Aspen Loop Trail

Written by Raymond Hamilton.

Elevation Difficulty Recommended Use Distance Season
9,00 feet Moderate

39.0 Miles As of 6-19-02 - Indefinitely

Driving Directions:

From Mancos, Colorado, Travel 0.5 mile north on Highway 184, then turn right on Forest Road 561 for 10.5 miles the to the main parking lot which is 0.6 mile east of the Transfer Campground at 9,000 feet elevation. Forest Road 350 goes east and Forest Road 560 goes north from Transfer Campground. Other access points include Jersey Jim, Lost Canyon, Spruce Mill Road, Haycamp Mesa, and Windy Gap.

Hiking Directions:

The Aspen Loop Trail is a multipurpose trail constructed by the San Juan National Forest and the Four Corners Trail Club with funding from the Forest Service and the Colorado State Trails Program. The trail is open to ATVs, motorized trail bikes, horseback riders, hikers, and mountain bike riders. ROUTE: The trail begins at the Aspen Loop Trailhead and heads easterly to the Twin Lakes/Windy Gap area on Forest Road 350, then northwesterly to the Lost Canyon Road (Forest Road 560) via Forest Roads 561 and 556. Finally, the trail heads southeast on Forest Road 375 to the Jersey Jim Lookout Tower, then south back to the starting point. TRAIL SIGNS: At all intersections, large forest-road type signs indicate Aspen Loop Trail with arrows designating the direction. Along the trail, carsonite posts with ATV or bike decals will keep you on course. The terrain on the trail consists of old logging roads and trails through aspen groves and spruce forests. Attractions to look for include Transfer Campground, Jersey Jim Lookout Tower, wildflowers, wildlife, streams, ponds, and tent camping areas. Please respect the restricted travel zone at the Pole Springs Area. As you turn north off Forest Development Roads 561 and 556, motorized vehicles are required to stay on marked trails and roads. Please do not disturb off-trail flora and fauna. Please proceed at moderate speeds to protect yourself, other trail users, and wild animals. Several parts of the trail use or cross well-traveled roads. Machines should stay on right-hand shoulders on roadways. Always let someone know where you are going and what time to expect you back. ATV AND TRAIL BIKE CHECKLIST: -Throttle and brake controls work properly -Fuel level -Tire pressure -Steering mobility -Visual inspection for unsafe parts or damage. Contributed by Four Corners Trail Club


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