This trail provides an excellent opportunity for a loop day hike from Priest Gulch campground by connecting Priest Gulch Trail and the Calico Trail. The total distance of the loop is 4.0 miles. The trail intersects the Priest Gulch trail at a small meadow, which is a relatively easy walk from the campground. The trail heads east, crosses the creek, and continues up the hillside.
The trail rises moderately at first, then climbs steeply the remainder of the way to the Calico trail through a mixed stand of spruce-fir and aspen. The trail enters the northwest side of a large meadow. The tread disappears at this point, and one should head toward the signpost in the center of the meadow following the trail marker. The signpost marks the intersection with the Calico trail.
This trail is primarily a foot and horseback trail. Due to the trail's steepness, trail bikes are discouraged.
Directions from Priest Gulch Trail: Trail can be accessed either by traveling up Priest Gulch trail 645 1.5 mile from the Priest Gulch Campground located on Colorado Hwy 145.
Directions from Dolores: Priest Gulch Trail access:PRIEST GULCH SHUTTLE DROP-OFF: Go 25 miles north of Dolores on Colorado Hwy 145 (12 miles south of Rico). Look for Priest Gulch Trailhead sign on west side of the road across from Priest Gulch Store. Turn left and go .25 mile past private property. Stay on the road and do not trespass. Trailhead has parking and horse facilities.
Directions from Colorado Highway 145: UPPER ACCESS: Go north on Colorado Hwy 145 19 miles to Taylor Mesa Road (Forest Service Road #545). Turn northeast and go 15 miles (past intersection with Forest Service Road #547) to junction with Forest Service Road #52. Turn right and go 1 mile to the trailhead on right. If you begin here, the hike is downhill.
Directions from Calico Trail: The trail can also be accessed by traveling up the Calico Trail 1.75 miles from the campground. The trail is signed at the intersection.
Spring through Fall .