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The Telegraph Trail System (& Horse Gulch Trails) The Telegraph Trail System, which can include access along Horse Gulch, is located in the hills in the South Eastern portion of Durango Colorado.  Its close proximity to town and multiple trailhead entry points make it a very popular place for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy hiking and mountain biking. The diversity of the terrain and amount of trails available to choose from will provide something for everyone.  Steep climbs and technical trails with jumps-n-bumps reside all along the Raider Ridge side to the west and also offer great views onto Fort Lewis College.  Need to get your climb on?  Try some of the loops like Mikes Trail or Telegraph to Anasazi Descent.  If you like swoopy single track downhill head over to Sidewinder or the Cowboy Trail (watch for uphill traffic) the whole area is just epic fun!!!  If you are new to mountain biking or hiking there are plenty of mellow meadow loops that start from 3rd street at the Horse Gulch trailhead.   Cruise up Horse Gulch road and then you can take your pick of several less steep single tracks like the aptly named Meadow Loop and Cuchillo. The trail gets year round use with cross country skiing available in the winter depending on how much snow there is.  Look for winter conditions to exist from late November into March with heaviest snowfall generally occurring February into March. Summer activities can generally begin late March and run through early November. Midsummer in Horse Gulch can be HOT! Bring adequate water and maybe time your activity for the morning or late evening and as always, use common sense. A word about mud. The clay in the soil (especially on the southern trail system) turns into industrial strength grease mixed with concrete and glue which becomes active after a good rain. Recommend staying on the dry portions to avoid getting gummed up and causing damage to the trail. Use local weather updates to plan your trip and make your event more enjoyable. Horse Gulch shows on some maps as a "road" but it is more of a double track trail with motorized traffic limited to authorized vehicles only. Parking for day use is usually adequate at the 3rd street and Sale Barn trailheads but try to avoid taking up spaces allocated for local businesses or even better just ride there since it's so close. Horse Gulch and the surrounding trail system are well maintained, close to town, easy to access, offers great terrain and an epic place to ride and hike.  Be respectful of other users, pass a smile along and enjoy one of the best local trails in Durango Colorado! Here the detailed maps of the Telegraph system have been divided into North and South halves.  The Northern section includes major trails of the Horse Gulch road, this section is fondly referred to by many of the locals as the Horse Gulch trail system.  The northern section starts right on the southeast side of town, starting at the Horse Gulch Trailhead.  The Southern section of Telegraph is much less compacted and further from town, including 3 main trail heads:  (1) Carbon Junction, (2) Big Canyon, and (3) Sales Barn.  Please browse through our interactive maps here for further information and pictures along the trails.  There are even print-friendly versions of some of the maps that include directions to the trailheads!
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