Mailbox Cutoff

Round Trip Distance: 3.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 8678 - 8785 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: FR #404.1B/Massey Trail
Fee: none
Attractions: Multi-use forest trail

The Mailbox Cutoff trail is located in the Plateau Division of the Uncompahgre National Forest near Grand Junction, Colorado. The trail begins at the end of Forest Road #404.1B and extends for 1.6 miles to where it connects with the Mailbox trail and comes to an end. The Mailbox Cutoff trail is open to OHV's that are 50" or less in width.

To get to where the trail begins follow Highway 141 toward Gateway for 14.2 miles from its junction with Highway 50 near the town of Whitewater. Turn left onto the Divide Road and follow it for 15.5 miles and turn right onto the Uranium Road. Continue for another 4 miles where Forest Road 404.1B begins on the left side of the road. Follow FR #404.1B for just under 1 mile to the green gate in this photo where there is a trailhead sign for the Mailbox Cutoff trail. The Massey Branch trail begins off of FR #404.1B less than a quarter mile before this spot.

The trail starts out across an open area as it heads south.

Before it has gone much over a quarter mile it passes through a trail squeeze that limits the width of OHV's to 50 inches or less.

There is very little elevation change for most of the trail.

Most of the trails surface is hard packed dirt. A little slickrock and loose rocks pop up in a few places.

For a trail that is so obvious and easy to follow it seems to have a lot of trail markers.

As the trail nears its other end it descends a small hill that takes it down to the Mailbox branch of the Blue Creek drainage.

After crossing a stream the Mailbox Cutoff trail comes to an end. From here it is a little less than a mile going to the left to the Divide Road and about 3 miles going to the right to the lower end of the Massey Branch and another mile past that to the end of the Mailbox trail where it meets up with Leonard's Ridge and the Blue Creek trails.

According to the trail signs the Mailbox Cutoff trail begins a hundred yards or so from the Massey Branch trail. The various maps that we have show it beginning at the same intersection as the Massey Branch. We made our map so that it matches the other maps and not the location of the signs. On a nice summer day it is hard to find a place that is much more pleasant to hike than on the Uncompahgre Plateau. The Mailbox Cutoff is one of the easiest trails for which to enjoy it. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.