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HWY 141 to Carpenter Ridge

Rating: Easy to Very Difficult
Length: 14.5 miles
Elevation: 4800’-6960’

At Hwy 14, turn left riding up canyon along the Dolores River for 2 miles on pavement. Turn right on a bridge crossing the river and begin climbing a graded road, bearing left as it climbs to a bench heading upstream. About 1.7 miles upstream, the mouth of Red Canyon is reached. The rough road becomes narrower and more rugged as it climbs the canyon. The route at this point follows the old Radium Trail, a name referring to the region’s uranium mining history and the radioactive ores that were mined from the well exposed Morrison formation. Dinosaur bone is found in the same formation. The Radium Trail travels the entire length of Red Canyon. The trail becomes more rugged and takes a final steep “hike a bike” pitch up to the top of the ridge. The trail rounds a point which offers commanding views of the Paradox Valley, the San Juan Mountains to the east, and La Sal Mountains close up to the west. The trail continues to climb the ridge as it goes through mature pinon stands on a sometimes soft trail. At approx.. 9.5 miles, the trail connects with Rd Q13.

Go left and follow this seasonally graded road up as it parallels Carpenter Ridge. The ridge is popular with hang gliders in the region for obvious reasons. At 14.5 miles a road comes up from the Paradox Valley to form a big triangular intersection. Bear right as the road continues around the back side of Carpenter Ridge toward Buckeye Reservoir.