Loose in the La Platas
The landscape along this ride is not as dramatic as on others, but the forest can be very serene and beautiful when there has been a wet spring or when the aspen and oak brush are changing colors in mid-September. There is also a healthy population of deer and elk in this area.
This trail remains almost entirely on top of the Dakota Sandstone, though there is a variable amount of the remnants of the Mancos Shale.
Ride north from Transfer Campground on FS 560 for about 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) to a junction with FS 561 that takes off to the right to Jersey Jim. Bear left, staying on 560 (see map).
After crossing both forks of Chicken Creek, there will be a turnoff to the left (FS 385). Take it and drop down onto the interfluve between Chicken and Turkey Creeks.
After about half a mile (1 kilometer) there will be a fork in the road (elevation 8,960 feet; 2,731 meters) where FS 385 takes off to the left; FS 559 is to the right. Take a left and ride downhill through the ponderosa pines for about 4.5 miles (7.5 kilometers) to another junction (elevation 8,376 feet; 2,553 meters) just past Spruce Lake.
Take a right on the unmarked road and climb past Porters Camp to another junction (elevation 8,525 feet; 2,600 meters) where you take another right on FS 559.
Climb for about 3.5 miles (5.5 kilometers) back to FS 385, return to FS 560, and head south to Transfer Campground.
© Article copyright Pruett Publishing
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication