East of Durango and north of Bayfield, the Middle Mountain route is a 10 mile trek on an old loggin road through rolling woodlands. It heads up to the old Runlett Park area at 10,700 feet.
To reach the trailhead from Durango, head east on US160 to Bayfield. In Bayfield, head north on CR501 for 8 miles. In the Columbus townsite, turn right heading north on CR501 towards Vallecito Dam. Just past the dam, CR501 follows the westside of the reservoir. Continue along the curve around to the northend of the reservoir. At the junction of CR500 and CR501, turn right heading east on CR501 (near the Vallecito Guard Station). Continue east across the north shore of the dam for 0.75 miles. Turn right heading south on unsigned CR501A for 0.25 miles. Turn left heading northeast up Middle Mountain Road (FS2274).
Note: As of October 2008, some people are having difficulty locating this trailhead.
Note: Colorado residents must register their off-highway vehicle with the Colorado State Parks (303) 866-3437. Out-of-state residents who bring OHVs into Colorado must purchase a Colorado Non-Resident OHV permit which is valid from the date of purchase through the following March 31. These permits can be purchased anywhere you get your hunting/fishing licenses in All off-highway vehicles must have an approved muffler and spark arrester. These requirements are subject to change so make sure to contact the Colorado State Parks prior to using your off-highway vehicle.
Note: As of September 2007, ATV riding is permitted on all Forest Service roads as long as the road is not a County maintained road.