Yet Another Great Route

This route has a total ascent of 2700 feet over its 14.63 mile length, but you will hardly notice it.  You gain your elevation slowly and gradually.  When you will notice it is when you start a long, loopy descent.  

You'll enjoy this one!


Be aware that neither the Gate 5 trailhead nor this 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:


  1. Reset bike computer/GPS unit at Gate 5.
  2. Ride west on Lower Newt Jack Rd. following the fence line.
  3. At about 1 mile, you descend a rocky hill with a frog pond on your left.  Walk this if you are not a comfortable “downhiller.”
  4. At mile 1.15 you come to a gate with a green, bike cattle guard on your left.  Cross the cattle guard and immediately pick up a trail branching right off of Lower Newt Jack Road.
  5. Follow this trail (“Happy Meal Trail”) for two miles.  At mile 1.55 there is a fork in the trail with a branch going right.  Take the left fork.  (Note:  The right fork takes you to Gate 3 off Fremont Court. 
  6. At mile 3.14 you reach Newt Jack Road.  Turn right.
  7. At mile 3.23 (150 yards) the road turns to the right.  There is a single track exiting on your left.  Take it (This is “Horseshoe Trail.”)
  8. At mile 3.75 you reach Park Reservoir (Pond).  Just before the pond, take a trail going to your left and down a short, steep hill.  This is the start of “Park Avenue.”
  9. At mile 4.05 you intersect another trail (X-C Ski Trail).  Turn left onto this trail.
  10. At mile 4.67 a you reach a trail exiting to your left (Corncob Trail).  Take it.  (At this point you are very close to Turkey Springs Road and can see it through the trees before you turn onto Corncob Trail.)
  11. At mile 6.08 you intersect another trail (Elk Run Trail).  Turn right.  In a few yards you will intersect Brockover Road.  Turn right onto Brockover Road.
  12.   At Mile 6.16 (a tenth of a mile), turn left onto an old road bed / single track marked with Forest Service carsonite post.
  13.   At mile 6.72 arrive at wire gate in fence.  Go through the gate (CLOSING IT BEHIND YOU!) and continue on the trail straight ahead.
  14.   At mile 7.60  arrive at a “wye” fork in the trail.  Follow the left fork and continue down “Upper Gopher Pond Trail.”
  15.   At mile 8.48 you arrive at a “tee” intersection with an ATV trail.  Continue straight ahead across the ATV trail onto single track (“Lower Gopher Pond Trail”).  Continue down the Peterson Gulch valley until trail climbs a hill and angles left over the shoulder of a hill.  Follow single track up the draw coming down from the left.
  16.   At mile 10.14 shortly after you arrive at the top of the ridge you will cross an old road bed.  (Note:  This road bed is hard to see and is only mentioned here because a left turn on this old logging road will quickly take you out to Brockover Road if you need to bail for some reason.)  Continue straight ahead on the single track down the hill and into “The Maze.”
  17.   At mile 11.16 arrive at wire gate in fence.  Go through the gate (CLOSING IT BEHIND YOU!) and continue on the trail straight ahead.
  18.   At mile 11.39 arrive at a “tee” intersection with “MBT.”  Turn Left
  19.  At mile 11.8 you intersect Lower Brockover Road.  Turn right.
  20.  At mile 12.22 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.
  21.  At mile 13.68 a trail exits to your right.  Take it.  This is the Silk Thread Cut-off and will take you to Lower Newt Jack Road.
  22.  At mile 13.94 you intersect Lower Newt Jack Road.  Turn right.
  23.  At mile 14.63 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,
Jun 14, 2010, 12:50 PM
Tom Steen,
Jun 14, 2010, 6:58 AM