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Sidewinder Trail

Difficult
 4.4 (32) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Almost 20 miles of high-quality technical desert singletrack!


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Map Key

18.6

Miles

29.9

KM

100%

Singletrack

6,312' 1,924 m

High

5,285' 1,611 m

Low

2,864' 873 m

Up

2,048' 624 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Allowed

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 doing 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

Shared By:

Tim Judkins with improvements by Garry Baker

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 32 votes

#436

Overall
  4.4 from 32 votes
5 Star
53%
4 Star
41%
3 Star
3%
2 Star
3%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#111

in Colorado

#436

Overall
193 Views Last Month
17,750 Since Sep 17, 2013
Difficult

0%
0%
4%
0%
93%
4%

Photos

A blue bird morning and a great time to ride the Sidewinder Loop.
May 26, 2017 near Delta, CO
Eric Bohler on Sidewinder near Dinosaur access
May 31, 2014 near Olathe, CO
sidewinder between the wave and bobcat trail
May 31, 2014 near Olathe, CO
Ralph Files on Sidewinder
May 31, 2014 near Olathe, CO
Sidewinder climbs in and out of many small canyons
May 31, 2014 near Delta, CO
One of the many rocky drainages you'll encounter.
Sep 18, 2013 near Olathe, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 21 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Dec 23, 2020
Dave Reed
Slightly snowy on the north faces, but overall entirely rideable and fast! 21mi
Sep 19, 2020
D R
18.6mi
Apr 17, 2020
Tomas Kazokas
18.6mi
Sep 2, 2018
Chance Bex
May 20, 2018
Jake Si
20mi
Apr 3, 2018
D R
North TH to Ute TH overlooking the gorge was 10 miles, returned for 20. Heading S to N from Ute road was more enjoyable & I finished 30+ min quicker. 20mi
Jan 1, 2018
Thomas DeOnier
Grate trail! 7.1mi
Dec 11, 2017
Valerie Gilliam