“Starts out easy and gets much harder with steep, rocky sections and multiple river crossings, with all trail surfaces.”
— Lee Oles
There is a playground, camping, fishing, and trails from hard to easy.
This is a State Park, leave no trace and follow the park rules. Bison are used to the human traffic, but keep your distance. There is plenty of information in the maps and handouts at the check-in to the park.
This fun route travels over 12 miles on many of the singletrack trails in the park like the Canyon Rim Trail
, Mesa Trail
, and Lower Canyon Trail. Some sections of trail are less traveled and receive less maintenance (that might have been because of recent weather). Still, there are plenty of good views, rocky downhills, and climbs. Be mindful of where you are, trails aren't well signed, so keep an eye on the MTB Project mobile app
Need to Know
- You'll cross the creek many times, be mindful of the wildlife and bison. Take your own water and food and supply for mechanicals.
- Take note of the some of the similar names in the park. There is the Canyon Rim Trail and connecting to it is also two Lower Canyon Trail sections. Which is quite confusing if you ask me. One of those trails is hike-only (not mapped) and the other is open to horses, bikes, and hikers (mapped).
With recent rainfall and being short on maintenance, expect wash-outs and overgrowth. There is mostly foot traffic through the park. Bison and other wildlife are on these trails, make sure to maintain some distance from them.
Trail markings are there but the trails seem to disappear as you can see where I turned around in several places. This included several different trails and loops, as well as some paved road, single and doubletrack.
There are multiple river crossings where flash flooding is a possibility. Expect some challenging sections of 16% or highger grade on the trails and road.
In the area, there is a rails-to-trails on the various trails that make up the Caprock Canyons Trailway.
History & Background
There is history here in the area of epic proportions, with prehistoric bones, and the history of the Cowboy-and-Indians era. The original herd of bison, from Charles Goodnight resides here.