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West Mancos Trail #621 - 1 member in 1 triplog has rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Aug 28 2021
ShatteredArm
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 Guides 5
 Routes 132
 Photos 585
 Triplogs 151

38 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Hesperus MountainSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Run/Jog avatar Aug 28 2021
ShatteredArm
Run/Jog14.13 Miles 4,351 AEG
Run/Jog14.13 Miles   6 Hrs   21 Mns   2.29 mph
4,351 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
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1st trip
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Thought this one would be fun since it's one of the Navajo sacred peaks. The "standard" route is only ~5 miles RT, and I needed more miles, so I started all the way over off the Echo Basin loop road, at the end of FR566A, which is also the start of the Golconda Trail 173. This trail is an old road that is now only legal for vehicles up to 55" wide.

Foot was hurting a little on the jog down to Trail 183 (Owens Connector Trail), so I was a bit worried. 183, along with West Mancos Trail, are legal for motorcycles. West Mancos Trail was nice, and it was early enough in the morning that the motorcycle crowd was still asleep...

At about 4.5 miles the trail was heading up, and I saw a couple who had left the trail, so I thought this must be the area to start heading up. Once I got to a clearing, I could see the ridge - the scree slope, along with the "grassy slope" I had heard about. I decided to shoot for that, since I like traction. The going wasn't too tough in the lower sections; I mostly followed clearings whenever possible. After about half a mile off trail, it started getting really steep - climbed about 1,000 feet in about half a mile. Gaining the ridgeline was a relief.

Once on the ridge, the route was obvious. There was *maybe* one spot that could've been easy class 3, for the most part it was just hiking on loose scree and talus. After a couple of false summits I made it to the top, and took in the view for a few minutes.

Went back down to where I had gained the ridge, and saw the couple from earlier heading back down. I guess they decided to only do the hard part... I decided at this point to just follow the ridge all the way down, which was really nice until I hit the trees. This it was slower going, but nothing terrible. A couple times I ran across cairns, so I think at one point the entire ridge must have been a more popular route...

I was relieved to be back on trail, and only ran into one group of motorcycles on West Mancos trail. Took a little detour on the way back to the Golconda site, then back up the old road to the gate.
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average hiking speed 2.29 mph

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.

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