Upper Calico Trail For Mountain Biking

The 113th most popular mountain bike trail in Colorado.

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In the Dolores Ranger District, the Calico Trail System has 19 miles of routes open to dirt biking and mountain biking. This route was created in the 1930s to drive stock into the high country.

The Calico Trail is comprised of two sections, the Upper Calico Trail (#208) and Lower Calico Trail (#645/#649). The lower portion of the trail is accessed via the Priest Gulch Trailhead. The most northerly portion is referred to as the Upper Calico Trail. Beginning at the Calico Trailhead, the single-track trail makes its way over and around several peaks, as well as along fairly long stretches of narrow ridgelines. The view to the north includes 14,159-foot high El Diente Peak, which is within the Lizard Head Wilderness. The trail winds through a forest of spruce and fir forests, climbing at an average grade of 8% to 11,866-foot high Papoose Peak. The Upper Calico Trail terminates at the junction with Fall Creek Trail (640) and the lower portion of the Calico Trail (649). From this junction you can continue on to the Priest Gulch Trailhead via the Lower Calico Trail.

The Lower Calico Trail was originally designed as a stock drive into the high country; this trail was built through the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The trail begins by crossing Priest Gulch Creek via a trail bridge, and starts a fairly steep accent up a red-dirt ridge via many switchbacks. Before leveling out, it will be a steady climb for 1.4 miles through mixed ponderosa pine and aspen forest. The trail continues north past the junction with Priest Gulch Trail where it eventually meets up with the junction of West Fork Falls Creek #640 and the Upper Calico #208 trails. It is possible to do a 16-mile loop back to the Priest Gulch Trailhead by using the Priest Gulch and the Lower Calico Trails.


Northern Trailhead - Upper Calico Trail #208:

From Dolores on Highway 145, travel east for 43 miles, and take the West Fork Road (FDR 535) turnoff, which is almost directly across from the Cayton Campground Turnoff and approximately 6 miles north of Rico. Turn south on the Eagle Creek Road (FDR 471). The trailhead is approximately one mile down this road.

Southern Trailhead - Lower Calico Trail #649 and Priest Gulch #645:

From the town of Dolores, travel northeast for approximately 25 miles on Highway 145. The Priest Gulch trailhead is clearly marked on the north side of the highway; the turn is adjacent to a private driveway.

Overall, Upper Calico Trail is the 113th most popular mountain bike trail of all 178 mountain biking rides in Colorado. Several of the better mountain bike trails are nearby Upper Calico Trail including Lower Calico Trail, Dolores River Canyon, Bear Creek Trail, Priest Gulch / Upper Calico, Stoner Mesa Loop and Sand Canyon Trail.


Local Contact(s):  San Juan National Forest (970) 882-7296; Durango Visitors (800) GO DURANGO; CO Visitors (800) COLORADO; Colorado Dirt Bike Adventures & Rentals (970) 879-3948

Recommended Book:  "Mountain Bikers Guide To Colorado" from Dan Hickstein

Best Season:  Jun. - Oct.

Base Camp:  Durango Hostel (970) 247-9905; Riverhouse B&B (800) 254-4775

Luxury Loding:  Dunton Hot Springs, Delores (970) 882-4800; Tamarron Resort; Strater Hotel (800) 247-4431

Breakfast Restaurant:  Durango Diner, Carvers Diner, Olde Tymers Cafe

Reference Source:  click here http://www.fs.usda.gov/sanjuan/

Article Source:   Best Upper Calico Trail Mountain Biking Review https://www.trailsource.com/?type=BIKE&id=19263

GPS:  37.5853, -108.1625

Date Published:  12/24/2015

Date Updated:  7/7/2016

ID:  19263

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Upper Calico Trail Mountain Biking Map

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