The third trail of the COPMOBA epic triangle follows a similar route as the Telluride-Moab hut trip, but is a little shorter and slightly north. The 100 mile Paradox Trail follows the stunning Paradox valley from Colorado's high plains to Moabs desert along trails and jeep roads and was put together by the COPMOBA (Colorado Plateu Mountain Bike Trail Association) in 1995. They are a great cause to support, and have built several other trails.
The Paradox trail gets its name from the Paradox Valley through which it passes. The paradox of the Paradox valley is the Delores River running perpendicular to the length of the valley, entering and exiting between sheer sandstone cliffs.
The inspiration for the Paradox Trails name came from Paradox Valley, but it's not the first Paradox trail. Back in the late 1870's and early 1880's cattleman drove their stock over the Uncompahgre Plateau from Paradox Valley to the mines, Indian Agency and Montrose by way of an old Indian trail. The trail was called the Paradox Trail. Once the railroad came to Placerville cattle were taken there, but sheepherders continued to use the trail until the late 1930's.
Most of the trail follows existing 4 WD roads and back country trails through the rugged and remote West End of Montrose County. This area is famous for its unusual scenic beauty and abundant wildlife. The uranium industry helped shape this region, while the people who make up the west end are still proud of their independent and tenacious spirit.
Get a detailed description of the Paradox trail from the BLM website.
COPMOBA has printed versions of this map. Get them as part of your membership, they are a wonderful organization to support:
Colorada Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, Inc.
PO Box 4602, Grand Junction, CO 81502
A ride on the Paradox Trail in 2005 [archived article]
official BLM page (not much info)
pics and a great map:
The Grand Loop: (they are calling it the Western Network)
someone creating a 4x4 version of the trail: