Herfendoodle

Rating: 
One-way Distance: 1.7 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 5854 - 6160 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Jumbo Mountain
Fee: none
Attractions: Solitude




Herfendoodle is part of the Jumbo Mountain Trails System in Paonia, Colorado. The lower end of the trail begins at the end of Bang Zoom where it starts out traveling along the southern border of the trails system. After passing a junction with the Cactus Cutoff the trail works its way through a deep wash and up to the Powerline Road. From there it continues parallel to the boundary and eventually kisses up against the Jumbo Ridge trail. The trail gets more difficult as it descends from a ridge and works its way up a drainage until it meets up with the 7 Bridges trail and comes to an end. There are about 4 spur trails that connect the Herfendoodle and Jumbo Ridge trails that provide optional routes along the way.


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.


Hefendoodle begins at the end of the Bang Zoom trail where there is also a short trail that connects to Horseshoe Ridge.


Herfendoodle starts out as an easy roll across the sagebrush flats.


After going a little more than a quarter mile it passes the spot where the Cactus Cutoff trail branches off on the left.


The trail remains pretty easy until it comes to a deep wash where at present a missing bridge necessitates a portage if you are on a mountain bike.


Once the trail gets up out of the wash it becomes easy again and continues paralleling the boundary as it crosses the Powerline Road where it is met by the lower end of the Wapiti Whip trail.


The next junction that comes up is with the end of the Jumbo Ridge trail. Some maps show this trail as the Wapity Whip Connector.


At the next junction the Herfendoodle trail kisses up against Jumbo Ridge and gets a little confusing. The path for Herfendoodle that is getting the most wear takes a middle fork where after awhile it climbs up to Jumbo Ridge and comes to an end. The main route which is the one on the map stays to the right and is more obscure. A short distance down the trail to the right there is a small cairn.


As the trail continues there are a few places where it gets a little faint and there is even another connector that comes up where the main trail stays to the right.


There is a spot that can be confusing where the trail is traveling along a ridge and as it is coming to a point it is easy to miss where the correct trail cuts off on the left and begins descending into the drainage on the east side of the ridge. If you miss the turn and continue out onto the point there is a fence with a No Trespassing sign that comes up within a hundred feet or so.


The trail kinda wears on as it works its way across one hill after another while traveling in and out of small washes along the way. Some of what we found to be tedious was probably due to having no reassurances whether we were  following the correct route.


Eventually Herfendoodle meets up with the 7 Bridges trail and comes to an end. From here it is about a quarter mile on up the 7 Bridges trail to Jumbo Ridge. We saw a few elk and deer while we were doing Herfendoodle. It was during hunting season and none of them seemed interested in posing for a picture. While we were enjoying the trail we couldn't help but imagine how pretty it must be during the late spring and summer months when everything is still green. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.