The Davenport Loop provides an excellent day trip opportunity for trail bike users or hikers. The loop is composed of segments of four National Forest trails identified as the Squirrel Creek Access Trail. The entire loop is approximately 10 1/2 miles long. It is rated as moderately difficult for trail bikers and is recommended for experienced riders only.
Close-up of a sunflower
The loop begins by taking the Squirrel Creek Trail eastward out of the Davenport Campground. This trail meanders along the Squirrel Creek drainage and follows an abandoned roadbed which once served as the route for CO Highway 76. This road was mostly washed out during a flood in 1947 and was never rebuilt. Instead, the highway was relocated several miles to the south.
The remains of bridges and other structures destroyed by the flood can still be seen along the trail.
Approximately 4 1/2 miles below the Davenport Campground, the second leg of the loop is taken by turning northwesterly onto the Dome Rock Trail (the vertical drop from the Davenport Campground to this junction is about 1,300 feet). Continue up the Dome Rock Trail for approximately 3 miles to where this trail junctions with the Second Mace Trail. The Dome Rock Trail takes the traveler through Dome Rock Canyon and is the most scenic leg of the loop. Of major interest is Dome Rock itself; a large monolith which is located just below the Dome Rock - Second Mace Trail junction. The vertical rise from Squirrel Creek to the Second Mace Trail is 1,500 feet.
The third leg of the loop is made by following the Second Mace Trail westward for approximately 1 3/4 miles to the point where it junctions with the Second Mace Access Trail. This leg of the loop only rises about 400 feet between the Dome Rock Trail and Second Mace Access Trail junctions.
The last leg of the loop is made by turning southeasterly onto the Second Mace Access Trail This trail will return the traveler to the Davenport Campground. The distance from the Second Mace Trail to the campground is approximately 1 1/4 miles with a vertical drop of about 600 feet.
Directions from Pueblo: This trail is located in the Wet Mountains approximately 48 miles west of Pueblo via Highway 96 to Wetmore; continue south on Highway 96 to McKenzie junction. Then turn south on Highway 165 for about 10 miles to Davenport Campground Road (Forest Road 311), then east to the Squirrel Creek Trail Head next to Davenport Campground.
May through October
(NOTE: Davenport Campground)