The West Mancos Trailhead is located adjacent to the Big Al Trail in the Transfer Recreation Area. The first 1/3 of a mile is shared with the Transfer Trail. The combined trails drop immediately into the West Mancos Canyon via several switchbacks. After approximately 1/3 of a mile, the trail splits, with the West Mancos Trail continuing upstream, and the Transfer Trail heading downstream. Due to the steep nature of the upper portion of this trail, it can be very tricky and even more so in wet conditions. If using this trail in early spring, be aware of the potential for downed trees and the trail sloughing off in places. Be especially careful if you are on horseback.The West Mancos trail continues upstream on the west side of the canyon before dropping down to the West Mancos River level. The trail passes the junction with Owens Basin Trail, and then climbs steeply to Horsefly Flat, an open grassy area. The trail ends at the Sharkstooth Trailhead, which is located near the base of Hesperus and Sharkstooth Peaks.
Starting elevation: 8,900 ft. (Transfer Recreation Area)
Ending elevation: 10,900 ft. (Sharkstooth Trailhead)
Trail length one way: 10 miles
Maps: See Transfer Recreation Area (link above), SJNF map, USGS 7½' maps: Rampart Hills, La Plata
Next to the Big Al Trailhead is the West Mancos and Transfer Trailhead. These trails share one trail for the first ½ mile. The trail immediately drops down into the West Mancos River Canyon via several switchbacks. After about ½ mile the trail splits, with the West Mancos continuing up river, and the Transfer trail heading down river. Due to the steep nature of the upper portion of this trail, it can be very tricky in wet conditions and, if using this trail in early spring, be aware of downed trees and the trail sloughing off in places. Be especially careful if you are on horseback.
The West Mancos Trail continues upstream on the west side of the canyon before dropping to the West Mancos River level, then climbs steeply to Horsefly Flat, an open, grassy area. The trail ends at the Sharkstooth Trailhead, at the base of Hesperus Peak.
Check out the Official Route.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.