Canyon Rim Loop

This route takes you along the scenic rim of Martinez Canyon.  The total ascent of this 7.64 mile loop is only 1180 feet, and most of that is on gradually ascending trails.



Be aware that neither the Gate 5 trailhead nor the "Canyon Rim Loop" route has any directional signage.  This is a local “social 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 Gate 5 (see map at right):


Turn north off highway 160 onto North Pagosa Blvd.  Drive 3.7 miles.  Look to your left opposite Mockingbird Place to see the forest entry gate #5. 


Route instructions 

(Download the PDF file below to print out route instructions to take with you.)


  1. Reset bike computer/GPS unit at Gate 5.
  2. In less than 100 yards take one of two trails crossing the drainage to your left.  This is a section you might choose to hike your bike.  Once back up on the mesa, you will pick up a trail following the Martinez Canyon rim.  This is the Boy Scout Trail.  Follow it for 2.4 miles.
  3. At mile 2.4 you intersect with Martinez Spur Trail.  Turn left and descend the hill.
  4. At mile 2.46 you reach a creek on your left.  Cross the creek.  (Recommend hiking your bike here, too.)
  5. Continue up the hill on the other side of the creek and continue following the Martinez Spur Trail.
  6. At mile 2.8 you reach the edge of a large meadow with a power line running through it.  As soon as you have descended to the edge of the meadow, take a trail branching to your left.
  7. At mile 2.93 you intersect lower Brockover Road (aka Power Line Road).  Turn right.
  8. At mile 3.02 (you haven’t gone very far) a trail branches to your left.  Take it.  This is the start of “MBT” which continues along the canyon rim for a ways before it turns to the right (west).  Keep following MBT.
  9. At mile 4.81 you intersect Lower Brockover Road.  Turn right.
  10.  At mile 5.23 you are back at the edge of the big power-line meadow.  A trail exits to your left.  Take it.  This is the start of the Silk Thread Trail.
  11.  At mile 6.69 a trail exits to your right.  Take it.  This is the Silk Thread Cut-off and will take you to Lower Newt Jack Road.
  12.  At mile 6.95 you intersect Lower Newt Jack Road.  Turn right.
  13.  At mile 7.64 you arrive back at the Gate 5 Trailhead.
The map below shows the driving route from the Hwy 160 / N. Pagosa Blvd. intersections to the Gate 5 trailhead. 
Note:  You should be able to manipulate the Google map, below, to zoom in, click and drag, and see different terrain and satellite images.

Gate 5 Trailhead

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,
Sep 5, 2010, 9:18 PM
Tom Steen,
May 31, 2010, 9:11 PM