“This is a fun intermediate/advanced tour of Dry Creek Canyon.”
— Garry Baker
This ride is a great way to ride the best mountain bike trails in Dry Creek Canyon, all of which are accessed from the Tabeguache Trail
. The scenery is classic desert, with rimrock, distant views of the Grand Mesa and San Juan Mountains, with a lovely creek at the bottom. The trails have good flow and several sustained downhills.
Need to Know
Although it has a remote feel, the trailhead for Dry Creek Canyon is 20 minutes from downtown Montrose. Cell service is spotty but may work in higher areas. The trails are motorized, so be aware of other trail users. Road access may be a problem if Rim Road is still wet and muddy.
Park off the Tabeguache Trail - Dry Creek Section
(road signs call it "Rim Road") where power lines with wooden power poles cross the road. There are alternate parking areas, one down in Shavano Valley, the other further up at the canyon rim. The road gets somewhat rougher above the wooden power poles, and the parking lot at the rim of the canyon requires high clearance. With a 4WD vehicle it is also possible to just park at the bottom of the canyon and do all of these trails from a central point. This option avoids the climb out of Dry Creek Canyon at the end of a long ride.
This featured ride starts at the parking lot below the wooden power poles, 1.5 miles from the canyon rim parking lot.
Wherever you start, the singletrack begins a few hundred yards below the rim of Dry Creek Canyon on the Coyote Cutoff
trail. This is a cross-country trail with several climbs and some interesting downhill switchbacks. At the end of Coyote Cutoff
, turn right on the 4WD road connector between Coyote Cutoff to Coyote Ridge
. This road descends to a drainage, then climbs to an overlook. Coyote Ridge
singletrack begins here and is marked with a brown BLM sign.
Enjoy the views into Dry Creek Canyon along Coyote Ridge
. This trail climbs for about 1/4 mile, then begins a sustained downhill section to the bottom of the canyon. Great views and a little exposure keep it spicy. Turn left on the Tabeguache Trail - Dry Creek Section
, cross the creek on the Ralph Files Bridge (a bit south of the 4WD creek crossing), and begin the climb up.
The road features several steep strenuous climbs, then levels out. After 2.5 miles on Tabeguache Trail - Dry Creek Section
, take a right on Piney Creek
, another fast downhill trail that connects to Red Wall Trail. Take Red Wall Trail back to Tabeguache Trail - Dry Creek Section
, over the Ralph Files Bridge, and ride back to your vehicle.
History & Background
Most of these trails were funded and built using Colorado OHV fees. We're thankful that most of these trails are great for mountain biking too.