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

Quick Facts

East Fork Trail

Beginning Elevation: 9,600 Feet (2992.5 Meters) Beginning at Highway 145
Elevation Gain: 1,700 Feet (529.9 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,300 Feet (3522.4 Meters) Bolam Pass
Length: 5.5 Miles (9.17 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 638

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

After leaving Colorado Hwy. 145, the trail crosses Snow Spur Creek and then follows old railroad grades for the first 3.0 miles through open meadows which are marked with rock cairns, blazes, and wooden "X" signs on the trees occasionally. The trail follows the East Fork of the Dolores River through open parks and spruce-fir forests. Excellent fishing should be found in the river, and the opportunity to see deer, elk, and assorted small game is good. Views of the peaks in the Lizard Head Wilderness are excellent, especially on the upper portion of the trail.

The trail is primarily a foot and horseback route, although mountain bikes are allowed on the lower portion of the trail. Bikers are asked to use Road 578b instead of the trail on the upper 2.0 miles to avoid damage to the wet meadows in Tin Can Basin. The trail follows Road 578b for about 0.5 mile and is signed to both points where it leaves the road. Watch for trail posts and "X" signs in the large meadows of Tin Can Basin.

Directions from Bolam Pass: Take Forest Road 578 and look for the upper trailhead sign.

Directions from Rico, Colorado: Travel 6.0 miles on Colorado Hwy 145, then take Forest Road 578. The lower trailhead is located on the south side of Hwy 145, 3.0 miles upriver from Cayton Campground. Park at the bottom of the sharp curve in the Highway. No sign is located across the creek to the southeast.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Fall .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Winter conditions. Updated: 2004-04-23 14:01:00.0

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Fishing Dolores River
ICON Hiking & Walking East Fork Trail
ICON Horseback Riding
ICON Mountain Biking Allowed on lower portion of trail. Bikers are asked to use Road 578b instead of the trail on the upper 2.0 miles to avoid damage to the wet meadows in Tin Can Basin.

Related Activities
East Fork Campground - Ponderosa pine and Gambel oak provide ample shade on a ridge above the East Fork of the San Juan River. There is plenty of fishing here and along the East Fork, upstream from the campground.

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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