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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
25th of February
Descent -20196
High 12431
Length 195.3
Low 5870
Ascent 20862
Weather 42° 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 42° today, with Sunny. Weather conditions this week are expected to range between 35° with Sunny to 53° 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 35° - 53° 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

000 FXUS65 KGJT 240514 AFDGJT Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Grand Junction CO 1014 PM MST Sun Feb 23 2020 .SHORT TERM...(Tonight through Monday night) Issued at 226 PM MST Sun Feb 23 2020 The current storm system is slowly moving east across southeastern Colorado at this time. Wraparound moisture continues across the forecast area with the focus shifting south along the Interstate 70 corridor and the remainder of southwestern Colorado. Precipitation will become less widespread later this afternoon with activity diminishing this evening. Impacts have been limited with the afternoon heating so have gone ahead and cancelled all remaining winter weather highlights. However, light additional accumulations are possible. A lull in the precipitation is expected overnight ahead of the next shortwave which will drop across the area. This system will usher in much colder air late tonight and tomorrow with light snow returning to the northern and central mountains of western Colorado. This system is moisture- limited, but expect low snow densities to inflate snow totals. Snow will continue into Tuesday, but expect rates to be below thresholds for winter weather highlights at this time. Temperatures will be running below normal through the short term period. .LONG TERM...(Tuesday through Sunday) Issued at 226 PM MST Sun Feb 23 2020 Cold northwest flow will continue over the region with light snow continuing over the northern and central mountains through Tuesday. Elsewhere, expect partly cloudy skies and cold conditions. Snow will end with partial clearing by Tuesday night with cold overnight temperatures. Dry conditions will continue on Wednesday ahead of another weak disturbance which will impact the northern and central mountains with another round of light snow Wednesday night through Thursday. By Friday, a ridge of high pressure will build over the western US and move east during the weekend ...

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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