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Four A Ridge Rd s(u)

The Douglas Pass Road does not remain on top of the Roan Plateau very long.  But the Four A Ridge Rd does. It makes a perfect vantage point onto Douglas Pass Rd from above, as well as the ridge lines into which the plateau has eroded. But it is a dirt road and in order to make a loop over this point, you really need a mountain bike.

01. (mile00.0,6351ft) START-END: NORTH EAST: Rope Canyon turnoff on northern approach from Rangely to Douglas Pass
02. (mile4.50,8383ft) stay right, but either route will lead to ridge
03. (mile4.75,8381ft) Brushy Point s(u: at this four junction profile contiunes right on Ridge Rd.
04. (mile6.70,7975ft) stay on ridge first road with a somewhat abandoned appearace
05. (mile7.30,7927ft) jeep trail joins from left, stay straight
06. (mile8.40,8227ft) turn hard left, do not go right even if your intuition tells you to. The correct route goes east, then south
07. (mile10.40,8237ft) stay left
08. (mile11.20,8221ft) go left up steep climb
09. (mile14.75,8954ft) HIGH POINT
10. (mile15.50,8904ft) dead end to radio tower is on right, jeep trail is now a good dirt road
11. (mile20.40,8255ft) DOUGLAS PASS TOP, hard top road, turn right to descend back to starting point
12. (mile32.6,6351ft) START-END SOUTH EAST: Rope Canyon turnoff on Douglas Pass Road


From North.
It is possible to isolate this summit into a strictly increasing profile on this side. But the nicest ride really goes along the ridge line on this side, aptly named Ridge Road like many others. And so the profile first goes over the lower Brushy Point summit along Ridge Rd. This track descends steeply and then, near the low point, meets up with two possible tracks coming up from each side of the valley, I tried to follow the one coming up from the north via Trail Creek Canyon from the bottom, but access has been blocked. Here on top the turnoff is visible as an abandoned road. The other track, coming up from Co139, the Douglas Pass road also has an abandoned look to it. It meets Ridge Rd a little earlier

Ridge Road itself appears well used, but not heavily. I never encountered another vehicle. From this low point the track climbs again steeply. The next intersection is important. You have to take a left on BLM1242, and this time there is no Rangely Loop bicycle trail sign to point the way, as there has been so far. This track seems to turn in the wrong direction - east. A smooth roller coaster track through woods and thickets contours around Scare Mountain (8856ft). On its north side are the last excellent views of Cathedral Bluffs before the double track trail takes to the bushes. Much elevation is accumulated but not much is gained. On the south side of the mountain the track becomes more of a regular road and progress becomes much quicker. Now the only thing between here and the summit is an endless seeming procession of short climbs and descends. Finally a metal dome of a transmission facility becomes visible. The highest point is the bump in the road before the turnoff to the dome.

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

From South. (described going down)  In typical western hospitality trespass of the road to the summit of this transmission facility is prohibited by law and prosecution is threatened. All I wanted to do is enjoy the view.

Even though this side is supposed to be downhill, there are several more short climbs, which somehow seem larger than they really are this late in the ride. The road now follows the dividing main ridge of the Roan Plateau with large dropoffs on each side of the road The last descend offers views stretching from a lip shaped Grand Mesa in the distance to the La Sal Mountains in Utah in the other distance, and much closer: all the scenic curves that Douglas Pass has to offer can be juxtaposed together in a single photograph. The last part of Four A Ridge Rd is a wide industrial size dirt road.

The road ends at Douglas Pass, at its exact summit. A sign here labes it as Garfield County Rd 256: Four A Ridge Rd. The profile continues back down the northern approach of Douglas Pass to meet the starting point of the profile.

Dayrides with this point as highest summit:


Four A Ridge Rd s(u) , Brushy Point s(u) : beginning of Rope Canyon Rd > up Rope Canyon > Brushy Point s(u) > Ridge Rd south > BLM1242 around Scare Mountain > Four A Ridge Rd s(u) > Douglas Pass(shp) > Co139 north > back to starting point: 35 miles with 4500ft of climbing in 4.1 hours. (m2:02.xx.xx)

( < Tommy's Draw s(u) | Harper's Corner - Echo Park Rd s(u) > )

Four A Ridge Rd s(u) , Douglas Pass , Brushy Point s(u) : short distance up BLM1056 to Oil Spring Mountain > dwon BLM1056 > Co139 north > CR27 following Douglas Creek east > Brushy Point Draw south > Brushy Point s(u) > Ridge Rd south > BLM1242 around Scare Mountain > Four A Ridge Rd s(u) > Douglas Pass <> out and back down south side with turnaround ~330ft below summit > Co139 north > back to starting point: 53.3miles with 5280ft of climbing in 6:14hrs (garmin etrex30 m5:17.5.28).