This 14.88-mile "lollipop" loop has something for everyone. The route detailed has 3,058 feet of total ascent if you ride to the summit of Jackson Mountain (a "hill" by Rocky Mountain standards).
You can choose to bike from Pagosa Springs and add 4.2 miles (one way) to the route described below - making it a 23-mile ride. The ride from town starts with an easy, scenic, rural asphalt & gravel road. Once you reach the Hershey Ranch (where the mileages below begin), you ride on a fairly flat, dirt, jeep road following the creek that everyone in the family can ride and enjoy.
At the end of the road you need to ford Snowball Creek, so it is wise to wait for spring run offs to slow down before doing this ride. After you cross Snowball Creek, you are on slightly steeper and rougher jeep roads. Finally, stepping it up another notch, you climb a fairly demanding single-track to the summit.
Ride whichever portion meets your level of interest and ability. The reward for persevering to the top of Jackson Mountain is one of the sweetest single-track descents (through aspen groves) in the Pagosa Springs area.
This ride is a local favorite partly because of its closeness and accessibility, and partly because of the scenic beauty of the ride.
Note:Be aware that the "Snowball Creek to Jackson Mountain Summit" 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.
Snowball Creek to Jackson Mountain Trail Notes
By Car or Bike:
The map below shows the location of the
Hershey Ranch Gate on Snowball Road.
Note: You should be able to manipulate the Google map, below, to zoom in, click and drag, and see different terrain and satellite images.
Note: To download and print the map below (and/or the route instructions) see the attached PDF files at the bottom of this page.