Mystery Ditch

One-way Distance: 0.7 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 6010- 6188 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 15 mins.
Trailhead: Sunset Rocks/Elephant Skin
Fee: none
Attractions: Fun singletrack

Mystery Ditch is located in the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation and Wilderness Area near Delta, Colorado. The upper end of the trail begins on a ridge off of the Moon Light Mesa trail. From there it drops down into the valley where it enters a shallow arroyo that it stays in until it once again rejoins the Moon Light Mesa trail. Zipping through the arroyo on a dirt bike or mountain bike makes the Mystery Ditch one of the funnest trails in the area.

This post begins at the lower end of the Mystery Ditch trail. It is funner going in the other direction but the grade is gentle enough that going up it isn't too bad compared to the Moon Light Mesa trail. The lower end of the Mystery Ditch is a short distance from where the Moon Light Mesa trail crosses the Chukar Road enroute to the Sunset Rocks area.

The wash is shallow as the trail enters is from this direction.

It doesn't take long before it is deep enough to seclude you from those on nearby trails as well as from others further up the wash.

The odds of meeting up with someone are pretty low with no more use than the trails in this area normally get. A mountain biker is going to be in the wash less than 15 minutes and a dirt biker less than 5. Hikers should have no trouble hearing any riders that are approaching them.

With high banked corners and a few jumps the Mystery Ditch is a natural speedway.

The wash only lasts about a half mile before the trail runs out of it.

Going in this direction there is a short climb to get on top of the ridge.

The trail comes to an end on a ridge where it meets up again with the Moon Light Mesa trail. The staging area on the Elephant Skin Road is about a half mile to the left from this point. The reason that we were riding the Mystery Ditch trail in the uphill direction was because we had started at the Elephant Skin Road and did a loop by riding up the Chukar Road to the Horse trail and then down the Horse trail to the Moon Light Mesa trail. From there we combined sections of the Moon Light Mesa trail with Mystery Ditch to get back to the Elephant Skin Road. The Mystery Ditch/Moon Light Mesa combo is a much better option that riding back up the Chukar Road. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.