West End

San Miguel River - North Bench Out N’ Back

August 7, 2014
San Miguel River - North Bench Out N’ Back

Distance: From trailhead to return point approx. 8 miles (16 miles round trip) Allow 3-4 hours.

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Trail description:  Old jeep road on BLM lands with various surface conditions and moderate elevation changes. (unmarked)

Trailhead coordinates:  Lat.     38  21’ 3.97” N
                                      Long.  108  41’ 53.44” W

Return Point coordinates:   Lat.    38 16’ 36.22” N
            Quick read more or view full article                                Long. 108  38’ 41.50”W

The trailhead can be accessed off Hwy 141 on the north side of the highway bridge that crosses the San Miguel River just south of Uravan. County Road V 19 meets Hwy 141 there and can be ridden or driven up to the trailhead (about 1 and 1/2 miles) Follow V 19 up Tabeguache Creek for 1/2 mile. It will switchback up on the right and climb steeply. Look for the old jeep road rising up from the right at a hairpin turn.( about 1 1/2 miles  from 141)  If you make it to the top of the mesa (Third Park) you’ve gone too far.
This trail accesses the long bench above the San Miguel River as it heads in a south easterly direction. It eventually enters  private land about 8 miles down the trail making it an Out N’ Back ride.  The views are impressive and the riding is fun yet challenging as it heads in and out of small drainages and over and around various natural features. The biggest drop and climb comes at about mile four as it descends to cross Coal Creek and then climbs back to the bench. The terrain features towering cliffs above, large boulders along the trail, open meadows and  ever present river views. 

This is a fun trail worth the extra effort to find it. I highly recommend it for all levels of riders. As always carry a map, plenty of water and food when exploring the West End. Read Less
Posted by Paul Koski
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