To embark on this adventurous ride, start by taking Hwy 145 north from Cortez for about 10 miles until you reach Dolores. Make a left onto 11th St (which becomes CR 31), drive around 3 miles, and turn right onto Road W. Travel east for approximately one mile, cross the cattle guard, and you'll find the parking lot on the left.
Commence the ride on Road W for about 0.2 miles before dropping into the singletrack on the right. If you haven't already, it's recommended to pick up a "Big Loop" map at a local bike shop for the full experience. Note that the trailhead map has scale issues and can be misleading; use it cautiously.
This loop is well-liked for many reasons:
For those who've ridden it, the trail seems to be a hidden gem in the Boggy Draw network. The consensus is that it's an intermediate-level trail that most will find both challenging and enjoyable. While some bemoan the uphill climb out of the canyon, many find this aspect more than manageable. The "Big Loop" is especially recommended as a final-day ride if you've tackled trails like Phil's World earlier.Despite its intermediate label, the loop can be tricky. The Italian Canyon Loop, accessed from the east leg of the Mavericks Loop, confuses even seasoned riders due to its complex twists and turns. However, for those who stick with it, the ride proves rewarding.Wife loved it. Husband approved. The loop is a must-ride for couples, groups, and solo cyclists alike. If you're a less-than-gonzo rider or a mountain bike learner, this trail offers a perfect balance between challenge and fun.
All said and done, the "Big Loop" in Dolores' Boggy Draw area stands as a versatile, exhilarating ride that appeals to cyclists of varied expertise. Its 9-mile length packs in a plethora of experiences and challenges, set against the backdrop of stunning natural beauty. Whether you're new to mountain biking or an experienced rider, this trail is not to be overlooked.