7 Bridges

Round Trip Distance: 1.9 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 6048 - 6342 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Jumbo Mountain
Fee: none
Attractions: Less used trail

The 7 Bridges trail is located in the Jumbo Mountain Trails System in Paonia, Colorado. The trail begins off of the Jumbo Ridge trail where it travels out along a ridge before dropping into a narrow valley. From there the trail travels around the base of a hill and then climbs back up on the other side to rejoin the Jumbo Ridge trail a short distance from where it initially started out. Enroute it is connected to by the upper end of the Herfendoodle trail.

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.

Measuring from the top of the Jumbo Ridge trail 7 Bridges branches off on the south side of the ridge at the 1.3 mile point. From the bottom of Jumbo Ridge it is just under a mile to the same spot.

As 7 Bridges starts out is wraps around the hill a bit and then travels out along the ridge.

After a short distance the trail drops off the east side of the ridge on a moderate slope to get to the gully below.

At the bottom the trail runs along the side of the hill just above the gully.

As the trail starts coming out of the gully it bumps up against some private property and turns toward the west. There are places through here where the trail is very faint.

The trail ends up coming to what looks like an old road that runs along a fence. From there the trail begins climbing over the shoulder of the hill. At the top of the initial climb the trail branches off on the right. If you aren't paying attention and keeping a close eye out you will miss the spot where the trail leaves the old road.

The rest of the time is spent going around the west side of the mountain and up the drainage. There are several spots where you might have to study the map to figure out the correct route to follow so you don't end up off on some game trail. In this photo you can see one of the trails bridges. We never did notice 7 of them though.

To help keep you amused you might keep an eye out for some remarkable clam fossils. We spotted some on both sides of the ridge. Many of them were broken but a few were complete or near complete specimens.

Near the 1.7 mile point the 7 Bridges trail is met by the end of Herfendoodle.

From that junction the trail turns and begins climbing earnestly back up to Jumbo Ridge.

The 7 Bridges trail reunites with Jumbo Ridge about 130 feet from where it first left it. The top of the Wapity Whip trail begins on the opposite side of the ridge at this same point but also has another spur a little further down Jumbo Ridge where it makes a more gradual start off the ridge. The 7 Bridges trail is a little over 3 miles from the trailhead so it doesn't get a whole lot of visitors. With no signage route finding is also a little tough. That could all change though if the Jumbo Mountain Trails were ever to get some trail markers. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.