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Colorado Bend State Park Sampler Loop

 5.0 (3)
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12.2 Miles 19.7 Kilometers



1,152' 351 m


-1,152' -351 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (12°)

1,431' 436 m


1,028' 313 m


Shared By Aaron B



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A challenging but fun 12-mile loop.

Aaron B

Dogs Leashed

Features -none-


This is a 12-mile loop that gives you a taste of some of the more fun trails at Colorado Bend State Park starting and ending at the Cedar Chopper Loop trailhead, looping around the northern section of the park.


Starting at the Cedar Chopper Loop trailhead, you'll take the east portion of Cedar Chopper Loop to Dogleg Canyon. Cedar Chopper is relatively easy but still fairly technical. You'll eventually see a Dogleg Canyon sign so take the right to start a super fun descent.

The first descent brings you to the mouth of a small canyon overlook which is pretty neat. Then you'll start a short climb to get to the top of the second descent. The second descent ends with several switchbacks and spits you out on to the River Trail.

The River Trail is super flowy and easy though you'll need to dismount at one point to walk over the mouth of Gorman Cave. Use the handline and you'll be fine. Note you can't enter the cave. The cave is a bat preserve and is caged shut. At the end of the River Trail, you'll climb up a super steep, but short, grade to Old Gorman Road Trail.

Old Gorman Road Trail is a steep, rocky, grueling climb so get ready to hunker down and get it done. Once you make it to the top, you'll be glad to see a bench and you might want to stop and take a rest.

Ride Cedar Chopper for a quick second towards Tinaja Trail. Tinaja is very challenging. In the beginning, you'll ride along some rock faces knocking out multiple steep climbs. At the top of these climbs is a very tough technical section that overlooks a valley. Eventually, you'll come to a point where you'll descend to the Tinaja bowl. You'll do some more climbing and before you know it you'll do some very fun, technical descending to the parks maintenance road where you'll cross to enter Gorman Falls Trail.

Gorman Falls Trail is probably the most technical trail in the sense that the rocks don't let up. At least on other trails in the park you have sections that let up but the Gorman Falls Trail is relentlessly rocky and challenging. Be sure to stay on the trail and follow the signs for the bikes-only trail.

There are two spurs that lead you down to Gorman Falls but those are hiking-only trails. Note this is the most popular trail in the park because it is the only hiking trail from the trailhead to Gorman Falls which is the parks main attraction. Look out for hikers. Once you finish, cross the trailhead parking lot to the Gorman-Windmill Connection.

From here on out it is pretty simple. Gorman-Windmill Connection is fun and technical and will take you to Lively Loop which is a grueling technical jeep road climb to Lemons Ridge Pass. Lemons Ridge Pass has some climbing, some technical, and some really fun flow sections back to Cedar Chopper Loop trailhead.


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Apr 15, 2018
Steven Shumate
Awesome trail! If you like rock gardens, you'll love this trail. 22.5mi — 3h 21m

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 3 votes


  5.0 from 3 votes
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