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Oil Well Flats Trail System

Consensus:    (details)
 4.2 from 6 votes
  Intermediate from 2 votes
Your Opinion:
Stars:  
Rating: -none- change
Rank: #2 in Canon City
#49 in Colorado
#312 Overall
Featured Ride near ,  
“A new trail system north of Canon City that offers year round riding and great trails.”
Kalem Lenard on Oct 3, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
10.3 Miles 80% Singletrack 1,365’ Ascent -1,366’ Descent 5,936’ Low 6,713’ High
Restrictions
This area is closed to motorized vehicles when it is wet and muddy. Although the trails are still open to hikers and mountain bikes under these conditions it's a good idea to stay off. The clay in the soils can turn nasty pretty quick. Check with the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office, 719-269-8500 for the current status. They also have it on their recreation page but it currently isn't available due to the shutdown.
Overview
Located in the climate capitol of Colorado, this new trail system is rideable year round. This trail system is comprised of fun singletrack trails with a variety of difficulty and terrain making it a great off-season destination when the rest of the front range is covered in snow and you want a little variety from Pueblo Reservoir.

Be sure to check out Cat's Pajamas, the latest edition to the network where you find yourself on the edge of a 200' rim looking out over Canon City and the Sangre De Christo Mountains.
Need To Know
The trail network is new and is constantly being modified and updated so signing and mapping is still a bit confusing. Be sure to check with Red Canyon Cycles http://redcanyoncycles.com/ or the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office for latest trail beta.

There are a lot of sharp pokey things out here so it's a really good idea to run some type of tire sealant while riding in the area.
Description
Start at the lower trailhead and jump immediately into Pebbles Trail which offers fun flowy cross-country type singletrack with some small rock challenges to keep you on your toes. Take a right onto Bam-Bam, trail #T5940G, and keep the fun going until you pop out onto a dirt road intersection. Take the left road and then turn right at the fenced in solar pump (formerly the windmill). Turn right into onto a dirt road cul-de-sac where you'll see two trail signs.

Take the trail to the left (Ms. Spike, trail #T5941B) and start to climb up some more great singletrack that is a little tougher with more obstacles than the lower trails. You'll eventually come into the burn area where the trail meanders through some amazing rock outcrops with some tough switchbacks.

Soon enough you'll hit another dirt road. Take a right on this road and follow it right through the next "Y". Soon you'll see a trail taking off on your left which is the beginning of Cat's Pajamas. Keep left at the next intersection (right is the top of Fire Canyon, trail #T5941A). Enjoy another mile of great singletrack that begins to wind through Ponderosa trees and oak where it will eventually dump you out onto another intersection with a dirt road.

Keep going straight and begin the steep climb up the nasty road (there are plans to re-route this). Keep following the arrowed carsonite signs and eventually the grown in road turns into a singletrack trail and you'll find yourself on the rim of a 200' cliff offering one of the most amazing views in the Canon City area.

Enjoy the view for a bit, take a breather, and then keep heading north on the rocky somewhat technical rim trail. Soon you'll see an obvious trail coming in on your left that dives steeply downhill. If you want another great view/overlook head straight to the end of the trail and take in another amazing vista with drop offs on three sides and some interesting geologic features. Some swear you can see bigfoot's toe in the ancient rock formation.

Back track to the steep downhill trail and enjoy the cruising fun downhill. At the bottom of the canyon you'll hit Fire Canyon Trail. If you want a longer ride and more fun downhill, turn right and climb up Fire Canyon to Cat's Pajamas and then turn left, back tracking your way down Ms. Spike. If you've had enough climbing, turn left and head down Fire Canyon.

It's bit sandy in spots following the recent heavy rains but plans are in the works to spruce this trail up. Keep heading downhill where you'll eventually be dumped out back at the cul-de-sac where you started Ms. Spike Trail. Back track the way you came in on the dirt roads by taking a left where soon enough you'll see the fenced in solar pump.

Again, for a longer ride turn left at the solar pump back tracking the way you came in on Bam-Bam. Otherwise keep going straight through the line of boulders on the grown in two-track road that turns into singletrack. Keep going straight at the intersection you saw earlier in the ride back to where you started. Drop the tailgate and enjoy a beverage before packing up.
History & Background
This area is known for dinosaur bones including Ms. Spike, a stegasourus fossil discovered in this area in the early 90's. Be sure to check out the interpretive sites along the way to learn more about the interesting history and geology of this area.

Make sure to bring the climbing and kayaking gear as well. International recognized Shelf Road rock climbing area is just up the road and the infamous Royal Gorge stretch of the Arkansas River is back in Canon City making this a great destination for multi-sport weekends.
Enervit - Enervitene Gel - 24 count
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Sugoi - Evolution Full Gloves
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Forecasting the weather...
Recent Conditions
Mar 23
Dry & a bit bumpy due to livestock traffic- but a great flowy track! Aviso la cholla!
Feb 17
Just heard the trail are mostly dry now and the gates will be opened tomorrow.
Add a Condition Report | View All »
COMMENTS
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PHOTOS of Oil Well Flats Trail System
 2.3 from 3 votes
Cool rock features in the burn area along the Ms. Spike Trail. (Brookside, CO)
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