The Telegraph Trail System is an IMBA Epic ride. One of only four in
Colorado. There are lots of trail options here, so don't sell yourself short by
thinking only south (Sale Barn) end or Horse Gulch end. They all tie
together and can keep you entertained for hours.
This trail posting describes a nice 20-mile, 2800-foot elevation gain loop
that doesn't use all the trails available. Once you become familiar you can
mix and match depending on how much time and energy you have on any
Ride details: The suggestion of starting this ride at the Big Canyon TH
allows you .75 miles of warm up on the frontage road down to the Sale
Barn TH. Your knees should be warmed up by the time you need to climb
up to the top of the mesa.
This suggested route goes as follows: follow the South Rim Trail all the
way to the intersection with the Carbon Junction Trail. Turn right and take
Crites Connect up to the saddle intersection with Telegraph Trail. If you are
comfortable with fairly gnarly, steepish descents with some exposure, you
will enjoy the Anasazi Descent. If not, follow the Telegraph Trail down to
the first major intersection at the bottom. Either way, turn right and take
Stacy's Loop up to Mike's Trail and follow the north side of Cuchillo Loop
back down to thing Meadow Loop. (Just doing Cuchillo Loop will be a
mellower ride with less climbing.) Take the Telegraph Trail back up to the
saddle and bear left to stay on Telegraph. Turn right to take a fast descent
down Sidewinder to Cowboy Trail and Big Canyon Trail. This will dump you
out tired and smiling right at your vehicle.