Slanty Bridge

Rating: 
One-way Distance: 2.6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 6043 - 6220 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Elephant Skin Staging Area
Fee: none
Attractions: Fun singletrack




The Slanty Bridge trail is located in the Gunnison Gorge National Recreation Area and Wilderness near Delta, Colorado. The trail stretches for 2.6 miles between the Elephant's Leg and Moonlight Mesa trails, crossing adobe badlands and traveling through various branches of the Loutsenhizer Arroyo, where it crosses at least 4 different wooden bridges, one of which does indeed have a noticeable slant to it.


We are starting this post from the southern end of the Slanty Bridge trail where it departs off of the Elephant's Leg trail. This spot is about a quarter mile from the Elephant Skin Road.


Elephant's Leg is a ridge route so Slanty Bridge starts out with a nice downhill run.


The trail levels off after dropping down the ridge and continues along an easy route that takes it around the base of a hill. Just past the quarter mile point the Badlands trail branches off on the left.


As the trail continues it pops in and out of several smaller washes and then makes a bigger drop into the Loutsenhizer Arroyo where it is met by the Z Ditch trail right before crossing a long wooden bridge which is followed by a moderate climb that takes it back up to higher ground.


Once on higher ground again the trail levels off somewhat and lines up with an old fence.


When the old fence runs out the trail turns a little and makes a few dippity-dos as it finds more washes to cross.


A couple of the washes are a lot deeper than some of the others and have steeper drop ins that are followed by steeper climb outs.


The bridge with the slant to it is crossing over the Loutsenhizer irrigation ditch.


Just before the 1.5 mile point the Slanty Bridge trail briefly kisses up with the Elephant Skin Road.


The trail continues working its way around hills and washes until at one point there is a short spur that leads to a small trailhead along the Elephant Skin Road. There is a branch of the Red Rocks trail across the Elephant Skin Road that opens up more options for other routes.


Slanty Bridge eventually meets up with the Moonlight Mesa trail and comes to an end. From here the right fork leads to the Elephant Skin Staging Area trailhead a short distance away.


The parking area at the Elephant Skin Staging Area has a lot of room for horse and OHV trailers. The roads in the area are open to ATV's and side-by-sides but pretty much all of the trails are limited to dirt bikes, mountain bikes, horses and hiking. There are plenty of awesome roads and trails though for everyone to have plenty of fun. For singletrack traffic the Slanty Bridge trail is a nice alternative route to the Elephant Skin Road. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.