Divide Forks Trail
High Meadows… Thick Aspen Groves
The segments listed below are in the order we rode them. I suggest you read them in that order as some parts carry over into the next segment.
Please enjoy this interactive map for this segment of the 4 day ride on the Uncompagre Plateau. Each icon represents something significant to the ride.
Have you done this ride? What did you think of it? How about sharing your thoughts on our Visitor Stories page?
We got up early, ate some morning cereal, and started to pack up our backpacks and bags. I decided not to carry quite so much gear or water. I figured I would leave the extra tire, about 3 liters of water, one of my extra tubes (only took one), my extra spokes, chain, bailing wire, first aid kit, water purifier, anvil, and stuffed animal. That is the beauty of this trip… just leave that stuff in my bag and Kevin will haul it to the next hut, which of course was called Hut #2.
Despite a lighter pack I started out kind of sluggish… maybe due to the “great” night’s sleep in Hut #1. I had fallen asleep quite early, but woke up about 2:00 am to head to the outhouse, which was a good 50-yards from the hut. Upon returning I didn’t feel sleepy one bit (I do this at home quite often). I was wound up just thinking what the Divide Forks Trail was going to be like in the day ahead. I grabbed a flashlight and my book and climbed back onto my top-bunk to read. From the snoring I could tell that my flashlight was not keeping the boys awake. I did fall back asleep after an hour or so of reading.
We had to head back down past the corral, through the gate, and back to our last junction from the previous day. We turned left at this junction and headed west. The sky was clear, the air was crisp, a perfect morning. After about 2 miles we turned right onto the Divide Forks Trail.
Divide Forks was a gorgeous ride through grassy fields and aspen groves, with very little climbing. At one point we did have to climb a small hill, completely covered with Aspens.
Once on top of the hill we rounded a corner and came across a large porcupine… right in the middle of the trail. He scurried off after allowing us just seconds to take photos.
Shortly after the porcupine sighting, the trail took us down the back side of the hill. Kevin had warned us about a sudden drop in this stretch. The guys rode right off it (2 feet) and I “wussed out” and carried my bike down. I am still discusted at myself for not doing thast drop! Actually, with the skills (and confidence) I have gained since this ride… I tink I might have just jumped right off the top of the rock.
The bottom of the hill brought on a small creek crossing. Drew and Caleb decided this was a good area to practice their trials skills.
Nate and I watched them as they took several runs at riding down the rocks on a small side creek. They were quite entertaining. After the creek crossing, the Divide Forks Trail gently climbed to Divide Road. We rested and snacked at this junction. Some sort of cattle fence acted as our bike rack.
After riding about 2 miles up Divide Road we turned right on a rutted jeep track and approached another cattle gate.
Approaching the gate from the opposite direction was Kevin. He had just dropped off our bags and food at Hut #2… which sat about 1/2 mile further behind a grove of trees. He asked us how we liked the ride and told us how we could get to another trail if we wanted to ride more that afternoon. All four of us looked at each other and nodded. Dince we were not real tired te idea sounded pretty good.
Hut #2 sat atop a mountain with an incredible westward view of the distant LaSalle Mountains. We ate our M and M’s, nuts, etc. on the porch as we just looked west. We then set out to find the extra trail. We had only ridden 8+ miles and wanted to see this incredible run.
As we sat on Divide Road looking at my GPS three mountain bikers came down the grade and stopped… wanting to know where they were. We told them we were lost too. After some small talk we found out they were French Canadians making the hut-hut trip from Telluride to Moab. They finally went their way… then we went “our” way. Our way included at least 45 minutes hike-a-biking cross-country through the forest undergrowth with no success. We finally decided to follow the GPS back to Hut #2.
The temperature was dropping so we decided we were going to need a fire that night. The only problem was… no firewood! I set off to the East, on foot, where I had seen some dead wood when we came back from our afternoon “ride”. I gathered up a couple of armfuls and started walking back when I saw Nate… riding his $9000 titanium bike… pulling a pile of wood down the road using a rope! And Nate was a very smart guy! I guess desperate times call for desperate measures!
Once we had the wood box stocked, we ate another great meal… Shishkabobs! Then Drew and Caleb challenged Nate and I to a mean game of Washers. It didn’t take long for the “Old Men” to whip the youngsters.
They kept calling me the “Old Pro.” It was nice to be able to gain some respect from the boys… they certainly bettered me when it came to riding the trails (especially the long, steep climbs) and when I walked my bike down the drop.
The sunset was a glorious mixture of blues, grays, oranges, and white as the clouds moved in. I am real proud of my photo of this sunset. Not bad for an amateur photographer.
We really enjoyed the fire and slept well. No waking up and reading that night … that game of washers must have really tired me out!
Click below to see a different part of this trip.
For an overview of the Tabeguache Trip click Tabeguache.