Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mavericks Trail at Boggy Draw

The Mavericks Trail is part of the Boggy Draw Trail System in the San Juan National Forest about 3 miles west of Dolores in southwest Colorado.

The Boggy Trail, Bean Canyon Trail, Mavericks Trail, and an ATV trail all begin from the same trailhead at the point where County Road W becomes Forest Road 527. There is also an outer loop trail called the Italian Canyon Trail that is an option off the Mavericks Trail.

I started this hike by walking north along the east side of the Boggy Draw loop until arriving at the clearly marked Mavericks trail connection, and then followed the loop clockwise. Going this way I missed seeing the north connection of the Italian Canyon Trail, which is unsigned and inconspicuous. The south connection is clearly marked.

The forest in this area is dominated by open park like Ponderosa Pine with an under story of Gambel Oak. The trails are mostly smooth and soft and mostly in the shade of the tall pines.

The hiking and biking experience here is deep forest without many views of the nearby mountains. It's the kind of place where you throw your head back and gaze up at the tall green pines against the blue sky, listen to the breeze and sniff the fresh pine scent.

There are some constructed ponds to support the grazing activities. The ponds increase the variety of birds that might be seen.
There are also some meadow areas, sometimes with some wildflowers. The Mavericks Loop is about a five mile walk and it took me 2:30 hours. The Mavericks Trail loop ends unmarked back at the main Boggy Draw Trail Head on the east side of the Forest Road 527. There were a few mountain bikers along the trail during my hike.

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