Location & Directions
Turkey Flats Trail is located 20 miles South-West from Grand Junction in Grand Mesa National Forest.
To get to the trail drive on the Monument road into the Colorado National Monument and up the switchback to the top of the hill (total distance from S. Broadway is about 7 miles) then turn left on D S Road. Continue 5.7 miles to Glade Park Store then turn left. Continue on 16 5/10 which later turns into a twisty dirt road. Stay on main path and eventually you’ll enter Grand Mesa National Forest. Continue further until you see primitive camping spot on the right and Turkey Flats trail sign in the trees on the left. Total distance from Glade Park Store to the trail head is 10.7 miles. Below is corresponding GPS track.
Length: Depending on configuration up to 15.5 Miles.
Layout: Turkey Flats trail together with other sections discussed here makes a lollipop: out-and-back trail with two loops in the middle.
Surface: Mostly black dirt with some loose sand patches. The dirt is a kind that is made of decomposing vegetation and doesn’t stick too bad. There are numerous creek crossings, the bigger ones have primitive bridges.
Technical Difficulty: Beginner with several intermediate sections. There are some bumpy stretches of climbing with roots and rocks sticking out. Reservoir #1 has several exciting features and long screaming downhill through the forest.
Aerobic Difficulty: Intermediate. The trail has long uphill sections but the grade is not punishing. Most of the climbing (about 850 ft) is done in first 3 miles between the trail head and junction with Ridge.
Navigation: The trail is very well defined and has signs at each intersection. Going down the double track from reservoir #1 it is easy to miss the turn to the Turkey Flats single track on the left. There are no one-way sections or recommended route. For starters try following route:
- Up Turkey Flats
- Right to Haypress
- Right on the Ridge to outlook and back
- Optionally Black Pine reservoir for extra credit
- Down to Reservoir #1
- Double track back to Turkey Flats single track
- Up Turkey Flats single track to junction with Haypress
- Screaming downhill through the forest back to the trail head
Some riders may find Black Pine reservoir loop unexciting with quite rugged single track and long double track uphill section. There are plans to re-route some of it. You may want to skip this loop if you feel tired or running out of daylight.
Dangers: TURKEYS! They’re vicious. They come out of nowhere and… Seriously though, there isn’t much on Turkey Flats trail to ruin your day. Just come when it’s dry with enough time to get back to car before it gets dark. Bring water and food, be prepared for weather changes. Watch for fallen trees on the trail and rocks hiding in the grass next to it. Keep in mind the significant distance to the hospital and unreliable cellphone coverage.
Bike: Bring whatever you usually ride, anything will do – all-mountain, single speed, hard tail, rigid etc. Given unlimited choice I’d go with light cross-country bike that has some suspension on it.
Crowds: Most likely you’ll have the place to yourself. Depending on the season and day of week you may run into some trail runners, horseback riders or fellow mountain bikers, but not often enough to spoil the ride.
The area offers many camping opportunities in dedicated camping grounds as well as in the wild. Premium spots may be taken but there are plenty of options.
The riding season at Glade Park is short, but sweet. Higher elevation makes it a perfect escape from the heat of the summer. Typically Turkey Flats trail is dry enough to ride for several month in summer and fall. If it recently rained then give it a week or so to become ride-able again. The mud is not too sticky but it is in abundance.
As of today I don’t know of any more single track in that neck of the woods. The GPS track below should allow you to enjoy the ride and get safely back.
Please post your questions and notes about Turkey Flats Trail in comments section: