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Segment 6: Nucla To Durango


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Segment 6: Nucla To Durango

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norwood - colorado

Segment 6: Nucla to Durango Photo
18th of November
Descent -20196
High 12431
Length 195.3
Low 5870
Ascent 20862
Weather 58° Sunny

Trail Difficulty: blue

A route from the desert through the San Juan Mountains on dirt roads, 4x4 tracks, and classic alpine singletrack.

Bikepacking: The Plateau Passage

Temperatures will reach 58° today, with Sunny. Weather conditions this week are expected to range between 50° with Showers to 63° with Sunny over the next 5 days. It doesn't look like there's any substantial snow forecasted this week with air temperatures ranging between 50° - 63° over the next 5 days.


The end of the Plateau Passage is not far away, but a few stunning, tall, and jagged mountain ranges stand between Nucla and Durango. Segment 6 begins with a 4,000-foot climb to the crest of the Uncompahgre Plateau on a mix of more Paradox Trail singletrack, gravel roads, and 4x4 tracks. Once on the crest, the gravel Divide Road brings riders southeast toward the mighty San Juan Mountains. A brief descent to near the town of Ridgeway runs along the base of the Sneffels Range, and nestled at the base of these craggy peaks is the amazing mountain singletrack of the Dallas Trail. At the east end of the trail is the little town of Ouray, deep in one of the scenic valleys that earned this area the nickname of the American Alps. Ouray offers basic resupply options, restaurants, and lodging. Beyond Ouray, more steep climbing awaits. It begins with a few miles on the scenic Highway 550 before aiming toward the sky and Engineer Pass on rough, busy 4x4 roads. Just before Engineer Pass proper, the route turns south and descends a steadily-improving gravel road to the old mining community of Silverton. Then the climbing resumes. Pavement leads to dirt road leads to a 4x4 track leads to an old pack trail climbing to the summit of Rolling Mountain Pass at over 12,000 feet above sea level, the high point of the Plateau Passage. More singletrack follows, including the well-known Engineer Mountain Trail descent near Purgatory Resort. A short dirt road climb leads to the ~20-mile-long Hermosa Creek Trail, and from the south end of that trail, there is a mere 20 miles of pavement to reach Durango, the end of Segment 6 and the eastern terminus of the Plateau Passage. Really ambitious riders may opt to begin the Colorado Trail in Durango and continue another 485 miles to Denver through the heart of the Colorado Rockies. But wrapping up the 1,200+ miles of the Plateau Passage will stand as in incredible accomplishment in and of itself.

Weather Forecast

576 FXUS65 KGJT 170538 AFDGJT Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Grand Junction CO 1038 PM MST Sat Nov 16 2019 .SHORT TERM...(Tonight through Sunday night) Issued at 129 PM MST Sat Nov 16 2019 A weak surface front and trough aloft will pass over the northern CO mountains tonight. Enough moisture will affect the western aspects of the Continental Divide to produce light snow accumulations, generally less than an inch. Some cold air will filter into northern and central CO to cool the high temperatures Sunday a few degrees. Sunday will see the ridge attempt to rebound back over the area but it will get pressured back to the south as a minor upper disturbance and jet max travel through the strong northwesterly flow aloft Sunday night. .LONG TERM...(Monday through Saturday) Issued at 129 PM MST Sat Nov 16 2019 The ridge will build back of the western states Monday and Tuesday in response to the digging trough along the west coast. So Monday and Tuesday will return to warmer than normal. Tuesday night the scenario that has been projected for the last few days should start coming together. A strong trough will move onshore over the Pacific Northwest which will split over northern CA and the western Great Basin. The southern component of the split will form a closed low over southern CA Wednesday morning which will help the cutoff low over the Baja open up and be drawn north and east. The remnant of this feature will spread clouds and precipitation over southeast UT and southwest CO Wednesday morning which will spread across the rest of the area Wednesday afternoon and night. The models continue to show significantly different solutions Thursday through Friday. The GFS opens the big southwestern low quickly and lifts it northeast and over ...

Area River Conditions

USGS Gauge Streamflow Gauge Height Elevation
Gunnison River Near Grand Junction, Co.
4500 cfs 6 ft 4642 ft
Dolores River Near Bedrock, Co.
259 cfs 4 ft 4913 ft
San Miguel River At Uravan, Co.
1020 cfs 5 ft 5005 ft
San Miguel River At Brooks Bridge Near Nucla Co
723 cfs 4 ft 5572 ft
Dolores River At Dolores, Co.
1550 cfs 5 ft 6941 ft
Lost Canyon Creek Near Dolores, C0.
129 cfs 5 ft 7030 ft

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Segment 6: Nucla to Durango Map Location

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Nearby Camping


Weather Ahead

Area Snowpack Conditions

-1" snowpack, 58 miles away
Columbus Basin
0" snowpack, 62 miles away
1" snowpack, 56 miles away
Scotch Creek
0" snowpack, 51 miles away
Black Mesa
1" snowpack, 37 miles away
El Diente Peak
1" snowpack, 44 miles away