7.7 miles
1,909 feet

dog friendly



horseback riding

nature trips





over grown

11 months ago

To access the trailhead go to mile marker 42.7 om hiway 145, about 3 miles south of Rico. On the east side of the road is a nondescript dirt road entry. Go 0.2 miles up the road to an obvious wood trail marker for "Ryman Creek Tr #735".
The first mile of this loop trail is quite pleasant and has a vertical rise of about 300'. It ascends through a beautiful valley adjacent to the creek.
At one mile in you'll come to a trail bifurcation for either Upper Ryman trail or Lower Ryman trail #734. We chose Upper Ryman trail as we wanted to do the "climbing" part of the hike first. Well, we were not disappointed!! For the next 3 miles it's nothing but up on a severely eroded trail that lacks switch backs and flat goes straight up the mountain. The 3 mile grunt had us topping out with another 1,500' vertical. However, what a beautiful hike through coniferous and Aspen forest.
We knew we had topped out when we came upon another wooden sign saying " Lower Ryman Trail 734". It was very confusing what trail the sign was referencing as the Upper Ryman trail, which is well worn, continued on past the sign steadily gaining more altitude. We were using the AllTrails app on our iPhone and it pointed us down the hill BEHIND the sign, even though there is no distinct trail here unlike the Upper Ryman trail. We saw several rock cairns down the hill so we took the apps advice and headed down the hill.
As we made our way down the hill the lower Ryman trail occasionally appeared, so we kept on tract with the AllTrails app. The next 2 miles of descent were basically bushwhacking since the trail was severely overgrown with flora, a testament to the very wet spring and summer in this area. We were fortunate in that several horse back riders had been through the area and had trampled down the vegetation and had left horse poop "cairns" to mark the path. The forest and vegetation were very thick towards the lower part of the trail near the creek so it was slow going but manageable.
After the 2 miles of bushwhacking the trails finally emerged and we were headed back to the trail bifurcation.
This is a difficult hike but very worth it. We saw absolutely no one else the whole time we were out there, unlike in Durango where we had to share the trails with multitudes of other hikers, loose dogs, and mountain bikers!
Alltrails app was awesome in keeping us on the trail and kept us from getting lost! Highly recommend it! In that vein if you decide to do the Lower Ryman trail first the AllTrails app will be instrumental in guiding you the the junction with the Upper Ryman trail.
We hiked for 5 hours for 8.1 mile round trip on this beautiful, secluded loop trail with about 1,850' of total vertical gain. Don't miss it, you will really enjoy it. Cheers.