.  At mile 12.4, you'll pass by the Aspen Run trail on your right as you enter a green meadow lined by cottonwood and large aspen.  At this point, the trail gains 500 vertical feet over the next 2-miles as it heads north to Brockover Mesa.  

 

After some much-earned downhill, the trail crosses Brockover Road at mile 15.1 and passes by the Gopher Trailhead.  Continue on Gopher and you'll pass the Round Park Trail a quarter mile later.  Gopher trail contours through a recent prescribed burn and Ts with Turkey Springs Trail at mile 16.5.   Take a right and head northeast on Turkey Springs Trail.  You'll pass the junction with Park Avenue Trail at mile 17.2 at the edge of a large meadow.  Continue on Turkey Springs Trail as is ascends the final climb of the ride.  After a fast descent, cross through a fence via a cattle guard and then pass by the Newt Jack Trailhead and then cross Newt Jack Road at mile 18.8 and make your final descent back to the trailhead.    

 
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