Gunnison County, Colorado
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Nearby Towns: Gunnison, Montrose
Nearby Trails: Blue Mesa Cutoff, Owl Creek Pass, Sapinero Mesa
Trail Length: 26.74 miles
Elevation: 8,215 to 11,465 feet
This scenic trail connects Highway 50 with Highway 149, making a nice bridge between the Blue Mesa Reservoir and Lake City. Though a lot of the area is privately owned, it offers some amazing scenery.
The trail starts after Highway 50 turns south, just west of the reservoir. There is a line of mailboxes at the trailhead for the many residents near the north end of the trail. This is the Arrowhead development, and it is also home to the Inn at Arrowhead, a cozy bed and breakfast. You will pass all of these things at the north end of the trail, and you will probably see other vehicles. This is a busy area.
Once you've passed the residential area, you follow various forks of the Blue Creek to the top of the Alpine Plateau, a huge mesa.
At the far south end of the mesa, you pass the Alpine Trail hiking trailhead and you start down to get off of the mesa. The trail here is full of switchbacks as you descend. It is the roughest part of the trail, but it should not require 4-wheel drive. The trail turns east at this point.
It soon ends at Highway 149 after coming down the last hill. There is a bit of room at the trailhead here. Turn left to go back up to Highway 50 or turn right to go to Lake City.
Information last updated on September 13th, 2008.
From Gunnison, take Highway 50 west past the Blue Mesa Reservoir. The highway turns south and you will find the trail on Alpine Plateau Road to the left, 34 miles from Main Street and Tomichi Avenue in Gunnison.
Meet at the Conoco gas station on Tomichi Avenue in Gunnison.