Paradox Trail

Last updated
Paradox Trail
Length118 miles
Location Montrose County, Colorado
Trailheads Kokopelli Trail, Colorado;
Tabeguache Trail, Colorado Nucla, CO.
Use Mountain Biking and hiking
Elevation change 9,500 – 4,800 ft.
Highest point Uncompahgre Plateau, 9,500 ft (2,900 m)
Lowest point Dolores River 4,800 ft (1,500 m)
Hiking details
SeasonEarly spring to late fall
SightsHigh desert environments with broad cliff faces, deep arroyos and riparian habitats.
Hazards wilderness characteristics — carry water, food, map and GPS.

The Paradox Trail is located in western Montrose County, Colorado and traverses a route of over 118 miles (190 km) through various terrain. The trail was rerouted 17 miles due to a trespass issue near the Tabeguache area north of Nucla in 2017. [1] The trail links with two other long distant trails in the region, the Tabeguache Trail to the east on the Uncompahgre Plateau and the Kokopelli Trail to the west in the La Sal Mountains of Utah. These three trails together form the "Grand Loop", a grueling 360 mile course.

Montrose County, Colorado County in the United States

Montrose County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 41,276. The county seat is Montrose, for which the county is named.

Uncompahgre Plateau

The Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado is a distinctive large uplift part of the Colorado Plateau. Uncompahgre is a Ute Indian word that describes the water: "Dirty Water" or "Rocks that make Water Red".

Kokopelli Trail

The Kokopelli's Trail is a 142-mile (229 km) multi-use trail in the Western U.S. states of Colorado and Utah. The trail was named in honor of its mythic muse, Kokopelli. The trail was created by the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA) in cooperation with the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (NFS) in 1989.



The 118-mile (190 km) trail was established in 1995 by the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, Montrose West Recreation, the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. [2] Funding for the reroute came from the Telluride Foundation, the Colorado Historical Society, Montrose County and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Trails Grant fund for the 17 mile reroute project bringing the Paradox Trail within a quarter of a mile to the Town of Nucla. . [3]

Bureau of Land Management agency within the United States Department of the Interior

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior responsible for administering public lands. With oversight over 247.3 million acres (1,001,000 km2), it governs one eighth of the country's landmass. President Harry S. Truman created the BLM in 1946 by combining two existing agencies: the General Land Office and the Grazing Service. The agency manages the federal government's nearly 700 million acres (2,800,000 km2) of subsurface mineral estate located beneath federal, state and private lands severed from their surface rights by the Homestead Act of 1862. Most BLM public lands are located in these 12 western states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Route description

Most of the trail is a two-track path that ranges from altitudes of 9,500 feet (2,900 m) on the Uncompahgre Plateau to the lower elevations of 4,800 ft (1,500 m) along the Dolores River. Some areas qualify as single track because of the trail width and there are a least five "hike-a-bike" sections to be negotiated. While there are trail sections that utilize some seasonally graded county roads, much of the Paradox Trail is inaccessible to motorized vehicles although vehicle access points exist at many places. Wildlife such as elk, mountain lions, coyotes and rattlesnakes abound throughout the trail. [2]

Dolores River river in the United States of America

The Dolores River is a tributary of the Colorado River, approximately 241 miles (388 km) long, in the U.S. states of Colorado and Utah. The river drains a rugged and arid region of the Colorado Plateau west of the San Juan Mountains. Its name derives from the Spanish El Rio de Nuestra Señora de Dolores, River of Our Lady of Sorrows. The river was explored and possibly named by Juan Maria Antonio Rivera during a 1765 expedition from Santa Fe.

County highway type of highway

A county highway is a road in the United States and in the Canadian province of Ontario that is designated and/or maintained by the county highway department. Route numbering can be determined by each county alone, by mutual agreement among counties, or by a statewide pattern.

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  1. Renewed Energy the Watch. Jessica Kutz. 29/03/17. Retrieved: 16/05/18
  2. 1 2 "Paradox Trail". Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  3. "Paradox Trail Project". 2011-03-18. Retrieved 2011-09-21.