Ah, the Rusty Shovel. A classic Rifle trail. This trail rides great as a lollipop loop OR combine it with Mighty McLeod
for a true loop OR combine it with Mighty McLeod
and Trusty Pick
to make an awesome loop plus additional miles to your ride. Any choice is a winner with these trails!
To find Rusty Shovel, ride northeast out of the BLM lot on the BLM Lot Singletrack. After a quarter mile, take the obvious trail veering to your left. Continue straight at the next fork. A right here would take you on Mighty McLeod
. Save that for another day. Continue along a rim and plunge down a drainage. Here you come to the crux move of the trail and a juniper with the head of a rusty shovel hanging in a juniper tree (hence the name). A few well-placed rocks make the section doable although it's much easier to descend than clamber up. Only strong riders will clean this section both ways. I've been humbled here many times.
Follow the trail until it comes to a maze of ATV doubletrack. Take a right on the doubletrack for just about 50-75 yards. Keep your eyes open to the left for singletrack. If you hit a dispersed campsite, you've gone too far. Take a quick left onto the singletrack. Stay left at the first fork (right will take you to the road), and right at the second fork (left will continue on to Mighty McLeod
). Follow the obvious singletrack as it meanders around juniper and sage brush until it meets up with Lower Faceplant
. Stay on Lower Faceplant
for only a short bit and Rusty Shovel will pick back up to the right just before a rocky obstacle on Lower Faceplant
. Follow as it parallels Lower Faceplant
for about 1/4 mile and then comes back on to Lower Faceplant
one last time.
After climbing a second rocky obstacle, rutted by motos, look immediately left for singletrack almost double backing on itself. This is the continuation of Rusty and start of the mostly downhill section. Flow your way a short bit until you reach a punchy uphill part with a right hand uphill switchback. Climb up and then continue all the way down until you re-meet the trail at the ATV doubletrack intersection. Head right here and complete the lollipop. You can choose to tack on Trusty Pick
near the end of your lollipop.
Whew! Remember all that?? Enjoying any Rifle classic always includes a bit of exploring!