La Plata Mountains Trails System

To date, there are four major trails recorded on the western slopes of the La Plata Mountains that are feasible for horse riding.
Trail Name Miles Elevation
Cherry Creek 6.86 8,000-9,430 ft
Rampart Hills 10.34 8,120-9,280 ft
Sharkstooth 15.68 9,625-11,942 ft
T-Down Park 7.60 9,060-10,460 ft

Cherry Creek
Located within the San Juan National Forest and southern slopes of the La Plata Mountains, the trail head for the Cherry Creek trail is located immediately off of U.S. Highway 160. The entrance is signed as the turn off for Cherry Creek Campgrounds. The trail follows segments of existing jeep trails and an old railroad corridor in the southern and western parts of the loop. The northern half of the trail system is predominately single track. The ride will take you through mixed aspen, Gamble oak, and patches of ponderosa pine. Spotted areas of rocky talus, hoof protection or shoes is highly recommended.

Rampart Hills
Assessable off of CR 44 (Echo Basin Road) and within the San Juan National Forest, Rampart Trails traverses the southern foothills of Rampart Hills on the western slopes of the La Plata Mountains. The trails are part jeep and single track and also utilized by mountain bikes. The ride will take you through mixed aspen, Gamble oak, ponderosa pine, and clusters of spruce.

Sharkstooth
Assessable from the town of Mancos via CR 42 ((W Mancos Rd) and Spruce Mill Road, the Sharkstooth Trail lies within the San Juan National Forest. The trail is predominately single track from the parking area to Sharkstooth Pass which is located south of Sharkstooth Peak. A portion of the trail ride will follow a 4-wheel drive road often traveled by hikers seeking to hike the last 2 mile segment to Sharkstooth Pass or Peak. The trail will take one through mixed aspen, spruce, and alpine meadows. Spotted areas of rocky talus, hoof protection or shoes is highly recommended.

T-Down Park
Assessable off of CR 44 (Echo Basin Road) and within the San Juan National Forest, T-Down Park Trails traverses the southern slopes of Burnt Ridge on the western slopes of the La Plata Mountains. The trails are part jeep and single track and also utilized by mountain bikes. The ride will take you through mixed aspen, Gamble oak, ponderosa pine, and clusters of spruce.

La Plata Mountains Map
  • La Plata Mountains Trails (PDF 904 KB)
  • La Plata Mountains Trails (GPX 117 KB) Right-Click to Download
  • Cherry Creek
    Overlook from Cherry Creek Trail.
    Ramparts Trail
    Ramparts Trail.
    Ramparts Hills
    Ramparts Hills.
    Sharkstooth Peak
    Sharkstooth Peak.
    T-Down Trail Trail
    T-Down Trail.
    Photos by Cathy Cumberworth, Click Photo to Enlarge.

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