50”) Nordic Skiing. Driving Directions to Trailhead (click here). Log over creek . Trail was in great shape to sand creek from the upper trailhead. Start at either end of the trail – from the Piedra River crossing via Piedra Road, or from following US Highway 160 about 23 miles to where the Piedra River crosses under the highway. Like. Crossing the Middle Fork can be … Unfortunately, this has become increasingly overgrown over the years and several of the old bridges have been washed out leaving deep gullies, one of which is quite difficult to cross. This is a shared trailhead. Passing through aspen groves – take time to enjoy the scenic view in all directions before descending into the river canyon, walking along sheer cliffs, past overhangs, and under tall trees. Take the first road to the right, East Toner Rd (FS 637), and drive that for 7.5-miles to the parking lot at the end of the road. Follow the river via First Fork Road, approximately ten miles to the end of the road where … This is an excellent trail any time of the year offering something for every type of outdoor enthusiast. Please be sure to drive on until you get to the fork in the road right after crossing the Piedra River bridge — where there is a brown Forest Service sign that says ” Piedra Picnic Area” with an arrow pointing to the road that goes off to the right — do not turn here… This very same sign also reads Williams Lake, and Bridge Campground ahead — so stay straight here (or to the left) — and follow this fork ahead and continue up the hill about 300 yds. Three forks (the East and Middle Forks plus Williams Creek) travel to the south and merge into the main stem of the Piedra. Please contact the Pagosa Ranger District Office, 970-264-2268, regarding camping at Trail Heads and Campfire … Over this hill you will switch back down a steep hill to where the Weminuche meets the Piedra and will cross the last bridge. Do not attempt to travel this road in wet weather. A shorter route is to start at the Taylor River trailhead in the Middle Fork valley and walk up the old Quartz Creek road. It serves as an excellent access trail for fishing the Piedra River and is also the beginning of the trail to Ice Cave Ridge. The ride is fairly flat with a few slight uphill grades. Wildlife viewing, whitewater rafting, fishing, backpacking, bird watching, wildflowers and ample photographic opportunities are to be found along this trail. Driving Directions Map Trailhead elevation is 8,400 feet. Second Box Canyon: This canyon, cut by the Piedra River, showcases layers of rock from the Precambrian geologic time period. Get Here. The Piedra River (also known as El Rio De La Piedra Parada, Pedra, Rio, and Rio Piedre) is a river in the U.S. state of Colorado.It drains parts of Archuleta, Hinsdale, and Mineral counties along a mainstem length of about 40 miles (64 km). The trail journeys through a great mix of river canyon, meadows, and forest. yards. ), The shortest out and back, and a nice family hike is from the upper trailhead down to where you access the river in a deep rock canyon with sheer walls at approximately ½ mile down trail. Take Middle Fork Road two miles to East Toner Road and take a right. Trailhead elevation is 8,419 feet. Walk along the river and enjoy the beautiful scenery to get to the waterfall. To get there: Piedra Road North (CR 600 /FS 631) for 17.8 miles; right on Middle Fork Road (FS 636) 5.6 miles to its end. Items of Caution: Poison oak is abundant below 6,000 feet elevation - long sleeves and pants are your best protection. USFS webpage. Lower Weminuche Trail (595) Middle Fork Traihead; Middle Fork Trail (589) Middle Mountain Trail (654) Navajo Peak Trail (577) North Ridge Trail (594) Opal Lake Trail (564) Opal Lake Trailhead; Palisade Meadows Trail (651) Piedra Falls Trailhead; Piedra River Trail (596) Piedra Stock Drive Trail (583) Poison Park Trailhead; Quartz Creek Trail (571) MIDDLE FORK TRAIL (#589) A steep hike at high elevation with views of Piedra river. Common Wildlife You Might See: Mule deer, black bear, bobcat, mountain lion, rattlesnake, and lots of birds. Walk up the river to a head gate where the trail begins. Common Vegetation You Might Notice: Buckthorn, manzanita, black oak, chemise, bear clover for the first six miles. The trail passes several cool box canyons to end at the bridge on the First Fork of the Piedra Road. Colorado Trail Explorer. Warming Huts v.2020: An Art & Architecture Competition on Ice . Soon, reach the level of the river bank where the trail will begin to change more dramatically and with difficulty as the trail turns somewhat from the river. This is the correct Piedra River Trailhead Parking area. This is an easy trail for young and old alike if you only go the 3.5 miles to the foot bridge across the Piedra. Its wild rapids have given it nicknames ranging from dilemma to snarl. Piedra Falls is a unique chute waterfall located an hour’s drive north of Pagosa Springs in the southwest part of the state. Description. The parking area is large and no bathrooms are available, though across the street up the river is a day use area that does of have  a toilet. Ivan, of the forest service, presented a map of the Colorado Roadless Area (CRA) as it relates to the Piedra Focus Area of the working group. Turn right on East Toner Road and take it to the end. Ten miles in length from Middle Fork Trailhead over Palomino Mountain to the Continental Divide Trail. At these times, you will have to park at the Hospital Rock Picnic Area and walk less than two miles to the trailhead. Miles indicated in the title and throughout the text use river miles (RM). At this point, turn right and head southeast to Redwood Meadow. Please share any updates, or photos, in the comment section below. Another good picnic option is the Piedra River Picnic area just 1/4 mile away from the Piedra River trailhead parking lot. Piedra Trail A Mecca For Naturalists The Piedra River collects most of the water from Colorado’s largest wilderness area, the Weminuche, running from permanent snowfields in the high mountains through subalpine meadows down into forests of gigantic ponderosa pine. Description. See chapter "V Piedra River" in Falcon Guides book Hiking Colorado. When to Go: This low elevation trail is best in spring, late fall, or winter. The Piedra River Complex By Paul B Downing The Piedra serves as a watershed for the San Juan mountains in Archuleta, Hinsdale, and Mineral counties in Colorado. The western terminus is more difficult to reach, thus quieter. The route goes through dense stands of timber and along the middle fork of the Piedra River. Trail Description: One of the more popular trails in the Pagosa area. Horseback Riding. The last half of the trail is at 12,000 feet, so snowmelt is late. Do not attempt to travel this road in wet weather. To get to the trailhead, head South on Piedra Road from Sportsman’s Campground. Middle Fork Trail (589) Piedra River Trail (596) Piedra Stock Drive Trail (583) Quartz Ridge Trail (570) Sand Creek Trail (593) Turkey Creek Trail (580) Weminuche Trail (592) West Fork Trail (561) West Fork Trailhead; Williams Creek Trail (587) Horse Riding & Camping SHOW OHV Riding & Camping SHOW. After a strenous hike on the slope between Sugarbowl Dome and River Valley, you can reach Bearpaw Meadow and the High Sierra Trail. See chapter "V Piedra River" in Falcon Guides book Hiking Colorado. The trail eventually edges closer to the river, then leads to a metal span bridge. From the junction of Route 160 and Piedra Road (a few miles west of the springs in Pagosa Springs) turn north … Trailhead elevation is 8,400 feet. These three separate waterways roll south and merge with the Piedra River proper in the Piedra Wilderness. Trail Conditions  6/15/20: USFS cleared fallen trees off the entire length of the trail, Please share any trail updates in the Comment section below. Check for ticks. Getting There See map below. Thanks, Josh. This trail can be followed to an elevation of 11700 ft or so to reach the base of the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain where you can leave trail and hike to the top. 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