Friday, February 10, 2012

Snowshoe Hiking on the Boggy Draw Trail

The Boggy Draw Trail system doesn’t receive any machine grooming for winter snowshoe hiking or cross country skiing, but the area provides a good winter experience in the tall Ponderosa Pine forest.

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 access road is cleared to a parking area at the trailhead and Forest Road 527 has a closed gate.

 I stayed on Forest Road 527 hiking with snow shoes. On the compacted route 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. I noticed one tree close to the road that was marked with a small sign as a wildlife tree. I’ve noticed a few of these signs in the forest, usually on a dead snag.

I hiked along the Forest Road for about 0:45 minutes and turned around. This segment is mostly an alley through the tall pine forest with a couple of spots with views across meadows. My total hike took 1.5 hours for about 3 miles. It was a 35 F degree early February day. There were several other vehicles in the parking area and I saw several skiers while I was hiking.

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