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Upper Spring Creek Mesa to South Fork Mesa Creek

Rating: Difficult to Very Difficult
Length: 12.25 miles
Elevation: 6100’-7500’

Turn left and follow U-18 Rd up a short hill to the SW. Ride about a tenth of a mile, then take the first right onto a dirt 2-track that goes through a sage covered flat. Climb steadily on this 2-track towards the dramatic uplift of the Uncompahgre Plateau for over 2 miles bearing right at any intersections and splits in the road. After a brief, steep descent, bear left at a grassy open area and a three way intersection. The trail narrows as it becomes rougher and more overgrown climbing steeply from this point. This section of trail is known as the “Koski Traverse”, named for a local mountain biker who first re-conned the route over to Bull Draw. The 4.5 mile traverse is rough, steep and rocky with some “hike a bike” section s as it climbs and drops through three major drainages on its way to Bull Draw.

Continue to climb and then descend to Atkinson Creek. Ride upstream for a short distance where the creek is easily crossed. Once across, continue downstream and look for signage or rock cairns that mark the trail.  The trail begins to climb again to the NW up a steep, rocky “hike a bike” affair. Descend to Big Johnson Creek. A trail goes upstream after crossing but do not follow. The Paradox Trail goes through an oak thicket and heads up to the SW which can be seen from the creek. Don’t follow the cow trail that heads downstream.

Climb up the old jeep road and then descent to Little Johnson Creek, then ride upstream on the main trail as it climbs through an old burn area. Follow the long descent as it drops into Bull Draw. Turn right in the open area where a two track comes up Bull Draw. Follow up the draw and continue to bear right at another road coming in from the left. The road now continues up and roads a mesa to your left. Continue on the rolling two-track through Blue Basin. Turn right at the next three-way intersection, climb briefly on the obvious two-track. The scenic nature of the “wild west end” canyon country and the La Sal Mountains to the west is quite apparent. Descend to an intersection overlooking the South Fork of Mesa Creek. Turn right to descend to the creek.