Plumbers Crack

One-way Distance: 1.1 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 5946 - 6128 feet
Cellphone: 1-3 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Jumbo Mtn.
Fee: none
Attractions: Fun singletrack

Plumbers Crack is one of the Jumbo Mountain Trails located in Paonia, Colorado. The singletrack trail stretches for a little over a mile between the Pipeline Road and the Wapiti Whip trail. Along the way it connects with the Ridge of Doom, Bang Zoom, The Plunge, Zip-N-Out, Desolation Ridge, Rock-N-Roll and has a crossing by Wapiti Whip near the 3/4 mile point.

To get to the trailhead head east on 3rd Street in Paonia and turn left onto Rio Grande Avenue. Follow Rio Grande as it crosses the creek and turns into Pan American Avenue and begins climbing the hill. The trailhead is at the end of Pan American Avenue. There is only room for a handful of vehicles to park at the trailhead but there is additional parking at the bottom of the hill at the Apple Valley Park where there is also a restroom.

The most common route to get to the Plumbers Crack trail is to come up Sweet Shady. The trails meet up on the Powerline Road at a saddle in the ridge.

Our map shows this route starting out as the Ridge of Doom trail for the first 180 feet before coming to where Plumbers Crack branches off. There aren't any trail signs at present so stay to the right at the first fork that comes up and be sure to carry a map until you become familiar with the trails.

For the most part Plumbers Crack is a nice smooth dirt track without much in the way of rocks or tree roots.

Before traveling 400 feet from the Ridge of Doom trail Plumbers Crack passes the point where the Bang Zoom trail branches off on the right.

Immediately after the Bang Zoom junction the trail makes a big dip into a gully where a bridge awaits.

The trail works its way through the trees and over a ridge and at the half mile point it passes the spot where Zip-N-Out branches off on the right.

A few feet past that junction on the left side of the trail is where The Plunge trail makes its connection. There are several other spurs that lead to The Plunge trail that branch off of Plumbers Crack both before and after this point. We hiked the different spurs but didn't add them to the map.

Right around the 3/4 mile point there is a 5-way intersection where the Wapiti Whip trail cuts across Plumbers Crack. Right in the middle of 2 of the forks is the Desolation Ridge trail. Out of all these trails Plumbers Crack is the much preferred uphill route.

The next fork that comes up is about a tenth of a mile later where the Rock-N-Roll trail branches off on the left. Rock-N-Roll is a very popular return route.

There is another bridge that comes up that is longer than the others and that spans a gully that is also deeper. Fortunately, like other bridges in the area, it is very sturdy and well anchored.

Plumbers Crack comes to an end when it reaches Wapiti Whip. In case you were wondering, wapiti is another word for elk, as in 'elk whip' and as you can see we misspelled it in the photos. Most mountain bikers go to the left at this point and ride down Rock-N-Roll or Desolation Ridge or just follow Wapiti Whip back down to the Pipeline Road. We did see someone that went to the right which climbs on up to Jumbo Ridge. Lots of trails with lots of options. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.