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Looking for rocks? BIG rocks? LOTS of rocks? Well we found a new trail in Colorado/New Mexico that fit the bill and it's called the "Powerhouse Road", it is only a 1/2 mile long but don't let the length fool you, it took are group of eight about ten hours to complete. The Powerhouse Road trail can be found southeast of Antonito in the extreme south-central portion of Colorado, it is so far south that the trail actually snakes across the state line into northern New Mexico by about a mile.
Tim, Ken, TJ (cheap photographer) and myself met up alongside I-25 South of Denver and headed out to Alamosa where we would be staying for the night. Not 10 miles into the trip, Tim blew out a trailer tire, carnage already, and we were five hours from the trailhead, we knew this was going to be a good trip.
After staying over in Alamosa, we headed out to the trail which was just past a very small town called Antonito. After we drove around in circles for a little bit, a friendly local pointed us in the right direction, in fact he drove us right to the trailhead, who needs GPS. The action starts right off the dirt road, nothing but rocks from the very beginning, this was a keeper. The first thing we did was air down and remove our doors, at least there was some sheet metal that would make it through without a scratch.
The Powerhouse Road trail follows an old road bed up from the, canyon of the Rio de los Pinos (River of the Pines) to the mesa top just above the trail. On top of the mesa sits the narrow gauge tracks of the (still operating) Cumbres & Toltec Railroad. The road was once used to haul coal from the railroad at the top of the mesa to a boiler and pump house located at the river's edge, this pumping station, in turn, pumped water up the hill to the water tank.
The trail is covered with large rocks that washed out from the surrounding hillside and rolled down onto the old road, many of the rocks are somewhat light and will rotate under your tires as you try to move over them creating an added bonus of excitement.
The weather was perfect all day, the trail was one awesome 1/2 mile obstacle, and we had plenty of Mountain Dew, all in all it was a great time. Other than a lost rear drive-shaft and a few minor fixes our group made it through pretty well, but one thing was evident, we all wanted to come back and run this trail again.