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Lime Mesa Rd.

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:27 am

Lime Mesa Rd.

Postby Eph 2 5 » Sat May 19, 2012 9:28 pm

I'm planning to hike in the Lime Mesa area this summer. Does anyone know how difficult the road is to get to the upper trailhead for the trail to Overlook Pt.? I've got a Forester. I've read that it's easy until 2 miles from the upper trailhead and that even if you can't make it to the upper trailhead there's another trail from the point where the road starts getting rough that connects with the upper trail. However, the lower trail sounds like it's not always very clear so I'd like to make it to the upper trailhead. Thanks for your help.

Posts: 114
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 7:30 am
Location: Arvada, CO

Re: Lime Mesa Rd.

Postby dave alex » Sat May 19, 2012 10:17 pm

Lime Mesa is one of my favorite places to hike. I successfully ascended 13ers Kennedy and Aztec from here 2 years ago, and Overlook Peak in 2008. I intend to return this summer and attempt a long distance day hike of Grizzly and other mountains near Columbine Pass. You can't beat the views of Pigeon and Turret and the unique opportunity to look down on Chicago Basin from the top of Mountain View Crest.

The road up Missionary Ridge from Durango is long with endless switchbacks but is packed dirt - any car can make it. Once you turn towards Henderson Lake, the quality of the road is basically unchanged but just a bit steeper. 2wd cars can easily pass the horse loading parking area and continue up another hill until you reach a big mud puddle ~100 yards before a major switchback.

Plenty of parking and informal camping at this mud puddle. Hike along the road from here but do not continue past the switchback. Instead follow an informal trail/old road terminating on the Mesa above Dollar Lake in less than two miles.

Oddly, the advantage of parking at the mud puddle before the major switchback saves you 1.5 miles of hiking but costs a mere 400 ft of elevation gain as opposed to following the road to the 4wd trailhead. Enjoy this pristine place.

Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:27 am

Re: Lime Mesa Rd.

Postby Eph 2 5 » Sat May 19, 2012 10:51 pm

Thanks, Dave, Alex. That's exactly the info I was looking for. Is the trail that starts beyond the mud puddle a no-brainer to follow? I'll be starting in the dark. I think that's the alternate trail I was reading about. It stays below the Mesa for a while and then joins the other trail on top of the mesa, right? My plan is to summit the overlook, Kennedy, skip Aztec, and possibly try for Florida Mtn. I'm skipping Aztec because the ridge looks a little rough. Would you say it's still class 2? I had a crazy idea to try to make it all the way to Jupiter Mtn., but it's too long and too much vertical for a day hike - I wouldn't be able to beat afternoon thunderstorms. Thanks for the info.

Posts: 114
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 7:30 am
Location: Arvada, CO

Re: Lime Mesa Rd.

Postby dave alex » Sun May 20, 2012 11:49 am

Following the spur trail is not a problem in the dark. I scouted it out the day before and had no problems at 4am the next morning. Ridge from Kennedy to Aztec is nothing more than class 2. The last 50 ft to Aztec's summit is 3rd with the easiest route on the north side. I would drop back down to the mesa and off the Aztec ridge for any additional pursuits.

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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:17 pm
Location: Austin, Tx

Re: Lime Mesa Rd.

Postby PI Joe » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:13 pm

Does anyone have information about the Lime Mesa Trail? It's official northern end is at viewpoint overlooking the Needles Creek drainage but the old topo maps show a trail continuing down to Ruby and Emerald Lake and then on down to Needles Creek. There is no mention of the trail intersecting the Needles Trail that I can find. Has this portion of the trail been abandoned - perhaps due to avalanche damage at some point in th4e past? Has anyone been down that portion of the trail lately? I would assume it is at least open down to Emerald Lake but I would really like to try to connect all the way down to the Needles Trail. It would make a sweet loop trip into Colorado Basin, over Columbine Pass, Trimble Pass, then cross country back to the viewpoint overlooking Ruby Lake again.

Posts: 114
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 7:30 am
Location: Arvada, CO

Re: Lime Mesa Rd.

Postby dave alex » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:15 pm

Sent pm

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