The Little Sand Creek Loop is an example of using existing US Forest Service roads and horse trails for mountain biking. This trail is in higher elevation country, so be sure to check weather forecasts. Fallen trees are common, and are not always cleared from the trails. Be prepared to climb over some.
This 12.5 mile loop begins at about 9600 foot elevation and peaks out at almost 11,000 feet. Total cumulative ascent is about 3100 feet. This should be considered an "expert only" route.
See Google map (to the right) and the trail notes (attached below) for directions to the trailhead and specific trail directions.
Little Sand Creek Loop Trail Notes:
1. Drive up Piedra Road, past the turn off to Williams Creek Reservoir. Continue down into and across Weminuche Valley. Continue up the winding hill on the far side of Weminuche Valley for about 6 miles (?). Park car at junction of FR 642 turning left off Mosca Road (FR 631) or immediately across the road from the
double track trailhead (#2 below).
2. Mile 0.0 – Bike .14 miles back down Mosca Road and turn left onto double track (FR 643?).
3. Mile 5.3 – Follow double track uphill for 5.25 miles to junction of FR 643A and FR 643B. Turn right onto FR 643A (an old and faint road bed). Current conditions require you to go over or around quite a few downed trees on this stretch.
4. Mile 6.5 – The road bed ends and trail becomes single track.
5. Mile 6.6 – Intersect Little Sand Creek Trail (Forest Service Trail #591). The junction with Little Sand Creek Trail is an acute angle and easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. Turn a hard right (basically a U-Turn) onto Little Sand Creek.
6. Mile 8.8 – Trail enters a large park/meadow. It continues across the park, downhill to your left.
7. You intersect Mosca Road at about mile 10.5 (?). Turn right and follow the road back to your vehicle.
8. Mile 12.46 – Arrive at your vehicle.
the trails listed in Pagosa Trails are in the San Juan National Forest. Not all are system trails
so you should not expect trail signage. It is recommended that you go out
with someone familiar with the trails. Be prepared with navigation tools
(maps, GPS units, compasses), sufficient
water and food, appropriate tools for emergency bicycle repair, foul
weather gear and other safety equipment (perhaps including a cell phone) to
ensure your safe return.