V Rock Trail No. 578

 

 

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Length: 3.8-miles (one-way) but see suggested 2.5-miles (one way) day hike to Geode Hill

V- Rock Trail # 578 Map(click here)

Elevation stats: Elevation Gain 641 ft ( Altitude 9,685 ft to 10,326 with 1,116 ft ascent and 483 ft descent)

Trailhead Facilities: Vault toilet

Short Trail Summary: This hike description is to junction with the Leche Creek Trail No. 576. The suggested day hike is a little shorter but offers better views.

This hike can be connected to various other trails for a point-to-point hike including the Opal Lake Trail No. 575, Leche Creek Trail No. 576 or Navajo Peaks Trail (west) or south No. 577.

Trail Description: The trail from the V Rock Trailhead is heavily used, very eroded in places and has multiple braids for the first mile or so as it climbs the ridge. The first 1.4 miles will gain just over 1,000-feet in elevation as it winds it way away from the cow grazing permit area to the South San Juan Wilderness boundary sign. Along the way there will be a number of arborglyphs on large aspen trees. These are carved names and dates of sheepherders from the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Climb another 0.1 mile to the top of the ridge, with an expansive view of the mountains to the east. En route, the trees will band as various stands of spruce and aspen before cresting over the lip of V Mountain to an oversized grassy plateau. At the 2.3 miles mark , look for a large hill on your left. A faint trail going uphill should be visible. As a suggested day hike, making a detour up to Geode Hill, as it is locally named, provides superb views of the mountains and Blanco River Basin. The hill is so named because of the small geodes that can be found there and is an excellent place for lunch before returning to the trailhead. To continue further on the V Rock Trail, descend from Geode Hill and turn left. The trail then bends north onto the uppermost edge of the ridge before winding back on itself in oversized grassy meadows choked with marsh marigold, iris and harebells that can be wet in early season. The trail will wind around an unnamed knoll before descending through dying spruce/fir forest to the junction with Leche Creek Trail No. 575.

Directions: From US 160/US 84 junction, turn south onto US 84. Travel 19.7 miles and turn northeast onto Buckles Lake Road (FS 663), a gravel road. The road ends at 7.5-miles in a large parking area. The trail is straight ahead; the roadway to the left goes to Buckles Lake. Driving Directions Map (click here)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Length: 3.8-miles (one-way)

Trailhead Facilities: Vault toilet

Short Trail Summary: This hike description is to junction with the Leche Creek Trail No. 576.

This hike can be connected to various other trails for a point-to-point hike including the Opal Lake Trail No. 575, Leche Creek Trail No. 576 or Navajo Peaks Trail (west) or south No. 577.

A diverse hike beginning in the drier landscapes south of Pagosa Springs proper. The first mile and a half will gain just over 1,000-feet and elevation as it winds it way away from the cow grazing permit to the wilderness boundary. En route, the trees will band as various stands of aspen before cresting over the lip of the V Mountain to an oversized plateau than can be wet in early season.

Trail bends north onto the uppermost edge of the ridge before winding back on itself in oversized grassy meadows choked with marsh marigold, iris and harebells. The trail will wind around an unnamed knoll before descending through dying spruce/fir forest to the junction with Leche Creek Trail No. 575.

Directions: From US 160/US 84 junction, turn south onto US 84. Travel 19-miles and turn northeast onto Buckles Lake Road (FS 663), a gravel road. Road ends at 7.8-miles in a large trailhead with shared trail accesses.

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