ACCESS AREAS

Hike, Bike & Horse

These trails are open to hike, bike, and horseback ride. MERA is unique in this approach to not segregate uses. The different user groups appreciate that we all have more to gain working together.  Please respect your fellow recreationist and let’s be an example of how this works. Review the suggested routes for your user group to help ensure a positive experience. Be sure to utilize the map application on your device which has GPS function to track your location giving you the confidence to explore. Be safe and enjoy the trail.

 

There is also a corridor providing limited motorized access through the eastern half of MERA. This corridor and trails east of the rim are seasonally closed from October 1 to March 31, to motorized use. This area is the winter range to a large number of elk native to the valley.

Once the snow falls, cross-country skis and snow shoes can be enjoyed throughout the park.

Non-Motorized Recreation Preferred Routes:

All non-motorized preferred routes begin at Owsley Canyon Trailhead

 

Hiking/ Running

Trail 600 Archer Lane 1 mile one way, 2 miles out and back

A great option for those who want to walk shoulder to shoulder or push a stroller is trail 600 Archer Lane.  Trail access is located at the north end of Owsley Canyon Trailhead, white gate. This is the primary double track from Owsley TH to the gated private property.

 

Trail 700 Red Apple 2.4 miles & Trail 710 Rock Garden 1.3 miles, total 3.5 miles

The natural starting point for those new to MERA is the singletrack trail 700 Red Apple, a loop that is good in any direction. Hiking it counter clockwise might help by keeping other uses such as bikes coming at you, better ridden clockwise on bike. If you want to add a little distance then include trail 710 Rock Garden to the loop.

 

Trail 724 MERA Loop 7.5 miles

If you are looking for a longer hike then try trail 724 MERA Loop, shaped more like a lasso.  Begin by heading north onto trail 700 Red Apple, clockwise from Owsley, red gate. At intersection 1 continue north onto trail 724 MERA Loop. At intersection 3 the loop splits. Hiking the loop is great in either direction.  The typical flow of the trail is used in the clockwise direction. The loop is generally a contour trail taking you out the north end of MERA and back.

 

With these few recommended hikes under your belt you will have a better feel for MERA and the lay of the land giving you the confidence to explore more.

 

Trail runners may prefer the double track 600-699, no traffic and more consistent elevation changes. Run like the wind blows!

Mountain Biking

Trail 600 Archer Lane 1 mile one way, 2 miles out and back

Just learning to ride, not interested in challenge or singletrack? Trail access is located at the north end of Owsley Canyon Trailhead, white gate. This is the primary double track from Owsley TH to the gated private property.

 

Trail 700 Red Apple 2.4 miles & Trail 710 Rock Garden 1.3 miles, total 3.5 miles

Ready for a taste of singletrack? The natural starting point for those new to MERA is trail 700, Red Apple loop is best ridden clockwise. This is a popular route for hikers and horses so be prepared to greet your fellow trail enthusiasts who may be new to the outdoors. If you want to add a little distance then include 710 Rock Garden to the loop.

 

Trail 724 MERA Loop 7.5 miles

Red Apple no problem? You are ready for trail 724 MERA Loop, shaped more like a lasso. Begin by heading north on trail 700 Red Apple, clockwise from Owsley, red gate. At intersection 1 continue north onto trail 724 MERA Loop. At intersection 3 the loop splits. Riding the loop is great in either direction.  The typical flow of the trail is used in the clockwise direction. The loop is generally a contour trail taking you out the north end of MERA. If you want to add on a popular addition then include trail 755 Sasquatch, best ridden counter clockwise from intersection 7. Continue onto trail 750 Ricochet, best ridden downhill west to east, be ready for jumps and berms. Ricochet crosses the upper leg of MERA Loop and ends onto the lower leg that will take you back to the trailhead.

 

Mt Emily Road to top of Trail 716 Caffeine 4.5 miles

Looking for some elevation and want to cut to the chase? Go back out to the gravel road and go up Mt Emily Road to the top of trail 716 Caffeine, intersection 22.

 

Trail 716 Caffeine 3 miles, is a downhillers delight with a little bit of everything.  At intersection 5, head south on MERA Loop to trail 745 Whoopsy Doo for bermed corners, rollers, jumps, and fun.  Continue south on the MERA Loop and if you want to keep dropping elevation get on the newly built trail 738 Pebbles that takes you to the Upper Igo Trailhead. That is a fun downhill session all linked together, almost 1000 feet of descent. Take trail 725 Lower Hotshot up to the MERA Loop and back to Owsley Canyon TH.

 

If you are not interested in riding the road and want a trail experience then find your way to intersection 4 on the MERA Loop. From here there are basically two trail routes up to intersection 22. One way is to go up trail 716 Caffeine from the MERA Loop intersection 5,  a great way to sweat. The other route is still being pieced together with the top needing some help. From intersection 4 head up trail 765 Slammer and onto trail 775 Depends to the blue gate at intersection 23.  Get onto 202 Mt Emily Road and proceed up to the top of Caffeine at intersection 22.

 

Another fun downhill from intersection 22 is to take trail 789 Doing time. Doing Time splits off from Caffeine about 4 corners down from Mt Emily Road. Be ready for berms, drops, and jumps. Tie into trail 765 Slammer to return back to Owsley TH via trail 725 Upper Hotshot and 600 Archer Lane.

 

Horseback Riding

 

For those who don’t mind riding in the wet weather of spring and fall, please use the trails numbered 600-699. These are the double track log hauling routes; some of them have been rocked and can withstand all season use.  These routes are more easily maintained by road machines. The native soil singletrack trails have sensitive areas that are easily damaged in wet saturated conditions; the only maintenance option is typically at the hands of volunteers.

 

Trail 700 Red Apple 2.4 miles & Trail 710 Rock Garden 1.3 miles, total 3.5 miles

Are you ready for a taste of singletrack? The natural starting point for those new to MERA is trail 700, Red Apple. The 2.4 mile loop is a popular route for hikers and bikers so be prepared to greet your fellow trail enthusiasts who may be new to the outdoors. If you want to add a little distance then include trail 710 Rock Garden to the loop.

 

Trail 724 MERA Loop 7.5 miles

Red Apple no problem? You are ready for trail 724 MERA Loop. Begin by heading north on trail 700 Red Apple, clockwise from Owsley. At intersection 1 continue north onto trail 724 MERA Loop. At intersection 3 the loop splits. Riding the loop is great in either direction.  The typical flow of the trail is used in the clockwise direction. The loop is generally a contour trail taking you out the north end of MERA. Round trip from Owsley TH is about 7.5 miles. MERA Loop is popular for runners and bikers so be prepared for and expect those interactions

 

If you are looking to limit your interactions with bikes and hikers then access the Lower Igo Trailhead. Start up trail trail 603 Lower Igo Extension and turn right onto trail 605 Goldfish Pond. Past the pond a few hundred yards and go right by fence corner onto trail 608 Gateway. Cross 409, Igo Extension onto trail 725 Lower Hotshot to Upper Igo Trailhead and take trail 727 Skills and stay right below rock berm. There is a new trail 738 Pebbles that takes you to trail 724 MERA Loop. Another option below the rock berm is to drop down to trail 730 Cinch and explore the trails and skid roads along MERA’s northeastern fence line.  You are sure to find some solitude

 

Equestrian cross country travel is permitted, disperse use and do not create social trails

 

Please stay off of trail features; bermed corners, rollers, jumps. These have not been built to support horse traffic and are easily damaged, go around and travel on inside of bermed corners

 

Winter Non-Motorized Recreation

Once the snow falls, snow shoes and cross country skis can be utilized from the Owsley Canyon Trailhead.  Quality and longevity of snow conditions vary year to year but snow is something we count on for winter recreation on MERA. Trail 600 Archer Lane is the best route on skis as it is relatively flat.

 

Trail 202 Mt Emily Road and trail 203 Highline, are closed to wheeled machines December 15- April 1.  Tracked machines are allowed on these routes throughout the winter. In years of early and late snow these dates may be extended to accommodate conditions and will be posted as necessary. These are two popular routes for those on skis and snow shoes. Parking is limited so be considerate and park efficiently. Please respect the residents in this neighborhood, pack it in pack it out and clean up after your pets.

Full MERA Trail

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Link to Non-Motorized Preferred Routes pdf

Trails on the eastern half of MERA, below the rim are dedicated to non-motorized multiple-use.

Non-Motorized

Preferred Routes

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