Dolores Ranger District Adds New Routes in Recent Decision – Chicken Creek Trail

Reprinted with permission – a message via email from the San Juan Trail Riders.   

Dolores Ranger District, San Juan National Forest
Chicken Creek Trail Project Decision


News Release from Forest Service

Motorized Trails

Per the Final Environmental Assessment:

The Deer Lick Trail would be approximately 0.9 miles of trail that would connect NFSR 566 Echo Basin Road to the #617 Box Canyon Trail, following a previously abandon route, and would include trail design to mitigate damage to wet areas. This trail is represented in red on the following map.

The Owens Basin Connector is an existing 0.23 miles non-motorized route between two motorized routes and would connect the #173 Golconda ATV Trail to the #621 West Mancos Trail. The connector is currently non-motorized but was intended to be designated as a motorized route under Mancos-Cortez Travel Management Plan (2008) decision; however, this did not occur. The #183 Owens Basin Connector would provide a better crossing of the West Mancos River than the existing crossing at the bottom of the #173 Golconda Trail. This trail is represented in green on the following map.


Map of Motorized Changes


Chicken Creek Trail Map


Significance of these Trails

These two trails will provide better connectivity to #621 West Mancos Trail and a direct route to NFSR 566 Echo Basin Road from the #617 Box Canyon Trail and vice-versa.

  • The #183 Owens Basin Connector will be a dramatic benefit in early season during spring runoff by providing a safer and more negotiable river crossing.
  • The Dear Lick Trail connection to NFSR 566 Echo Basin Road gives motorized single-track users additional loop options when combined with other routes and a “bailout” if necessary.

On the surface comparing our net miles gained to non-motorized users in the Chicken Creek Trail Project, it may not seem like a substantial improvement of opportunities. Once evaluated closer these two trail segments are of very high value to our user group and improve opportunities for motorized multi-user single-track in the area.

Sincerest Gratitude

We would like to express our appreciation to SJTR’s Board Members Allen Christy and Gary Wilkinson for taking this project on, our Partners with the Dolores Rangers District of the San Juan National Forest who have been exceptional to work with getting these segments through the proper processes as well as individuals that submitted comments supporting this project.

We again thank you for your continued support and please know that your SJTR Leadership Team remains fully engaged in support of your trail riding opportunities across public lands.

Regards and Best Wishes – San Juan Trail Riders Board of Directors