One-way Distance: 1.4 miles
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 6090 - 6969 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Eagle Road
The Spike trail is located in the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area near Delta, Colorado. The singletrack trail begins off of the Eagle Road near its junction with the Sidewinder and Eagle Valley trails. From there it follows a wash for a short distance before climbing out and continuing up the mountain to where it comes to an end at the Red Rocks/Nighthorse trail on a ridge overlooking the Gunnison Gorge and the Chukar trail. By itself the Spike trail is 1.4 miles long but the nearest trailhead is 1.5 miles away so at a minimum it will be a 3 mile round trip adventure.
For this post we are beginning at the Eagle Road Staging Area. The easiest way to get there is to drive east from Olathe on the Falcon Road. When the pavement ends continue straight on the gravel road. As the gravel road passes the Peach Valley Staging Area and campground it becomes the Peach Valley Road. Stay left at the point where the Chukar Road branches off on the right and continue another quarter mile to the parking area.
From the parking area follow the Eagle Road up and over the mountain. The first half mile of the Eagle Road is a narrow double track. It is open to ATV's but closed to jeeps. Near the half mile point it is met by the Wave Road connector. From there is climbs on over the hill and then drops down into a small valley. At the 1.6 mile point the Eagle Road is connected to by the Sidewinder trail on the left and the Eagle Valley trail on the right. Continue following the Eagle Road past this intersection and on up the wash.
In less than 100 yards from the intersection the Eagle Road passes the start of the Spike trail.
The Spike trail continues up the wash as it departs from the Eagle Road.
After a little more than a tenth of a mile the Spike trail climbs out of the wash on the right.
Once out of the wash it begins working its way up the mountain.
An occasional rocky ledge adds to the difficulty of the ascent.
Ledges like these are common in the Gunnison Gorge area where the soil erodes from beneath the layers of sandstone until gravity causes them to break off in rectangular slabs sometimes exposing fossils and in some places even dinosaur tracks.
After the initial steep climb the mountain becomes more rounded and the ledges become fewer.
The higher up the mountain the trail gets the more trees there are for it to course around.