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

Quick Facts

Stoner Mesa Trail

Beginning Elevation: 7,600 Feet (2369.1 Meters) At Emerson Campground (closed)
Difficulty: Moderate
High Point: 11,600 Feet (3616.0 Meters)
Length: 19.0 Miles (31.67 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 624
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: Nipple Mountain, Clyde Lake, Rico

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This well identified trail wanders through aspen forests, small fields, and large meadows. The area is used locally for summer grazing. The lush grasses and forbs also provide good habitat for mule deer, elk, coyote, and smaller mammals such as shrews. Over 28 species of birds including jays, warblers, and hawks use this area as well.

Toward the upper end of the trail, Ponderosa pine becomes more evident. At intervals north of Twin Springs, one emerges from the spruce-fir habitat to see the views of Nipple mountain and the mesa country to the west and east. Above 11,000 feet is the alpine zone, which is basically devoid of trees.

Numerous stock ponds have been constructed along the lower half of Stoner Mesa Trail and are suitable for stock use only. To avoid game trails, watch carefully along these trails for the Forest Service double blazes. The trail emerges onto the Stoner Mesa road approximately 0.5 mile southwest of Twin springs. This is a pleasant meadow with camping areas for a number of people.

Directions from Dunton Road: Take Forest Service Road 535 (Dunton Road) to Emerson Picnic Ground. The Trailhead is located across the bridge, at the south end of the picnic ground.Alternatively, you can continue along Forest Service Road 535 to Forest Service Road 666. Take 666 east to the end. From this point, you can travel south to Emerson Picnic Ground or northeast to Eagle Peak.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Fall .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter conditions. Updated: 2004-04-23 14:10:00.0

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Filed By: Kristen Parrish (Dolores, CO)
Time of Day: 10:00am
Difficulty: Hard
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Beautiful trail on foot. Use caution with horses.Took horses from the emerson picnic area. Trail encounters lots of rocky areas. Halfway point is tree roots across trail. Dangerous section for horses. dirt gives way and two of our horses slid. Be careful at this point!!!. Rest of trail is fair.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Stoner Mesa Trail
ICON Horseback Riding

Related Activities
Stoner Creek Trail - This trail offers solitude and good fishing in Stoner Creek.

Stoner Mesa Trail Bike Route - The trail is located near Twin Springs Reservoir at a point in the road where it curves sharply back to the north.

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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