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Sidewinder Trail

Consensus:    (details)
 4.8 from 8 votes
  Difficult from 5 votes
Your Opinion:
Rating: -none- change
Rank: #4 in the Montrose area
#14 in Colorado
#51 Overall
Featured Ride near Montrose,  area, 
“Almost 20 miles of high-quality technical desert singletrack!”
Tim Judkins on Sep 17, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
18.629.9 milesKilometers 2,864’873 m Ascent 6,312’1,924 m High 5.0% Avg Grade
100% Singletrack -2,048’-624 m Descent 5,285’1,611 m Low 11.3% Max Grade
Hard to believe this is in our backyard! Sidewinder provides almost 20 miles of technical desert singletrack and numerous slickrock sections. The access roads allow you to bite off only as much as you want. It is similar in nature to the Sovereign and Salt Wash trails near Moab.
Need To Know
Bring plenty of water and avoid the trail if there is a real chance of rain. If the trail gets muddy it is literally impassable, but it dries out quickly. Fall and spring are the preferred seasons, but it is often rideable in the winter.
The Sidewinder trail was built in 2010 by the BLM and other groups, providing a technical multi-use trail in the Gunnison Gorge NCA. Check out the BLM's site for details and a reasonable map:


Staying true to its name, the Sidewinder weaves in and out of the desert canyons paralleling the Gunnison Gorge. You'll have great views the entire ride and there are multiple access roads that allow you to sneak a peak of the Gorge. Expect to see motorbikes and possibly horses on the trail. It is remarkably high quality singletrack with very fun technical moves around rocks and cliff edges.

The trail can be ridden in either direction. Riders usually ride the trail in segments, accessing it from either end or from one of the access roads. The whole trail can be ridden as an out-and-back or as a loop, riding Peach Valley Rd. As described here, from north to south, you climb nearly 3000' and descend about 2000'.

Start at the well-marked trailhead off of H75 road. The trail climbs for about 1400' while contouring south along the hillside. The first few miles is some of the best quality, but it is all worthy. Once it levels out, continue to follow the trail south as it snakes in and out of numerous drainages.

You'll pass multiple Gunnison Gorge access roads along the way. These provide a quick way back to Peach Valley road if needed. From the north, you'll pass Ute, Dinosaur, Duncan (twice), Bobcat, and Wave roads before reaching the end of Sidewinder at Eagle Rd.
History & Background
The BLM website has some interesting facts on The Sidewinder Trail: www.blm.gov/co/st/en/nca/ggnca/sidewinder_trail.html
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Apr 15
perfect spring weather. dry, sunny and 60
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4.8 (6)
A life-changing 485 mile ride on the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango.
near Columbine Valley, CO
3.0 (1)
A big loop with 10 miles of downhill singletrack, rideable from Montrose.
near Montrose, CO
3.0 (2)
Technical desert riding with a few short climbs and quick descents.
near Montrose, CO

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PHOTOS of Sidewinder Trail
 3.7 from 3 votes
Eric Bohler on Sidewinder near Dinosaur access (Olathe, CO)
 3.0 from 3 votes
sidewinder between the wave and bobcat trail (Olathe, CO)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Ralph Files on Sidewinder (Olathe, CO)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Sidewinder climbs in and out of many small canyons (Delta, CO)
 2.5 from 4 votes
One of the many rocky drainages you'll encounter. (Olathe, CO)
 2.3 from 4 votes
There is plenty of slickrock to enjoy! (Olathe, CO)
 2.3 from 4 votes
High desert singletrack (Orchard City, CO)
 2.3 from 4 votes
The trail never gives up its technical nature. (Olathe, CO)
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