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Backpacking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Blanco Ranger District

Quick Facts

Big Ridge Trail/Cutoff Loop

Beginning Elevation: 7,600 Feet (2369.1 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
High Point: 9,000 Feet (2805.5 Meters)
Length: 8.5 Miles (14.17 Kilometers)
Usage: Moderate




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

Big Ridge trail begins from the trailhead with a tight and rocky single track. The trail smoothes out to hard pack soon after crossing a stock gate at .5 miles in. Leave this gate as you found it. Big Ridge trail passes through aspen stands and open meadows. The top of the ridge is at the 3 mile mark, an unsigned trail leads off to your left. This is the Big Ridge cutoff trail, which will get you heading back towards the trailhead. Looking to the southeast from the top of the ridge yields views of the Marvine drainage, Rat Mountain and Little Marvine Peaks. This trail winds its way down the ridge through aspen and lodgepole pine stands. A few words of caution; the cutoff trail is infested with steep faced water bars and occasionally a steep section. A side trail meets with the cutoff trail 1.5 miles from the junction with Big Ridge; take the straight (right) path. At the 1.8 mile mark there is a "T" intersection; continue to the right. The trail terminates 2.3 miles (from where you turned off Big Ridge trail) at a carsonite trail sign. Continue straight across the grass until you hit a dirt road. Follow it to the left on down and across a bridge over the North Fork of the White River. Continue to follow the road until you see a Forest Service bunkhouse on the right and a garage on the left. The road continues between the two buildings and up onto County Road 8. Follow the road to the left, past the Lost Creek guard station for 1.8 miles until you come to the dirt road that leads to the trail head. Make a left onto the road and follow it for a mile back to the trailhead.

Directions from Meeker: Big Ridge trail begins from the trailhead with a tight and rocky single track. The trail smooths out to hardpack soon after crossing a stock gate at .5 miles in. Leave this gate as you found it. Big Ridge trail passes through aspen stands and open meadows. The top of the ridge is at the 3 mile mark, an unsigned trail leads off to your left. This is the Big Ridge cutoff trail, which will get you heading back towards the trailhead. Looking to the southeast from the top of the ridge yields views of the Marvine drainage, Rat Mountain and Little Marvine Peaks. This trail winds its way down the ridge through aspen and lodgepole pine stands. A few words of caution; the cutoff trail is infested with steep faced waterbars and occasionally a steep section. A side trail meets with the cutoff trail 1.5 miles from the junction with Big Ridge; take the straight (right) path. At the 1.8 mile mark there is a "T" intersection; continue to the right. The trail terminates 2.3 miles (from where you turned off Big Ridge trail) at a carsonite trail sign. Continue straight across the grass until you hit a dirt road. Follow it to the left on down and across a bridge over the North Fork of the White River. Continue to follow the road until you see a Forest Service bunkhouse on the right and a garage on the left. The road continues between the two buildings and up onto County Road 8. Follow the road to the left, past the Lost Creek guard station for 1.8 miles until you come to the dirt road that leads to the trail head. Make a left onto the road and follow it for a mile back to the trailhead.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through November (NOTE: Always open. Beware of severe Winter conditions.) .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Open Updated: 2000-07-05 17:57:00.0


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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking
ICON Horseback Riding
ICON Specialized Landcraft (OHV's)



Related Activities
Big Ridge Trail - This trail begins near the mouth of Marvine Creek and climbs along Big Ridge to views of the surrounding mountains and valleys past several lakes and through a variety of ecosystems.

Marvine Lakes General Forest Area - The Marvine Lakes general forest area offers access to a number of lakes and trails in the central part of the Flat Tops Wilderness Area of White River National Forest.



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