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San Juan National Forest (Near Mancos, CO)(Lots of Pictures)

 
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ladybugranchnm



Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 79
Location: Bloomfield, New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:30 am    Post subject: San Juan National Forest (Near Mancos, CO)(Lots of Pictures) Reply with quote

Well, I finally got to go on a true horse camping trip where we actually rode the horses and experienced some of the back country!

My mom, my best friend and I went up to the San Juan National Forest, just north of Mancos, CO last week (first week of August).

We got rained on three of the four days we were there, but we were able to sneak in rides all four days!

Here's some pictures!

Our camp. My mom brought up her 5th wheel, so we were able to stay dry and warm.




Sunset on the first night, Monday.


On Tuesday, we took a ride on the roads because it was too muddy to try any of the horse trails. We rode from our camp up to the Aspen Loop Trailhead. We didn't go farther because a storm was moving in.


On Wednesday, we trailered the horses up to the Aspen Loop Trailhead, and then rode the trail in about three miles.

The Aspen Loop Trail is 39 miles long and covers -alot- of the San Juan National Forest. It is designed for ATVs, but horses and hikers are allowed on it too. We met several four-wheelers and all of them were very courteous.








We were forced to turn around because a thunderstorm came rumbling through the mountains.


My mom doesn't ride horses, but she does ride four-wheelers, and she rode with us on the Aspen Loop trail. We had a blast with her. She'd ride ahead, or sometimes ride behind us, and the horses were absolutely fine with it. Although, you can see my horse's opinion has about the whole situation, hehe!


When we got back to the trailhead, we saw that the storm that passed over us left snow on Hesparus Peak!


My friend Charlotte on her horse Toby, and me on Amari.


My mom was turning the wheels on the four-wheeler, and the sound fascinated Amari.
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ladybugranchnm



Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 79
Location: Bloomfield, New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On Thursday, we were able to sneak in a ride on the Morrison Trail. The trailhead is on Forest Road 386. There were lots of creek crossings, much the dismay of my horse Amari, but it was a beautiful ride.









This is the "Are you seriously going to make me go in the water?" look.


This is the "Dang, now my feet are wet" look, hehe.


Earlier in the week, Charlotte and I found this trailhead while we were out stretching the horse's legs. I had the grand idea of wanting to see if my horse would get in the water. Well, it turned into a grand adventure, one involving me getting into middle of the creek, and working with her until she got in! But, the work paid off!

On Friday I was invited to go on a ride with some other campers we met up there. Two of them were from Georgia. The couple travels the country, riding horses and playing country music. We rode for about four hours, covering about 10 miles of the Aspen Trail Loop. Charlotte wasn't able to go, her horse was pretty tired by this point. It was an awesome ride, though, and we saw a BEAR!

The bear stood there in the road for a good three or four minutes, then ran off. The horses were unconcerned, I don't think they could smell him from where we were.


The views from the trail were fabulous.


And, while out on the trail, we met up with my dad and brother on their four-wheelers, so I was able to get a picture of the whole gang!


We were invited over Thursday evening to listen to them sing and pick on their guitars.


It was an awesome trip. I wished I could have stayed out there for another month!

Nicole in New Mexico
Ladybug Ranch
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SarahR
Site Admin


Joined: 22 Dec 2007
Posts: 911
Location: Bayfield Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much Nicole for posting all those great pics! It was almost like I was there, too Smile Isn't it neat that that area is (relatively) close? We've gone over there once, and also got the rain. For some reason that area is a rain magnet. My mother in law is visiting and will ride the ATV but not horses, we are thinking of doing something similar for some fun over here.
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www.fourcornerstrails.com
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Sarah@rosehorse.com
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mo qh trail rider



Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Posts: 560
Location: SW Missouri

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicole, those are great pictures! Glad that you had a good time. Cool bear picture! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. What is the name of the place where you camped?
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Elaine
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ladybugranchnm



Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 79
Location: Bloomfield, New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SarahR wrote:
Thanks so much Nicole for posting all those great pics! It was almost like I was there, too Smile Isn't it neat that that area is (relatively) close? We've gone over there once, and also got the rain. For some reason that area is a rain magnet. My mother in law is visiting and will ride the ATV but not horses, we are thinking of doing something similar for some fun over here.


Oh yes! I love that I'm so close to the mountains. It only took about two hours to get up there from my house. My horse's health certificate is good for another three weeks, so I'm thinking of doing some day trips either to that area again, or in the Bayfield area.

My mom loved being able to go with us. And after a while, my horse started considering her part of the herd, and was very alert when the ATV went out of sight, hehe. My mom liked that she could take it slow, and stop to take pictures or rest her hands.

Nicole in New Mexico
Ladybug Ranch
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ladybugranchnm



Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 79
Location: Bloomfield, New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mo qh trail rider wrote:
Nicole, those are great pictures! Glad that you had a good time. Cool bear picture! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. What is the name of the place where you camped?


Thanks! I had such a blast up there.

We camped in a clearing where FR386 Ts into FR560. Directions to that location are as follows:

At the stop light in Mancos, CO, turn North onto Hwy 184. Go 0.3 mile and turn right onto County Road 42 (there is a sign for Jackson Gulch Reservoir). This County Road will turn into Forest Road 561. You will pass the Transfer Campground at around mile 9 (on your right). You will also pass the horse campground on your left, as well as the Chicken Creek Trailhead, also on your left. About 0.5 mile beyond this, the Road Ys. If you steer left, you are now on FR560. Drive a little over 1 mile and FR386 takes off to your left.

We had contemplated staying at the Horse Campground, but there were already several people there, and the place was kinda small and crowded. We were able to really spread out where we camped, and the whole week there were no other campers within our site from the trailer, which made it really nice!

Nicole in New Mexico
Ladybug Ranch
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ricco



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 168
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you had a great trip. What gorgeous place to ride.
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pooperscooper



Joined: 15 Feb 2008
Posts: 184

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like everyone had a great time except for the rain. I bet your horse is quite the character! Laughing Hope you get to go back and ride some more there. Looking forward to some more pictures.
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Lady Luck



Joined: 15 May 2008
Posts: 621
Location: Mo

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So glad you got to go, Nicole! Isnt it great!! All that in your back yard!! We camp one week while we are in Colo with my family, have a nephew with horses who rides with us, rest do fishing and four wheelers. Then we are all together in the evening for a great supper ,campfire and visiting. Great fun and everyone gets to enjoy their own thing. really enjoyed the pix and know you had a blast!!
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Have horses, will trail ride!
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mo qh trail rider



Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Posts: 560
Location: SW Missouri

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Googled Mancos, CO and found this old post. We are heading up to the Mancos area in 12 days and looking forward to trail riding in CO. I know that they have had a lot of rain in CO this spring, so we are hoping it will dry out between now and then.
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Elaine
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let_her_buck



Joined: 23 Aug 2008
Posts: 60
Location: SW Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wish you well on your trip! The weather had cleared here in SW Colo, so the riding is excellent right now.
Even though this site doesn't get much traffic, I look forward to pics and details about your trip.
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LOVEDUFFY



Joined: 04 Apr 2008
Posts: 452
Location: new york

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow that is one nice trial ride and thank you for the pictures they are great Very Happy
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