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Snowmobiling
Rules and Routes
Opportunity for snowmobile travel abounds in Pagosa Country thanks to the San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District, among others. The majority of designated snowmobile routes follow unplowed forest roads and trails, many of which are groomed by a local volunteer group, the Wolf Creek Trailblazers Club, under authorization from the Forest Service. Grooming frequencies vary due to conditions and resources, and most routes are only minimally marked, making route-finding skills, maps, avalanche awareness and good pre-trip planning essential for a safe expedition into the Pagosa backcountry during the winter months.

The following trail descriptions and map have been developed to assist visitors in locating snowmobile opportunities in the Pagosa area. Mileages are approximate and do not represent round trip distances from trailheads. Please be familiar with the rules, regulations and tips for safe winter travel.

Rules and regulations

• Cross-country winter travel is generally permitted on the Pagosa Ranger District. However, there are areas in which snowmobiles are prohibited or restricted to designated routes.

• Snowmobiles are prohibited in the Weminuche Wilderness, the South San Juan Wilderness and the Piedra Area.

• Please refer to the San Juan National Forest Visitor Map and reference the area table for information about the location of areas where travel is restricted to designated routes.

• Each over-the-snow vehicle that is operated on public land in Colorado must be registered with Colorado State Parks. Out-of-state residents who bring snowmobiles into Colorado must purchase a Colorado Non-Resident OHV permit. For more information, contact Colorado State Parks at (303) 791-1920 or www.parks.state.co.us.

• Per Colorado law, it is unlawful to operate a snowmobile on plowed public roads, including plowed roads located on national forest lands. It is also unlawful to pursue, drive or otherwise intentionally disturb or harass any wildlife. For more information regarding state law, go to http://parks.state.co.us/OHVsandSnowmobiles/SnowmobileProgram/LawsRegulations.

The Forest Service does not manage or post signs for all hazards. That said, always be prepared for and aware of:
• Changing weather conditions;
• The potential for altitude sickness and hypothermia;
• The need to find your own way or turn back if conditions become too difficult for your skills, ability or equipment.
Avalanche danger:
• Carry essential equipment and know how to use it.
• Be familiar with accepted winter travel procedures and rescue techniques.
• Daily avalanche forecasts can be obtained on-line at www.avalanche.state.co.us or (970) 247-8187.
• More educational information, including a listing of available training, can be obtained at: www.avalanche.org, or at http://avalanche.state.co.us/index.php.

Route finding

Before setting out on untracked snow, remember that some trails are minimally maintained or unmarked. Route finding skills are necessary. Always carry maps, such as the San Juan National Forest Map and current topographic maps. Avoid trespassing on private property adjacent to or surrounded by national forest lands. On ungroomed trails, users will be relying upon their own route-finding skills, maps and, perhaps, the knowledge and skills of those who traveled before them.

Parking

Parking areas may not be plowed; therefore, parking space is often limited and may not be available after snowstorms when snow removal is in progress. Please park considerately without blocking gates or other vehicles.

Grooming conditions

There is not a set schedule for grooming and some trails may not be groomed for an entire season. For information about grooming conditions or to learn how you can help, go to www.coloradosledcity.com. When the map loads, select Pagosa Springs, then select Groomer Reports.

Search and rescue

In an emergency, call 911. The local sheriff’s office is the lead agency for search and rescue.
Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Cards cover search and rescue mission costs, support Colorado search and rescue volunteers, and contribute to well-trained and equipped search and rescue teams. Cards are available at outlets that sell hunting and fishing licenses. Anyone with a current hunting/fishing license, or boat, snowmobile, ATV registration is already covered by the fund.

The trails

Most of these routes follow unplowed forest roads and trails. County Road (CR) and Forest Service Road (FR) numbers correspond with the San Juan National Forest Map.
It should be noted that all trails shown on the map are open to both motorized and non-motorized travel. Please keep speeds slow while traveling on these shared trails. When possible, keep your tracks separate from those of other users.
Some areas are very popular for snowmobiling. Be aware of and alert to other users.

Monument Park Trail
Follows portions of the First Fork Road (FR 622), Monument Park Road West (FR 630), and Devil Mountain Trail (Trail 600).
Length: 30 miles.
Trailhead: First Fork Road (FR 622).
Connections: Monument Trail (FR 630).
Grooming: Ungroomed.

Monument Trail
Follows Monument Road East (FR 630).
Length: 7.8 miles.
Trailhead: Parking area on First Fork Road.
Grooming: Occasionally groomed.
Connections: Turkey Springs Loop, and Monument Park Trail (FR 630).

Turkey Springs Trail
Length: 8.5 mile loop.
Trailhead: Turkey Springs Trailhead on Piedra Road (FR 631).
Grooming: Occasionally groomed.
Connections: Monument Trail (FR 630).

Fourmile (winter) Trail
Follows Fourmile Road (FR 645) from the winter closure point to its end.
Length: 4.6 miles.
Trailhead: Fourmile Road (CR 400) at winter closure.
Grooming: Frequently groomed.
Connections: Plumtaw Trail (FR 634).

Plumtaw Trail
The trail is accessed via the Fourmile (Winter) Trail (FR 645). It follows Plumtaw Road (FR 634) to end at McManus Road (FR 633).
Length: 18.3 miles.
Trailheads: Fourmile Road (CR 400) or McManus Road (FR 633) at winter closure points.
Grooming: Frequently groomed.
Connections: The McManus-E. Toner Connector (5.8 miles) crosses the Middle Fork of the Piedra River. The route consists of a groomed trail to E. Toner Road (FR 637), then follows E. Toner Road to Middle Fork Road (FR 636) and continues southwest to a parking area at the junction with Piedra Road (FR 631).

East Fork Trail
Follow East Fork Rd. and FR 684 to Quartz Meadows.
Length: 12.6 miles.
Trailhead: Plowed parking area at winter closure of East Fork Road.
Grooming: Occasionally groomed.

Nipple Mountain Trail
Parallels Mill Creek (CR 302/FR 662) and Nipple Mountain Roads (FR 665), then follows an unplowed portion of Nipple Mountain Road. Stay on the trail as it crosses private property.
Length: 10.5 miles.
Trailhead: Along Mill Creek Road (CR 302) before its junction with Nipple Mountain Road.

Porcupine Trail
This trail connects the Nipple Mountain Trail to Blanco Basin Road (CR 326), via Porcupine and Lefthand Canyon Roads (both numbered FR 024).
Length: 10.4 miles.
Trailhead: Parking at the junction of Blanco Basin and Lefthand Canyon Roads.
Grooming: Portion is groomed occasionally.
Connections: Connects to Nipple Mountain Trail.

Additional Routes
There are many other areas to ride on the Pagosa Ranger District. However, parking generally limits access. Plowed parking is occasionally available and allows snowmobile access to Eight Mile Mesa (FR 651) and Jackson Mountain (FR 037) Roads. These areas are not groomed.

Wolf Creek Pass
A plowed parking area is located on Wolf Creek Pass on the south side of Highway 160. Routes on the pass provide access to a variety of terrain and may be groomed. To help provide quality recreation experiences for everyone, follow these guidelines:

South Side of the Pass.
• Multiuse area recommended for trail and off-trail snowmobiling.
• The area known as the Rock Garden is non-motorized.

North Side of the Pass.
• The road to the Lobo Overlook is a designated snowmobile route.
• The remainder of the north side is for non-motorized use.

The Pagosa Public Lands Office is located at 180 Pagosa St., Pagosa Springs. Call (970) 264-2268, or go to www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan.