One-way Distance: 8.7 miles
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 7939 - 9561 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr. 45 mins.
Trailhead: Transfer Rd. & 508.3E
Attractions: Scenic canyon view
Tabeguache (TAB-a-watch) is a 150 mile long trail that has one end in Grand Junction, Colorado and the other end in Montrose. This post covers the Transfer Road Section of the trail beginning at the point where the Dry Canyon/Shavano Section ends and ending at the point where the Pool Creek Section begins.
The Dry Canyon Section of the Tabeguache trail, which begins in Montrose and is the first leg if riding from south to north, comes to an end at the Transfer Road. The Transfer Road begins in the town of Olathe and ends on the Uncompahgre Plateau at the Divide Road. To get to this spot from Olathe follow Highway 348 west for about 3 miles and turn left onto 5600 Road. Follow it to Holly Road where you make a sharp right and after a half mile or so turn left onto the Transfer Road. The total distance to this spot from Olathe is about 18 miles. The road is normally passable in regular clearance 2-wheel drive vehicles.
The Transfer Road is lightly graveled and this part of it is fairly smooth.
The elevation profile shows how it is all uphill going from the Dry Canyon to the Pool Creek section. Even with the uphill climb this is still probably the easiest section of the Tabeguache trail.
The road starts out with tall ponderosa pines lining both sides of it. At the 1 mile point it crosses a cattleguard where the trees give way to sagebrush and oakbrush.
After crossing the cattleguard the road comes right next to the rim of Roubideau Canyon where there are several good overlooks.
It never hurts when there is nice scenery to enjoy.
Just past the 3.5 mile point the road crosses another cattleguard and begins a long, long straight stretch that takes it through the Roubideau Ranch where for the most part both sides of the road are private property. The climb gets a lot steeper on the distant hill.
At the 5.6 mile point the Roubideau trail branches off on the right. This trail drops down into Roubideau Canyon and climbs back out the other side where it is met once again by the Tabeguache trail and even followed for a short distance. The Tabeguache trail is going to take the long way around the head of the canyon and avoid the deep rugged part it would have to deal with if it crossed at this point.
The long straight stretch ends and as the curves come back the road buries itself once again in the tall dark forest.
Near the 8 mile point the road passes a natural gas riser and at the 8.7 mile point the Transfer Road Section comes to an end and the Pool Creek Section begins. The Parallel trail and a set of powerlines cross the Transfer Road at this point.