Calico, Upper/North (208)

Calico trail is comprised of two sections: Upper or North Calico (208) and Lower or South Calico (211).  The southernly portion is referred to as the Lower Calico trail (211) of the trail is accessed via the Priest Gulch Trailhead and is 12 miles long.  The northerly portion is referred to as the Upper Calico trail (208) and is 6.7 miles long.  This portion is part of the National Recreation Trail (NRT) system. 

Beginning at the Calico Trailhead (Upper/North Calico 208) the single-track trail makes its way over and around several peaks, as well as fairly long stretches of narrow ridgelines. The view to the north includes 14,149’ El Diente Peak, which is within the Lizard Head Wilderness. The trail winds through a forest of spruce and fir as it follows the divide between the Dolores and West Dolores Rivers, climbing at an average grade of 8% to 11,866’ Papoose Peak.  The Upper/North portion of the Calico NRT ends at the junction with West Fall Creek Trail (640) where the Lower/ South portion of the Calico trail comes in.  From this junction you can loop back to the Calico Trailhead via the West Fall Creek trail (640) and Winter trail (202), or continue on to the Priest Gulch Trailhead via the Lower/South Calico trail. 

Additional access: Other trails along Highway 145 also provide access to the Calico Trail - Section House (200), School House (660), Tenderfoot (644), Wildcat (207) Burnett (422 to 641), and Horse Creek (423 to 626) are a few.  Other trails along (Hwy 38/FS 535) include access as well - Johnny Bull (639), Stoner Mesa (624).

Please note, while these trails afford some spectacular views, be aware of frequent afternoon thundershower activities, which are common in late July and August. 

Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Length: 6.7 mi – one way
Beginning Elevation: 10,276’
Ending Elevation: 12,016’
Seasonal Use: Motorcycles are permitted 6/1-10/31

At a Glance

Usage: Medium
Restrictions: Motorcycles/Motorbikes including e-bikes are only allowed 6/1-10/31  
Closest Towns: Dolores, CO
Information Center: Dolores Ranger District

General Information


From the Dolores Public Lands Office on Hwy 184 turn right onto Hwy 145 N heading into the town of Dolores.  Continue 44.7 miles to the 2nd entrance to Dunton Road (Rd 38/FS 535).  Turn left and continue 4.2 miles to (FS 471) Eagle Creek Road.  The Calico North Trailhead (208) is approx. 1 mile. Drive time to trailhead is 1.5 hrs.


10 parking spaces, 3 pull through horse trailer parking spaces, hitching posts


Mountain Biking

Day Hiking


Horse Riding

OHV Trail Riding

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
6.7 miles

  Elevation : 
10,276’ - 12,016’