Ridge of Doom

Rating: 
One-way Distance: 1.3 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 6019 - 6835 feet
Cellphone: 2-4 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Jumbo Mountain
Fee: none
Attractions: Good downhill




The Ridge of Doom is one of the Jumbo Mountain Trails in Paonia, Colorado. The upper end of the trail begins in the middle of the Grassy Knoll overlooking the Jumbo Mountain Trail System. From there it travels down a ridgeline for 1.3 miles until it meets up with the Powerline Road and comes to an end.


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.


We were hiking when we took the photos for this post so we began at the bottom of the Ridge of Doom trail where it meets up with the Powerline Road and ties in with Sweet Shady.


Before traveling 200 feet the Ridge of Doom and Plumbers Crack trails depart and go their separate ways.


Immediately the trail starts up a steep hogback and begins climbing the ridge.


The climb briefly moderates at the top of the first hogback where the rest of the route up to the Grassy Knoll comes into view.


The elevation profile for the trail shows how the 814 feet of elevation change looks. The trail has an average grade of 13 percent.


The trail remains right on, or close to, the crown of the ridge for its entire length.


At the 0.8 mile point The Plunge trail departs on the right. Currently there aren't any trail markers that show where the spot is and without a map and GPS it is very easy to miss.


The nice thing about most of the steep parts is that there aren't a lot of loose rocks. Most of the trail is nice smooth adobe clay and as long as it is dry it is usually easy to get good footing.


The climb moderates as it finishes up where it travels around the north side of an area known as the Toilet Bowl. The Ridge of Doom comes to an end in the middle of the Grassy Knoll where the Jumbo Ridge trail begins.


This is the view from the Grassy Knoll looking back down the ridge. It's easy to see how such a long flowing downhill run would be appealing to a mountain biker or a hiker or a trail runner as far as that goes. This was our second trip up to the Grassy Knoll on the day that we took these photos. From here we headed down Jumbo Ridge and then back to the trailhead by using various segments of other trails. The Ridge of Doom has a few short stretches of trail that are pretty steep but nothing as forbidding as the trails name might imply. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.