Piedra Stock Drive No. 583

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Piedra Stock Drive #583 Map (suggested day Hike):  Click here

Length:  17.6-miles (one-way, total trail),  4.7 miles (one-way, suggested day hike)

Elevation Stats: (suggested day hike section).  Altitude gain: 244 ft (8,187 to 8,431 ft) with 1,112 ft ascent and 868 ft descent.

Trailhead Facilities:  None

Suggested Day Hike: 4.7 mile one-way trip in northern-most section of the old stock drive along a ridge top with beautiful views to the west. Shuttle required. Trip can be extended southward for longer hike and shuttle.

Trail description: One of the longest and most historic trails in the San Juan National Forest, this trail was re-opened after being mostly abandoned by the tireless efforts of the early board members of the Pagosa Area Trails Council. In its earliest times, the stock drive was used by sheep herders who would continue their grazing through the now known Williams Creek Reservoir, through the Cimarrona Valley and to Squaw Pass on the Continental Divide.

This trail is nearly shorter than the road connecting the access trailheads and sections of the trail are accessible by OHV, 50-inches or less.

Beginning at the trailhead off Monument Road (FS 630) in the south, expect diversity, changing forest and occasional big views. Wildlife frequent the trail and the short ups and downs will add variety to the landscape. The elevation profile remains in the 7,600-8,800-feet range.

Going north, the trail begins as old road with a slight ascent flanking the east side of Middle Mountain before reaching a non-motorized segment of trail. Staying just outside the wilderness boundary the trail encounters undulating ups and downs before a more assertive 1,200-foot descent to the Piedra River and a short stint on the Piedra River Trail No. 596.

Reaching a narrowing of the canyon, the Piedra Stock Driveway will turn north on the west side of Sally Overlook and continue to thread Trail Creek and the west side of Trail Ridge. Again turning to an OHV access, the trail maintains a general contour line for several miles before reaching Piedra FS 631.

Directions: There are numerous accesses to the Piedra Stock Driveway including an access off of First Fork Road (FS 629) which is not included in the trail description.

Monument Road Trailhead Directions: Drive North on Piedra Road (CR 600/FS 631) 6.7-miles, passing a cattle guard where the road turns from pavement to gravel. Turn west onto Turkey Springs Road (FS 629). After 2.8-miles turn north onto Monument Road (FS 630). Follow this road 5.9-miles to a faint parking area on the north side of the road. Look for a sign noting FS 629d.

Suggested day hike directions : Drive North on Piedra Road (CR 600/FS 631) 22-miles to the intersection with the FS 640 (Williams Creek Road). There is no trailhead parking here but the northern terminus of the Piedra Stock Driveway is accessed on the south side of the roadway. The trail is not alway clear in the meadow to  but can be found as you ascend the ridge.  Leave a shuttle vehicle at the terminus of  FS #639 which leaves Piedra Road opposite the entrance of Bridge campground.

 Driving directions for suggested hike:  Click here 

 Driving directions for suggested shuttle route: Click here

 

One thought on “Piedra Stock Drive No. 583

  1. Trail is open to Corral Mtn, 6.2 miles from trailhead, thanks to SJ Backcountry Horsemen Nancy Seay, Gary Stapleton, Donna Fait, and JoAnn Senzig. 1.5 miles of trail remain to be cleared

    Like

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