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Note: Be aware that neither the Gate 5 trailhead nor the "Short & Sweet" route has any directional signage. This is a local “social trail.” Go there with a Boy Scout mindset: be prepared with map, compass, GPS, extra clothing, cell phone, water and whatever else you’ll need to stay safe in the forest.
Directions to Gate 5 (see map at right):
Turn north off highway 160 onto North Pagosa Blvd. Drive 3.7 miles. Look to
your left opposite Mockingbird Place to see the forest entry gate #5.
- Reset your GPS unit as you go through Gate 5.
- Within the first 100 yards, turn left, descend a short hill and cross the drainage. After you go up a short climb on the far side of the drainage, a trail that follows the Martinez Canyon rim should emerge.
- This trail is locally known as the “Boy Scout Trail” and is a wonderful and easily accessible trail to hike or run.
- At mile 1.7 there is a small stream. You can find a way across 20 or 30 yards downstream.
- At mile 2.4 you will intersect another trail (Martinez Spur Trail). If you are directionally challenged or want to make sure your feet stay dry, this may be a good point to turn around and retrace your steps. For those seeking to explore further, turn left at this “Tee” junction and descend the hill.
- At the bottom of the hill you will hit a creek. Go straight along this “Creek Trail” with the creek on your left.
- At mile 2.95 you will cross a small drainage and intersect another trail (Silk Thread). Turn right at this “Tee” junction and follow the drainage.
- At mile 3.8 you will pass a frog pond on your right and will intersect an old jeep road (lower Newt Jack Road – FR 923). Turn right onto this road.
- At mile 4.83 you will arrive back at Gate 5 and your vehicle.
The map below shows the driving route from the Hwy 160 / N. Pagosa Blvd. intersections to the Gate 5 trailhead.
Note: You should be able to manipulate the Google map, below, to zoom in, click and drag, and see different terrain and satellite images.
Note: The trail map below and the route instructions are also attached as PDF files at the bottom of this page so you can print them out and take them with you.