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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 14 mi (22.5 km)
Surface: Doubletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: -
Total: 11 riders
 

Mountain Biking Indian / 1300

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#451 of 1,335 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#4,432 in the world

This is an ATV track that winds its way thru the mountains and forest on the leeward side of the Sangreís for 14 miles from Forest Service road 421 on the north end down to the Bear Lake campground at the end of Forest Service Road 413 to the south. This is a scenic area with the Spanish Peaks across the valley to the east and the high Sangre de Cristos to the southwest. When I arrived at the north trailhead I was disappointed to see that it was an ATV track up into the trees. I tend to be a singletrack snob, and I usually don't like to ride trails popular with the throttle twisting types and churned up dirt and rocks isn't my idea of a fun way to spend the day, but this trail turned out to be firm track the whole way. If you choose to ride the north portion of the trail you better bring your climbing legs because it goes from 8,500 to 10,500 feet in about six miles. The trail is in good shape, so it is mostly just a matter of sitting in the saddle and cranking, but it is a long climb, especially if you aren't used to the altitude. From that first summit you descend on fairly fast double-track 500 vertical feet into Bonnett Park and then do a slow and easy ascent for the next eight miles up over the next ridge to the campground, at about 10,500í.

There are a few alternate routes to consider. If you want to skip the 2,000í climb out of the north trailhead you may want to start at the Spring Creek trailhead on the south side of the town of Cuchara. From there it is about four miles uphill on the Dodge Ton Trail (1302) to where it joins the Indian Trail a bit south of Bonnet Park. Or, similarly, the Baker Creek Trail (1301) further south of Cuchara connects into the Indian Trail a few miles further south. I have never done it, but if you really want to make an epic day out of it you can almost double the miles by continuing south from the Bear Lake campground to the Trenchara Peak road (436), go up that road and pick up the North Fork Trail (1309) and ride it to the Purgatoire Campground on North Fork Road (34). While you are at it, what the heck, take the lung-busting road all the way to the saddle on the north side of Trenchera Peak (13,517í).

First added by bonkedagain on Oct 10, 2006. Last updated Jul 1, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: yes
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Take highway 12 south thru La Veta; on the south side of town you will find Forest Road 421 heading west into the mountains. Take that road about eight miles or so till you find the obvious trailhead and parking area.
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(on Sep 5, 2019)
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Reviews

  • ckeel4
    ***

    I rode this trail this weekend as I have some property in the area. I rode South to North and found the climbing steady and consistent with a pretty descent payoff on the way back. Some neat views along the trail of the spanish peaks and Cuchara. Would be better to leave a car in Cuchara and start at Bear Lake CG. Then take one of the trails that drop East off the trail the 3500ft down into town. Look out for dirt bikes and four wheelers. I only encountered one group of them on a Saturday but we were both going fast and had to hit the brakes hard to avoid collision.

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  • JJBartos
    ****

    I started at Spring Creek Trail Head. There is about a 1.5 mile climb on a ATV trail which is not too fun due to the loose dirt in many spots. I turned on to the Baker Creek Trail (1301) which is a single track that mostly climbs for about 3.5 miles that is really fun (with great views). Then Baker Creek Trail meets with Indain Trail, I followed Indian Trail to Bear Lake. I went back the same way I came and Baker Creek Trail is a really fun descent.

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  • Grizzattack
    ****

    First off this area of Colorado is really gorgeous, I rode this trail in the late fall and the colors where still poppin’. Bonkedagain’s description is very good (as usual) and I found the trail to be really fun, solid track and aerobically challenging. I only had a few hours so I rode from Bear Lake CG (the southern Indian Creek terminus) to Bonnet Park and back (~12 miles round trip). While I have not done them, there are several other option here. Loops can be created using the trails in the Bonnet, Dodgeton and Baker Creek Drainages, all of which send you back towards the town of Cuchara. This area is worth checking out.

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