Note: You can download the PDF attachments (below) for an enlarged Topo! map and for the trail notes for Jackson Mountain FR 037 Loops.
"Jackson Mountain FR 037 Loops" is a figure 8 loop that is about 9.5 miles long. This route is similar to the FR 037 Lollipop," but should be considered more technical and harder to follow. It incorporates several double-track jeep roads connected with some singletrack. This loop incorporates 1425 feet of total ascent over the 9.5 miles.
Directions to the trailhead: Turn off Hwy 160 (east of Pagosa Springs) onto Jackson Mountain Road (USFS 037). Drive .6 miles and park in a primitive turnout on your left. The trailhead is across and 100 yards up Jackson Mountain Road. Look for a brown, Forest Service carsonite post.
Note:Be aware that the "Jackson Mountain FR 037 Loops" route does not have 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.
0.0 Leave Jackson Mountain Road (USFS 037) onto single track.
0.91 Arrive at a large meadow. Continue straight across the meadow. (Note: you may see ribbons and a trail coming down the meadow on your left. This is the route of your return, later.) Look for a large ponderosa in the meadow ahead. You will pass just to the right of this tree and continue toward the lower edge of the aspens on the far edge of the meadow.
1.19 On the far side of the meadow, connect to a double-track jeep road just below the aspen groves. This is the lower arm of two parallel roads.
2.56 Arrive at a junction with FR 037B1. Turn left. This is the middle (waist) of the figure 8 loop. You will return here later.
2.97 Arrive at a junction. Turn right onto FR 037B2.
4.3 Arrive at a steep, rocky climb. Keep the faith. The view from the top makes it all worthwhile.
5.1 Double track turns into single track. This single track will shortly turn right and angle down hill.
5.35 You will reach a fence. Turn right without crossing the fence. Before long you will intersect a jeep road (FR 037B1). Turn right onto this road.
6.28 You will see a road angling off to your left. Don’t take it, but continue right on the main FR 037-B1 road.
7.3 Turn left on a double-track trail Note: this will be the second double-track trail (jeep road) you will pass. This is the upper arm of two parallel roads.
7.7 A steep and technically challenging singletrack angles back and descends the hill to the left (look for dead stump on your left). This is an alternate route to return to the lower arm of the two parallel roads that you were on earlier. Do not take it for this route, but continue straight ahead.
8.0 Arrive at a big meadow. Continue straight into it and pass to the right of a tall, dead Ponderosa tree. Continue straight toward cottonwood grove and begin descent under the pretty/pointy white fir. Follow trail markings straight ahead then left down the hill through the meadow. Your descent is through the main meadow and you will eventually cross the trail you crossed the meadow on earlier. Watch for another tall, dead Ponderosa on your right. Pass on the uphill side of this tree and continue straight to the edge of the meadow.
8.36 Arrive back at the single track where you entered the large meadow at mile 0.91, earlier. Follow it back to the trail head.
9.27 Arrive back at the trail head and parking.