Clark’s Cutoff Trail
Photo Courtesy of John Geronimo
Part of the Road Apple Trails System.
Clark’s Cut Off was an old trail that the BLM has recently put back into use. This trail has very fast sections with a combination of single and doubletrack flowing in and out of the Pinion/Junipers. Keep your head up and pay attention though this trail is very well marked. To access the trail with ease, start on Kinsey and travel north. Go about three-quarters of a mile from the trailhead. Past the first road crossing, go up the hill, through the yellow post and cable, and the intersection will be on your left heading west. This is the original intersection. Cross the road, and follow the trail markers through the doubletrack to the first section of singletrack and downhill. The trail will wind down the ridge to the first feature. At this time, you can take the easy left line through the bypass, or hit it straight and commit to the first rock drop. This drop is only about 18 inches high, so commit and lean back. This is a very fast section down the hill through the trees. Be careful when dropping into the first wash crossing because you are going very fast and have to thread the needle through the trees. Cross the road, another large wash crossing, and the trail cuts off to the left through one more little wash. Stay straight through two road crossings, pay attention, and follow the markers back onto a section of doubletrack. When you reach the bottom of the hill at the end of the doubletrack, turn hard right into the trees and through a large wash crossing. This is a very mellow climb through the trees up to the next fast section of doubletrack. After blasting down the doubletrack, when the trail begins to start uphill, you’ll turn left (south). Head uphill and turn into the trees. This section is still very soft. Turn right onto packed doubletrack, and then left in the direction of Mood Swings when you reach the large road east of an oilfield location. About 100 feet before you get to Mood Swings, a small section of singletrack will cut off to the right into the trees to the ridge. This section is doubletrack and pretty loose with large river rocks. Travel down the fast, flowing ridge with awesome views, but pay attention. The ridge will end when the trail turns right and begins to head downhill. This will take you right into the last feature of the trail. One more small ledge drop, immediately into a hard left turn, through a rocky section, and stay left to connect to a major road. Travel uphill toward Hood Mesa Trail. –MtbProject Description
Road Apple Trail is rolling singletrack, which starts on top of Kinsey Ridge. To the southeast, you can see the Navajo Reservoir and beyond, while to the north, you have an amazing view of the La Plata Peaks. This trail is so good, Ned Overend says it is his favorite trail!
Map & Directions
Map Coordinates: 36.799121, -108.156258
Where's the Trailhead?
dIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD
From 9th Street and Main Avenue in Durango, head west on 9th Street toward Camino Del Rio. Turn right to stay on Highway 550 and continue for 31 miles and continue onto NE Aztec Blvd. Continue onto NM-516. Turn right onto Pinion Hills Blvd. Turn right onto College Blvd. Turn right once more onto Hood Mesa Trail and a parking area will be to your left.
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