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Level: Intermediate
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +1,609/1 ft
Total: 123 riders
 

Mountain Biking Telegraph Trail System

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#48 of 1,322 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#487 in the world

The Telegraph Trail System is a fantastic riding area located virtually in town! The "Trails 2000" organization has done a great job building and maintaining these trails. These are the trails that your bike is begging you to take a ride on! The Telegraph Trails are laid out in multiple loops with multiple trail heads that allow you to combine trails and mileage to match your desires. In and out of canyons and meadows with Scrub Oak, Juniper and Pine on great single track. The switchbacks in and out of the canyons get the legs to burning but are short and manageable. Each intersection has "You Are Here" maps so you always know where you are. There is no specific direction or route you must take (go ahead and create your own) but a favorite 10-mile combination loop we enjoy starts at the Sale Barn trail head and ends at the Big Canyon trail head with a short frontage road ride back to the car.
From the Sale Barn trail head follow the Sale Barn trail through a couple of canyons and meadows and turn right at the first intersection onto the Cowboy trail. Follow this trail up to intersection 2 and turn right again, staying on the Cowboy trail. Turn left at intersection 3 and turn left at intersection 4 onto the Sidewinder trail. Breeze along the Sidewinder trail and turn left at intersection 5 and again left at intersection 6 onto the South Rim trail. Great views of the South side of Durango can be seen from along this ridge. Continue around and down on the South Rim trail until intersection 7 and turn right onto the Big Canyon trail. Blast down a great finishing stretch that drops you in and out of creek beds until you finally reach the bottom and the Big Canyon trail head. Turn left on the frontage road and cool down on the ride back you your car. Be sure to watch for hikers, horses and other bikers.

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
The Sale Barn trail head is located across from the Home Depot on US550/160 (S Camino Del Rio) at the Southern end of Durango. There is a sign at the turnoff from the highway onto a frontage road. Pull into the gravel parking lot up the hill on the right.
System trails (8)
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Telegraph Trail System Trail map

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destreet (on Aug 31, 2019)
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Dry (on Jul 16, 2018)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Durango, Colorado

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Intermediate | 12 mi
*****
Expert | 3 mi

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Reviews

  • raaiken
    Reviewing Horse Gulch:
    *****

    Great trails. But I'm only reviewing because I was curious why are all the photos from the college?

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  • Eddie3055
    Reviewing Horse Gulch:
    ****

    This was my first trail ever. I came to Colorado from the East coast so the fire road to park killed me. I had a great time navigating the loose shale and terrain. I was on a rental and had so much fun I bought a new mountain bike when I returned home.

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  • DeanG13
    *****

    This was a fun and great trail. It is mostly intermediate with some areas that are technical and advanced. My ride covered: Sale Barn, Cowboy, Sidewinder, Telegraph, Anasazi Decent, Mary's Loop, Meadow Downhill and Animas River Trails. Cowboy had some technical downhill with rocks and short drops (foot or less) and Telegraph had some serious incline. Anasazi Desent is a double black diamond desecent with big drops, lots of rocks and sharp turns. Mary's Loop and Meadows Downhill make the climb worth it. They are fun super fast flowing downhill descents. Ride early before the heat in summer. I thoroughly enjoyed this ride.

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  • allmountain
    *****

    I'll allow I haven't ridden but a handful of places around the States, and especially haven't spent enough time in Colorado: but the fact that I can ride two miles from my hotel and be on this epic network blows my mind. Like any good trail, front-loaded climbing makes the return-trip payoff that much sweeter. It also spoiled me on how well it's marked: you really don't need a map with you, as every intersection has one. This is definitely one system I want to visit again and again.

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  • Greg Heil
    Reviewing Telegraph Trail:
    ***

    I really wasn't a big fan of the Telegraph Trail. It's decent, but I really only see it as useful for moving from one side of the trail system to the other.

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  • Greg Heil
    Reviewing Big Double 8 Loop:
    ****

    Linking both the south and the north makes for a truly great ride here at Telegraph. Doing a route such as this one will allow you to cover some serious ground and get a great feel for what Telegraph has to offer.

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  • Greg Heil
    Reviewing Snake Charmer:
    *****

    Another absolutely fabulous technical trail in the Telegraph Trail System. I've fallen in love with Snake Charmer's charms! Pair this up with Raider Ridge for maximum fun.

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  • Greg Heil
    Reviewing Raider Ridge:
    *****

    Absolutely fantastic! I've fallen in love with the gnar on Raider Ridge, and I can't wait to get back to ride it again. Bring all of your suspension, armor, and plenty of courage!

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  • Greg Heil
    ****

    This trail system is massive in scope, but the poor trail markings in places and some of the rather bland trails keep it from being 5 stars. However, there are some truly fantastic sections hidden here, like Raider Ridge and Snake Charmer. And those make up for most any lake the other trails have!

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  • Greg Heil
    Reviewing Horse Gulch:
    ****

    There are a lot of random, poorly-marked trails meandering through the scrub brush around here, but the true gems--like Raider Ridge and Snake Charmer--are well-worth feeling lost when you finally find them. It's like a treasure hunt!

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  • JWanamaker
    Reviewing Horse Gulch:
    ****

    Amazing network of trails with some of the best riding you will ever do. From beginner to advanced, it is all here. Technical single track grunt climbing and downhill, soft flowing fast trails,jumps, etc. You name it, you can find it here. Simply a blast.

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  • JWanamaker
    ****

    Great trail, fairly high grunt factor climb to the top but the views are worth it. Rode early July and the trails were a little loose.

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  • Michael Paul
    Reviewing Horse Gulch:
    *****

    Rode quite a bit of this in less-than-ideal conditions and it was still pretty darn fun. The Rocky Road trail is a lungbuster..and Snakecharmer was a blast coming down...although a lot different than I expected: less flowy, a lot more rock garden-y. Fine by me. Only problem was that some d-bag tore down all of the signs to Snakecharmer. We had to call the bike shop after we searched for the entrance for about 30 min and realized we had gone to far. Our suspicions were correct, and we hit the right entrance...but someone vandalized all of the signs along the way. Why are people like that?

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  • Reviewing Horse Gulch:
    ****

    Well organized network of loops and connectors that allow you to create rides of any length your legs desire. Started in Horse Gulch and finished at Carbon Junction (made for @ 15 miles of sweet singletrack!).

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