Trail Name: Pinto Mesa Indian Trail
Best Use: Hiking, Birding
Best Time for Use: Late Spring, Summer and Early Fall
Difficulty: Intermediate (combined with the North Fork of the Tabeguache Creek Trail) icon-intermediate Expert as an out and back (due to length, steep climb out of Tabeguache Creek) icon-expert
Length: 16.0 miles (25.8 km) out and back from the trailhead
Start Elevation: 7,234 ft (2,205 m) Maximum Elev Gain and Loss from Start Elev: 810 ft, (247 m) gain – 1,175 ft. (-358 m) loss
Trail Surface and Use: Single track trail. Lightly used.
Trail Head Access: Suitable for high clearance 2WD in good weather or 4WD in poor weather. Extended wet weather will make vehicle access difficult. The trailhead is about 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from the intersection of the Pinto Mesa Rd (W32 Rd) and CO Hwy 25 (Nucla-Delta Rd). The W32 RD/Hwy 25 intersection is about 7 road miles miles (11.3 km) NE of the Town of Nucla.
Trail Head Coordinates: 718,425E; 4,247,815N UTM WGS84 Zone12
Best Feature: A remote mid-elevation canyon with perennial stream. Pinion pine-oakbrush-ponderosa pine dominates along upper slopes.
Cautions: There are steep slopes down to the creek in the first part of the trail, poison ivy can occasionally be found along the stream banks, and the trail can be indistinct in thick streamside vegetation along Tabeguache Creek.


Description: The trail starts on the top of Pinto Mesa, then descends steeply to Tabeguache Creek, follows the creek downhill for a about a mile (1.6 km), then starts up Forty-Seven Creek. It leaves Forty-Seven creek after about 0.3 mi (480 m) and begins to climb the east flank to gently sloping flats. From there continue through mixed forest and burned areas over to the North Folk of the Tabeguache Creek. This trail can be combined with the North Fork of the Tabeguache Creek Trail to make a full day hike, although that will require a vehicle shuttle. It worth noting that the largest elevation change is from the junction of the Tabeguache and Forty-Seven Creeks (6,000 ft/1,829 m) to mile point 6.6/10.6 km (7,989 ft/2,435 m).

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