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

Quick Facts

McPhee Trail

Average Time: 0.75 Hours
Beginning Elevation: 6,960 Feet (2169.6 Meters)
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 320 Feet (99.8 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 7,280 Feet (2269.3 Meters)
Handicapped Accessible: Most difficult Barrier free for 1/2 mile
Length: 1.0 Mile (1.6 Kilometers)
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Trimble Point, Dolores West

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

McPhee Campground is primarily a campground established for RV campers and fishing boat operators with its lake access; however, this area also offers a pleasant hiking path. McPhee Trail, which has also been called Can Do Trail, runs from Piñon and Juniper Loops to McPhee Overlook (1/2 mile) and then down to the lake for another 1/2 mile. Splendid views of the lake and local sandstone cliff formations can be enjoyed all along the way.

The first 0.5 mile of the trail passes through a Piñon/juniper forest from McPhee Campground to the McPhee Overlook, where interpretive signs enhance sweeping views of the reservoir and mountains. This part of the trail is barrier free and rated at the "Most Difficult" challenge level for the handicapped. The grades are 9% or less, but the native surface may be difficult to negotiate in wet weather. Benches every 400 feet offer rest stops along this portion.

A pueblo is located across from one of the bench sites. Look for a circular rock mound with a central depression. The last 1/2 mile passes through an oak/shrub woodland. This portion is not considered handicap accessible. A rock ledge provides a good view of the reservoir. The trail then drops quickly to McPhee Boat Ramp.

Directions from Dolores, Colorado: Travel south on Highway 145 and west on Highway 184 for about 7 miles to County Road 25. Turn north off this road and into the McPhee Recreation area complex on Forest Road 271.

Seasonal Information:
Normal Services Available: Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend (NOTE: Open) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Access this trail from either the boat ramp area or the overlook. Updated: 2004-04-23 14:06:00.0

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking McPhee Trail
ICON Viewing Interpretive Signs Signs identify surrounding land features

Related Activities
Mcphee Boat Launch - Six-lane concrete boat ramp, fish cleaning station, two courtesy boat docks, flush toilets, drinking water, Marina.

Mcphee Campground - McPhee Recreation Complex, on the south side of McPhee Reservoir, has the most modern camping facilities on the forest. There are showers, flush toilets, a sanitary dumping station, and 16 sites with electric hookups.

Mcphee Group Picnic Ground - McPhee Group Area has camping and picnicking sites, which are next to McPhee Campground. Volleyball posts, a ball field, and horseshoe pits are provided.

Mcphee Group Site - McPhee Group Area has camping and picnicking sites, which are next to McPhee Campground. Volleyball posts, a ball field, and horseshoe pits are provided.

McPhee Reservior Recreation Area - McPhee Reservoir is the largest reservoir in the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests.

McPhee Reservoir Documentary Site - Even if you do not actually see individual animals, you will find the type of natural habitat where they can be found. Most species are best seen during very early morning hours or late afternoon and evening.

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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