San Juan Loop

One-way Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 7008 - 7020 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Time: 15 mins.
Trailhead: Dennis Weaver
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic views

The San Juan Loop is a short trail that is located in the Dennis Weaver Memorial Park near Ridgway, Colorado. The trail begins at the end of the Stagecoach trail where it travels around the edge of the mesa overlooking the Uncompahgre River. It comes to an end at a junction with the Eagle Alley and Cimarron Loop trails. A loop can be formed by following the Cimarron Loop trail back to the top of the Stagecoach trail.

To get to the beginning of the San Juan Loop follow the Stagecoach trail from the parking area for just under a quarter mile.

Just past the trail sign look for a trail that branches off on the right where you can pick up the San Juan Loop.

The trail starts out heading toward the edge of the mesa.

From here there are nice views of the Uncompahgre River just below the hill. Off in the distance you can see Cimarron Ridge where notable features such as Chimney Rock, Courthouse Mountain (12,152 ft.) and Coxcomb Peak (13,656 ft.) tower above the rest. The closer hillside on the left, just across Highway 550, is the location of the RAT-Ridgway Area Trail System of hiking and mountain biking trails.

The ground beneath the trail is composed of a mountain of river rock. It has just enough dirt covering it to keep it from getting too bumpy.

If you look directly across the valley at the opposite hill in this picture you can see a clearing in the trees where there is a gravel pit. That area has the same type of rocks below the surface of the ground as there is here. Since this is now part of the Dennis Weaver Memorial Park it will probably never become a gravel pit.

As the trail turns away from the river and towards Boot Hill it finds some pinyon trees to course through.

The trail comes to an end as the San Juan Loop meets up with Eagle Alley and the Cimarron Loop. If we would have gone around the San Juan Loop in the other direction we would have had the San Juan Mountains to admire along the way. Following the Cimarron Loop to the left back to the beginning of the San Juan Loop trail would also put the mountains in full view. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.