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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > San Juan National Forest > Mancos-Dolores Ranger District

Quick Facts

Stoner Mesa Trail Bike Route

Average Time: 4.5-6 Hours
Beginning Elevation: 7,500 Feet (2337.9 Meters)
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Elevation Gain: 2,400 Feet (748.1 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,900 Feet (3086.0 Meters)
Length: 25.0 Miles (41.67 Kilometers)
USGS Maps: Nipple Mountain, Clyde Lake, (San Juan National Forest Map)

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

From the campground area, proceed north about eight miles on the West Dolores Road and turn right (east) onto the Stoner Mesa Road (Forest Road 686). From here the mountain bike route gradually climbs 7.5 miles from a starting elevation of 8,000 feet to near the top of Stoner Mesa (9900 feet elevation) and intersects the Stoner Mesa Trail. The trail is located near the Twin Springs Reservoir and at a point in the road where it curves sharply back to the north. Proceed in a southwesterly direction on the trail that for the most part is downhill and passes through aspen and spruce forests and open meadows. In the larger meadows, the trail is harder to see, so watch closely for markers and blazes.

Near the bottom of the mesa, the trail will cross a fence line, then a large meadow with a reservoir. This large meadow is nine miles from the point where the route left the road and picked up the trail. The trail back to Emerson Campground is just west of the reservoir and begins a steep descent of 1280 feet in a little over one mile and is technically difficult, so take your time.

Directions from Dolores, Colorado: Drive east 13.0 miles on Colorado Hwy 145 to the West Dolores Road (Forest Road 535) and proceed 3.0 miles to the Emerson Campground (Closed) and park next to the campground, but not within the campsite loops.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Road Biking Stoner Mesa Trail Bike Route

Related Activities
Stoner Mesa Trail - This well identified trail wanders through aspen forests, small fields, and large meadows.

Twin Spring Trail - This trail passes through a rich forest of spruce-fir and occasional lush meadows. The forest supports a variety of large and small mammals (bear, elk, marmot), as well as numerous species of birds.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Dolores Public Lands Office, 29211 Hwy 184 , Dolores, CO, 81323, Phone: 970-882-7296, Fax: 970-882-6841, TTY: 970-882-6842


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