Monday, January 10, 2011

Boggy Draw Trails in Winter

The Boggy Draw Trail System is in the San Juan National Forest about 3 miles west of Dolores in southwest Colorado. The trails are nested loops centered on Forest Road 527, an extension of County Road W. The central loop is known as the Boggy Draw Trail.

The Boggy Draw Trails are open to bikes, horses, and hikers and cross country skiers and the special and very long Boggy Draw OHV Trail is open for motorized use. The access road is cleared to a parking area at the trailhead and Forest Road 527 has a closed gate. There are several options from the trail head area including both sides of the Boggy Draw Loop, the OHV Trail, Forest Road 527, and connections to the Bean Canyon Trail and Mavericks Trail not very far.

 I stayed on Forest Road 527 hiking with snow shoes. A snowmobile track made the walking relatively easy. Off of the compacted trail my steps were sinking in about 9 inches. The forest in this area is tall Ponderosa Pines with an understory of Gambel Oak. There aren’t many view points or specific points of interest that a snow shoe hiker could reach here, but on a blue sky day the green of the pines and the white of the deep snow make this a good outdoor experience.

I hiked for about 1.5 miles to the junction with Forest Road 527B in 0:45 minutes and turned around there. There is a small constructed pond at the junction. My total hike took 1.5 hours for about 3 miles. It was a 26 F degree early January day. There were five other vehicles in the parking area but I didn’t see any others while I was hiking.

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