Sidewinder Trail

 17 votes
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Featured Ride
Trail

18.6 Miles 29.9 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

2,864' 873 m

Ascent

-2,048' -624 m

Descent

6,312' 1,924 m

High

5,285' 1,611 m

Low

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

All Clear

61 days agoUpdate

Almost 20 miles of high-quality technical desert singletrack!

Tim Judkins

Overview

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. There are a few fast/flowy sections and a lot of technical moves to keep you on your toes. The trail is a blast, but don't forget to stop once in a while to enjoy the amazing views.

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. It is mostly exposed to the sun and dries out quickly. Fall and spring are the preferred seasons, but it is often rideable in the winter. Keep in mind that it usually feels about 10 degrees warmer on the trail than in Montrose or Delta.

Description

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:

blm.gov/co/st/en/nca/ggnca/...

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. If dong a loop, Sidewinder flows best riding from south to north. From north to south, you climb nearly 3000' and descend about 2000'.

From the north, 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, Wave, and Eagle Valley roads before reaching the end of Sidewinder at Eagle Valley Trail. Here you can take Eagle Valley Trail down to the Eagle Valley trailhead or continue on Sunset Rocks .

History & Background

The BLM website has some interesting facts on The Sidewinder Trail: blm.gov/co/st/en/nca/ggnca/...

Contacts

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4.5 from 17 votes


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Check-Ins

Apr 21, 2017
Dustin Leonard
Dry 7.3mi
Apr 15, 2017
Ray Munselle
We rode a portion making shorter loop, some parts were hike and bike , but the canyon finish is a must do.
Feb 20, 2017
Dave Reed
First time riding this phenomenal trail, what a blast! Flowy Rollercoaster arroyo riding at its finest. 25mi
Oct 6, 2016
Chad Braunbeck
Apr 14, 2016
DonM Moden
From north TH, nice ride, dry! 12mi
Apr 15, 2014
jeff petermann
Super techy!

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 16 votes

#170

Overall
  4.6 from 16 votes
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Rankings

#42

in Colorado

#170

Overall
625 Views Last Month
8,785 Since Sep 17, 2013
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Conditions


All Clear 61 days ago
Dry - Tacky hero dirt just before an incoming storm though.
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Getting forecast...

What an amazing ride. The folks who laid out this trail were genius! The terrain was so well worked into the entire ride. A bunch of smooth, fast flowy with awesome techy. I began the ride on Sidewinder from N to S, finishing up on the short but sweet Eagle Valley Trail, which has you descending an increasingly narrow slot with off-camber slab, unreal. 20 miles on the nut, to the Southern TH parking area. Rode Peach Vly Rd short way around and up the Wave Rd and took the entire Sidewinder back N. Seems to ride well in both directions. Was a 90-degree day so that fried my brain a bit, better done in 65-degree temps. 41 miles out n back, 4,000+ vert, kick ass epic day. If you want to extend it some more, link up the Sunset Rocks tr to Chuckar Rd, endless riding! Sep 15, 2014


Trail is good to go Feb. 7, 2015. It's never been this dry this early. Feb 10, 2015


Excellent trail, first to dry out in our area. Lots of fun tech and some fantastic rock formations. It rides well in both directions, out and backs are good from either end, and if you ride the full thing out and back like the poster below then you're a badass. It's very dry and can be quite hot, so keep that in mind. Jun 18, 2016


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