The West Bench Trail #501 begins at the information sign and travels southward where it crosses a wooden bridge over Mesa Creek. It intersects a natural road and heads northwest parrelling the road. When the road ends the trail goes back to a single track and intersects a fenceline. After passing through a rock slide and crossing a stream bed it enters an open meadow and then into aspen and spruce/fir. It continues on through meadows and spruce/fir forests, crossing a stream several times before ending at the forest boundary information sign.
Because the western trailhead for the West Bench Trail ends at the forest boundary on West Bench below the rim of the Grand Mesa, and cannot be accessed through public land, it is recommended that trail users access this trail from its eastern trailhead near the Mesa Lakes Ranger Station.
For more detailed description on trail, see trail ROG's
At a Glance
The Eastern Trailhead is across form Mesa Lakes Ranger Station.
The West Bench Trail ends at the forest boundary about 1 mile to the east of FDR #103, the access road to the Rapid Creek Reservoirs. This trailhead can be accessed by travelling south from the town of Mesa on Highway 65 to its junction with the Lands End Road. Turn right onto the Lands End Road (FDR #100) and travel west to the Lands End Observatory. At the Lands End Observatory the road splits. Turn onto the right fork FDR #105 (the Old Lands End Road) and travel north and east about 2 miles to the intersection of FDR #105 and FDR #103. Turn left (north) onto FDR #103 and travel approximately 1.5 miles to a big bend in the road along the north rim of the Grand Mesa. At this location the West Bench Trail intersects with FDR #103. Because this intersection is located on private property, the actual western trailhead for the West Bench Trail is located about 1 mile to the southeast of this location, just below the rim of the Grand Mesa.