N. Piedra Stock Driveway and Sally’s Overlook (Alt. Rt.)

The Piedra Stock Driveway is one of Pagosa's historical trails used by sheep farmers and had for all practical purposes disappeared. It had been neglected for many years and was in some areas completely overgrown. The Pagosa Area Trails Council (PATC) completed clearing this old trail in the summer of 2009.  This section of the Piedra Stock Driveway is also part of National Forest Trail #583.  It runs north-south for approximately 6.5 miles along Trail Ridge and Trail Creek.  This route allows mountain bikers to see and ride some of the best parts of this trail while avoiding the more technical "hike-a-bike" portions.  It also adds a side spur to Sally's Overlook ... which you will love!



Be aware that this is not a well-marked "urban trail."  Go there with a Boy Scout mindset:  be prepared with map, compass,
GPS, extra clothing, cell phone, water and whatever else you’ll need to stay safe in the forest.

Directions to the Trailhead:

The trailhead for this alternate route to the N. Piedra Stock Driveway is at the junction of Forest Road 639 which is across Piedra Road (FR 631) from the USFS “Bridge Campground.”  This is approximately 3 miles north of the bridge crossing the Piedra River.  (See photo above and Google Map to the right.)

Trail Notes (also available in PDF format below):

  • Turn off Piedra Road (FR 631) and bike up FR 639 for about 2 ¼ miles.  (This is a good gravel road and you can drive up it if you wish.)
  • At mile 2.27 you cross a yellow cattle guard and the road forks:  FR 639-F goes to the left and FR 639-H goes to the right.  Take the right fork (FR 639-H).
  • At mile 3.41 you will see a closed gate down a road to your left (FR 639-H1).  Bike around this gate and continue down FR 639-H1.
  • At mile 3.71 you can see a small stock pond through the trees to your left (Trail Ridge Reservoir).  The trail you will be on later is between you and the pond.  For now continue straight on FR 639-H1.
  • At mile 3.79 you will see a single-track trail angling backwards to your left.  Remember this junction:  you will return to take this trail later if you continue up to the Trail Ridge trail now.  (The mileage in these notes will continue at this point later; depending on how far up the ridge trail you go before you return.)

To go out and back on the Trail Ridge trail, continue straight on FR 639-H1 for approximately another 100 yards.  The road forks.  Take the uphill fork to your right.  (Look for the orange diamond sign with a directional arrow.)  In three-tenths of a mile you will pass through a gate in a wire fence.  The ridge trail begins shortly after this.  Go as far as you want along the ridge, then return to the trail fork mentioned above.

  • From the junction of FR 639-H1 and the single track (which is the Piedra Stock Driveway trail #583), pass to the left of the Trail Ridge Reservoir and go down the drainage (Trail Creek).  There is more than one cattle/game trail going through this draw; it doesn’t really matter which one you follow. 
  • After 1.38 miles you enter a large meadow with a well-defined dirt road coming in from your left.  This is FR 639-F.  Turn left onto this road.
  • After three-quarters of a mile you return to the junction of FR 639-F and FR 639-H and the yellow cattle guard. Of course you are free to return to your vehicle at this point, but you will miss an awesome lunch spot and scenic overlook by not continuing up to Sally’s Overlook.  Directions follow:
  • Just past the yellow cattle guard, another dirt road exits to your right.  This is FR 639-E.  Ride up this road for 2.25 miles and take in a scenic break at Sally’s Overlook looking down at the Piedra River and the Trail Creek drainage before returning to your vehicle.
The map below shows the location of the trail head.  
Note:  You should be able to manipulate the Google map, below, to zoom in, click and drag, and see different terrain and satellite images.

N Piedra Stock Driveway and Sally's Overlook TH

Note:  To download and print the map below (and/or the route instructions) see the attached PDF files at the bottom of this page.


Tom Steen,
Jul 7, 2010, 2:06 PM
Tom Steen,
Jul 7, 2010, 2:01 PM