Big Dominguez and Little Dominguez Loop

HARD 7 reviews

Big Dominguez and Little Dominguez Loop is a 40.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Whitewater, Colorado and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 40.9 miles Elevation Gain: 4,783 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

bird watching

over grown

off trail

NOTE: This includes off trail and potential stream crossings. Roughly miles 25-32 are all trail finding or downright following the GPS. There is no water between the campground at the end of Big Dominguez and the “camp 2” marker around mile 32, so make sure you have enough.

hiking
off trail
scramble
3 months ago

Did this loop solo and was unnerved by the amount of off trail hiking and steep descent scrambling. Miles roughly 25-32 are all trail finding or downright following the GPS. Keep your phone charged! There is no water between the campground at the end of Big Dominguez and the “camp 2” marker around mile 32, so make sure you have enough. This is def not a moderate hike, I would 100% rate this as a hard trail. Four gentlemen I met out there had to call search and rescue to help them get out, they ran out of water and got rimmed out, I’m guessing around the “down” marker because that’s when the two miles of steep scrambling begins. Also I had to jump the creek that ran trough Little Dominguez Canyon multiple times, the final crossing around mile 38 is particularly wide( at least a 6ft jump). The creek was up to the handle of my trekking pole in all areas and moving far to fast to step into. Bring trekking poles and tough shoes as there are a ton of cactuses through some sections. I just want you to have an idea of what lies ahead, because the views are spectacular! Be careful and enjoy this beautiful area.

backpacking
no shade
over grown
4 months ago

There is so little information on this trail on the internet. Please read before considering to do this for yourself. In a nutshell, I did this trail from April 17th - April 19th. It took me 2.5 days to complete. I was looking for a good backpacking trip to do solo that wasn't covered in snow and everywhere closer to Denver is too high of a elevation. Everything about this trip was excellent, but this gets 3 stars all because of mile 31. Mile 31 is not safe and I would NOT recommend this whole trail because of it. However, you might be able to get around it going a different way. I used the map on AllTrails and this link as my two resources. https://gotaltitudesite.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/backpacking-the-dominguez-escalante-loop/ Day 0 - 1 Mile Anxious about my first backpacking trip ever and doing too many miles I attempted to get in a night earlier so I had some buffer. I started at 7PM and there were a three or four small campsites (that were marked) within the first mile (but not after!) I stopped at the first one because I was anxious about camping after dark. Day 1 - 15 miles It was my goal to make it to the Dominguez campground by the end of the day. I wasn't really paying attention but I don't really think there were many other places to camp mile 16. Maybe there are a few places to stealth camp from mile 14 - 16. But if you make it that far you might as well go the full 16. The trail is not marked but is pretty easy to follow. Every half mile or so I realized I didn't know where the trail was and had to open up the map. My first time using Alltrails, I was impressed how well it got me back on the trail. At mile 16 there is a large campsite, with a bathroom. Also, I was under the impression there was very little water throughout the 16 miles. There was plenty of water throughout. But I might have come in a less dry season. I highly recommend a sawyer squeeze over chemical because the water is visibly dirty and I would be uneasy about using a chemical. The filter however worked well. There is a river by the campsite. This is not a destination hike, in that you are in a beautiful canyon all throughout the hike rather than working your way to one nice view. Also as a miscellaneous note: I don't think bear activity is a concern - that's what the ranger I called beforehand told me. I put my food in a tree (didn't have rope) every night. Also, another miscellaneous note: this campground has the only bathroom on the entire loop. I saw one map that said you were not allowed to poop in the woods and had to pack everything out. Just keep that in mind. Sorry if this loses me some trail respect, but I took one dump in the woods (buried everything) but I don't think I was allowed to do this. I tried to pick a more wet ground (not near water source of course) so that it would decompose better. Day 2 - 16 miles I walked mile 16 to mile 24 without a hitch. I don't think there is much reliable water in this 8 mile stretch. You are no longer in the Big Dominguez but in Wagon park. This trail is extremely easy to follow - just double check the map at any fork. Miles 16 - 20 were mostly uphill - some nice views. There was some snow and it got muddy for these miles which was minor considering the muddiness ended rather quickly. Take in the views as you go because there is no view at the highest point of the trip. But there are plenty of views as you go along. Mile 20 - 24 are nice easy coasting downhill. There's a fork here somewhere that I think you should not follow the map on Alltrails. If you want to avoid mile 31 you need to go a different way and I think it's somewhere around here. At mile 24 there is 8 miles to go without water. I would recommend carrying at least 3 liters of water. There is a small pond that is slightly off the trail at mile 24 that you need to camel up on. Mile 24 there is a fork in the road and you would expect to go left, but the map clearly has you go right. This is the Bar X trailhead (although you will see no signs saying this). You have to go past a sign that says "ADMINISTRATIVE USE ONLY". That scared me but I did it anyway. Then a mile later, I came up to a wired gate with no obvious way to get around it. So I just slipped through it, feeling nervous. Not sure if I was supposed to do that. There was a fair amount of bushwacking and the trail became extremely faint and you will have to get used to that for the next 4 miles or so. I kept getting slightly lost but the Alltrails map was easy enough to follow. At mile 28, I considered stopping, but it was only 2pm and I wanted to get to the "DOWN" part of the map on mile 31, not knowing what it would be like. It would difficult, but not impossible to find places to stealth camp along here. Mile 28, 29, 30 were fine but then there was absolutely no trail. I went from checking the map every half mile to walking with my phone continuously on to help me navigate. Finally, I got to mile 31 and I was relieved. This wasn't too bad. I ha

recorded Petroglyphs

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017

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