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Mountain Biking: Colorado > Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests > Grand Junction Ranger District

Quick Facts

Crag Crest Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,377 Feet (3163 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 700 Feet (218.2 Meters) approximately
Ending Elevation: 10,152 Feet (3094 Meters)
Length: 10 Miles (16.67 Kilometers) complete loop
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Trail Number: 711
Usage: Extremely Heavy Please stay on trail to limit impact.
USGS Maps: Grand Mesa

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Crag Crest Trail was designated as a National Recreation Trail on March 14, 1978. The trail was established for recreational enjoyment, because it offers many scenic vistas and a unique display of geological history. The trail is a ten mile long circular trail consisting of a crest portion and a loop portion.

The crest section(6.5 miles) rises steeply from the east trailhead (at Crag Crest Campground) to the top of Crag Crest. From the west trailhead (north of Island Lake), the crest portion rises more gradually to the top of Crag Crest. Sections of the trail on the top of the ridge called Crag Crest are narrow with steep drop-offs on both sides. Views from this ridge extend in all directions. Hikers will enjoy views of landmarks such as, Book Cliffs, Battlement Mesa, the West Elk and San Juan Mountains. The loop portion provides an alternate return route.

Only foot travel is allowed on the crest portion between the east trailhead and Cottonwood Lakes Trail. Hikers, Horse and mountain bikes may use the lower loop and the crest portions between the west trailhead and Cottonwood Lakes Trail junction. Motorized vehicles are prohibited on the Crag Crest Trail.

Directions from Cedaredge: Travel eighteen miles north on Highway 65 to Crag Crest National Recreation Trail parking area.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Derek (Austin, TX)
Time of Day: Late morning
Length of Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Note: this is a hiking trail, not for mountain biking (it's not allowed on the crest). Mountain biking is allowed on the lower loop, but that's not very interesting. For hikers: This is an amazing hike. The views along the crest are amazing, with steep drop-offs to both sides. If you are afraid of heights, don't take this trail.
Conditions: Aso of the end of June, there were still a few snow drifts left. Other than that, conditions were very dry. In past years, I have always encountered storms (rain, hail, even snow) even in late July), but not this year. The mosquitos are always bad after abount June 15, so wear bug spray. Also, sunblock, long pants (it can get cold), and long sleeves. Bring water, and be prepared for rain
Water Availability: None available along the route. Bring a lot (camelback recommended)
Recommended Clothing: long pants, long sleeves, bring a waterproof jackets. wear a wide brimmed hat (hail hurts when it hits your neck)
Suggested Accessories: Nothing special

Filed By: jeff (grand junction, co)
Time of Day: 1:20ish pm
Length of Time: 2hours ish
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: very nice area. beautiful overlooks and a good walking trail. The map and the website say it is also a biking trail. The sign at the trail head says foot and horse traffic only. Which is right?? It is not a biker freindly trail. alot of tall sharp waterbars, and softball sized rocks on a single track trail. alot of steep drop-offs with alot of rocks..if you plan on biking it..you better have your bike handeling skills 'up-to-date'.
Conditions: dry and sunny. didn't notice alot of bugs. very very low water conditions in the lakes.
Water Availability: bring our own water. there is a campground near by...but, bring your own.
Recommended Clothing: shoryts and t-shirt. very bright and sunny

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Geology Crag Crest Trail
ICON Hiking & Walking Crag Crest Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Permitted on the lower loop and the crest portion of the trail between the west trailhead and Cottonwood Lakes Trail junction.
ICON Bird Identification Crag Crest Trail
ICON Plant Identification Crag Crest Trail
ICON Wildflower Identification Crag Crest Trail
ICON Mountain Biking Permitted on the lower loop and the crest portion of the trail between the west trailhead and Cottonwood Lakes Trail junction.
ICON Viewing Scenery Crag Crest Trail

Related Activities
Crag Crest Campground - Crag Crest Campground lies on the shore of Eggleston Lake along Forest Road 121. This site supports 11 camp sites at an elevation of 10,100 feet.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau , Grand Junction, CO, , Phone: 800-962-2547


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