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Camping: Colorado > Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests > Paonia Ranger District

Quick Facts

Dark Canyon Trail #510

Beginning Elevation: 6,920 Feet (2109 Meters)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Length: 19.0 Miles (30.6 Kilometers) to Horse Ranch Park off of Kebler Pass
Recommended Season: Spring to Fall
Trail Number: 510
Usage: Heavy
USGS Maps: Paonia Reservoir, Marcellina Mountain Quads

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Plan for a two day adventure. This trail is a major route across the southern portion of the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area. Devils Stairway is more difficult. The trail follows Anthracite Creek east into the steep walled dark canyon. Camping is limited. From the confluence of Middle Anthracite and North Anthracite Creeks, the trail begins to climb towards the Devils Stairway. The trail crosses 2 bridges, one over North Anthracite Creek, the second over Middle Anthracite, then an old unmaintained trail to the left heads up Middle Anthracite Creek. the trail to the right starts the Devils Stairway ascent. The trail from the top of the Devils Stairway begins a gradual climb to Horse Ranch Park. the trail crosses a plateau between the Ruby Mountain Range and Ruby Anthracite Creek. 3 major creeks. Silver, Sardine, and gold cross the trail along this section. Camping areas are plentiful along this portion of trail.

Directions from Kebler Pass Road: Turn north off the Kebler Pass Road at Horse Ranch Park. Travel to the end of the dirt road where the trailhead is marked Dark Canyon Trail #510 and North Anthracite 14.

Directions from Erikson Springs Campground: Just northwest of Erikson Springs Campground, turn on the 4WD road marked Ragged Mountain, Dark Canyon Trails. This intersection is a good place to park.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: We took three mules...trail disappeared at times and was covered with lots of down timber. No trail maintenance for years. Lots of dead reckoning. Devils Staircase in very poor condition and treacherous for mules or horses when wet. Sighted bear and herd of elk. Lots of bear sign middle part of trip.
Conditions: Wet and muddy...trail is non existent in some locations.
Water Availability: lots of water sources

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Dark Canyon Trail #510

More Information

Visitor Information:

Paonia Ranger District, P.O. Box 1030 , Paonia, CO, 81428, Phone: 970-527-4131


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