the wandering chick
...Echo Basin Road and Ranch
and the Big Al Trail
Echo Basin Ranch and RV Park

A friend I met recently at Pleasant Harbor RV Resort in Arizona, when we found out we were leaving to go in the same general direction, told me about the Echo Basin Ranch. It's a horse ranch slash RV park. It not only houses horses, but also provides scenic grounds and catering for weddings. It has some 100 slots for full hookup RVs of all sizes as well as cabins. Ocassionally concerts are held at an amphitheater on the grounds.

Echo Basin Ranch is located just east of Mancos, three-and-a-half miles off highway 160 at the end of the less-traveled, secluded Echo Basin Road.

I was greatly impressed, not only with the heavily wooded state park feel of the ranch, but with Echo Basin Road itself. It's easily within travel distance to both Durango and Mesa Verde National Park, and the Mancos State Park and Transfer Recreation Area are practically in its backyard.

What a find! Thank you, my friend.

Echo Basin Ranch and RV Park, Rainbow Lake
Echo Basin Ranch and RV Park
Rainbow Lake, just behind the cabins, is on the ranch grounds.
On Echo Basin Road
horse at Echo Basin Ranch and RV Park
One of half a dozen horses currently housed at Echo Basin
I stopped often coming and going on Echo Basin Road to take pictures; it's a very scenic and quiet road, about three miles long, lots of horse pastures.
On Echo Basin Road
On Echo Basin Road
horses running in pasture, Echo Basin Road
horses running in pasture, Echo Basin Road
horses running in pasture, Echo Basin Road
horses running in pasture, Echo Basin Road
On one particular day, a group of horses, one of each color, was running back and forth across a small pasture. They were within viewing distance of the road, so I just stopped and watched the show, clicking away with my camera.
horses running in pasture, Echo Basin Road
horses running in pasture, Echo Basin Road
horses running in pasture, Echo Basin Road
horses running in pasture, Echo Basin Road
Big Al Trail of aspens
horses running in pasture, Echo Basin Road
Sweet. That best describes the Big Al Trail. Just outside the town of Mancos on a dirt road leading to the Transfer Recreatioin Area is a wonderfully easy one mile RT hiking trail through a grove of aspens. The trail ends at a large deck that overlooks the West Mancos Canyon and the La Plata Mountains. Yellow and purple wildflowers were out while we there, adding to the beauty.
Big Al Trail of aspens
Big Al Trail of aspens
Big Al Trail of aspens
Big Al Trail of aspens
Big Al Trail of aspens
Big Al Trail of aspens
Big Al Trail of aspens
The Big Al Trail is named for Al Lorentzen, a local Forest Service worker. While fighting a forest fire in Yellowstone Natl Park in 1988 he was injured by a falling tree, disabling him. The trail is a tribute to all who are disabled.
Big Al Trail of aspens
Big Al Trail of aspens
Big Al Trail of aspens
Big Al Trail of aspens
Big Al Trail of aspens
Big Al Trail of aspens
Big Al Trail of aspens

To view more pictures of my Colorado summer, please return to the Colorado home page.

Or, you may want to view some locations below.

The end of the trail. Overlooking the West Mancos Canyon.

I have made full-circle aroond this gorgeous state of Colorado and am now ending up where I started out...Echo Basin Dude Ranch. Sadly, it's closing down for the winter in a few days, so I'm not able to stay as long as I'd like. But I did go back to a few of the places I visited before and enjoyed them with the fall colors. Hope you do, too.

the dude ranch pasture

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The horse's pasture in autumn light
horse's pasture
horse's pasture
rainbow over the dude ranch
horses
A good, hard rain resulted in this full rainbow.
horses
horses
horse closeup
horse's eye
squirrel on tree
horse closeup
One of our more active visitors, the Abert's squirrel (also called the tassel-eared squirrel)
Echo Basin Road
Echo Basin Road
Big Al Trail with fall colors
barn on Echo Basin Road
The Big Al Trail in the fall held a different beauty than it did in the spring.
Big Al Trail with fall colors
Big Al Trail with fall colors
Mt. Hesperus
Mt. Hesperus
Unobstructed views can be found of Mount Hesperus and its range not only from the end of the Big Al Trail, but also from the road leading to the trail.
Big Al Trail with fall colors
Mt. Hesperus
Big Al Trail with fall colors
Big Al Trail with fall colors
Big Al Trail with fall colors
Big Al Trail with fall colors
Big Al Trail with fall colors
sunset at Echo Basin Ranch
cows on Echo Basin Rd
cows on Echo Basin Rd
Sunset at Echo Basin Ranch
cows on Echo Basin Rd
Echo Basin Road is approximately three miles of twists and curves lined with farms and ranches, old barns and loose animals. One particular farm catches my eye each time I pass it. On my last day in the area, the cows were out, silhouetted by the sun's position, and I couldn't resist stopping to snap a few pictures. I've included some of them here.
cows on Echo Basin Rd
cows on Echo Basin Rd
cows on Echo Basin Rd
cows on Echo Basin Rd
cows on Echo Basin Rd