Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

Haflin Creek Trail, SJNF

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Next time you are looking for a quick and easy shuttle for getting in some technical downhill close to Durango, consider riding Haflin Creek. Even better, bring a chainsaw with you and help cut the four logs that are obstructing the flow of traffic on the trail.

Here's the Haflin Creek Trail on a map.

Here’s the Haflin Creek Trail on a map.

To get there, drive up Florida Road. Take a left onto County Road 249 soon after passing the fire station. Drive up a few miles, and turn up Forest Service Road 071 until you reach the parking lot with the gate right above it.

Park in the parking lot and get your ride ready.

Ride about a mile up the road past the gate, and take a left on the two track road going west and the south. Keep your eyes peeled to the right for the Missionary Ridge trail heading north off to the right of the road after a tenth of a mile.

Take the Missionary Ridge Trail for a half a mile heading north, and you’ll be at top of the Haflin Creek trail where it’s signed.

This is where the super sweet yet savage downhill switchbacks begin. The turns are tight with plenty of rocks and downed trees to snake around and over.

This is the parking lot on Forest Service Road 071 above Durango Hills where you will park if you're going to ride Haflin Creek Trail.

This is the parking lot on Forest Service Road 071 above Durango Hills where you will park if you’re going to ride Haflin Creek Trail.

The trail descends several natural steps of rock further down the trail for those wanting a challenge with dire ragdoll tumbling consequences for those that fall the wrong direction.

In total, there’s probably a good four and a half miles of downhill with epic views and tight traversing single track with fist-clenching slopes to navigate across.

This is the gate above Durango Hills by the parking lot on Forest Service Rd 071.

This is the locked gate above Durango Hills by the parking lot on Forest Service Rd 071.

Take a left onto the road where my bike is in this picture.

Take a left onto the road where my bike is in this picture.

After you ride about a tenth to a quarter of a mile, you will see the Missionary Ridge trail cutting off to the right. It's in front of my buddy in this picture.

After you ride about a tenth to a quarter of a mile, you will see the Missionary Ridge trail cutting off to the right. It’s in front of my buddy in this picture.

You're going up the Missionary Ridge Trail for a half a mile.

You’re going up the Missionary Ridge Trail for a half a mile.

You'll have to get off and hike over two trees across the trail. 5/11/13.

You’ll have to get off and hike over two trees across the trail. 5/11/13.

This is the trail head for Haflin Creek-- You're at the top!

This is the trail head for Haflin Creek– You’re at the top!

Haflin Creek Trail starts about a mile and a half up the hill from the parking lot above Durango Hills.

Haflin Creek Trail starts about a mile and a half up the hill from the parking lot above Durango Hills.

Looking up the Missionary Ridge Trail, you see this. Photo courtesy of Brian Schoff.

Looking up the Missionary Ridge Trail, you see this. Photo courtesy of Brian Schoff.

Photo courtesy of Brian Schoff.

Photo courtesy of Brian Schoff.

This forest atop Missionary Ridge was nuked in the Missionary Ridge Fire.

This forest atop Missionary Ridge was nuked in the Missionary Ridge Fire. Photo courtesy of Brian Schoff.

If you clean this switchback you're psyched.

If you clean this switchback you’re psyched.

Eventually you come to some killer freeride obstacles.

Eventually you come to some killer freeride obstacles. Photo courtesy of Brian Schoff.

Who the hell is that?

Who the hell is that? Photo courtesy of Brian Schoff.

This trail takes a lot of work to keep clean due to dead trees constantly falling across it.

This trail takes a lot of work to keep clean due to dead trees constantly falling across it.

Plenty of aspens taking root up here.

Plenty of aspens taking root up here.

I love this trail.

I love this trail.

View from Haflin Creek Trail. Photo courtesy of Brian Schoff.

View from Haflin Creek Trail. Photo courtesy of Brian Schoff.

This stair case is a lot of fun. If you tumble down the steep slope off to rider's left, you're in deep shit.

This stair case is a lot of fun. If you tumble down the steep slope off to rider’s left, you’re in deep shit.

You've gotta love the sandstone with hues of orange and red in it towards the lower half of the trail.

You’ve gotta love the sandstone with hues of orange and red in it towards the lower half of this trail.

This is my buddy Brian Schoff. He's loves riding over challenging rocky terrain.

This is my buddy Brian Schoff. He’s loves riding over challenging rocky terrain.

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