The trailhead has a small parking area at the south end of the BLM campground. Start by crossing the Encampment River and you head south.
The singletrack drops away on your right to the river about fifteen feet below. Soon there will be sections winding through sage and a few small drops into normally dry creek crossings. A few miles along the trail, there are some fun and challenging rock gardens.
After about five miles, you come to Purgatory Gulch. For bikes, this is the end of the road for the Encampment River Trail as it turns to Wilderness but there is an option to continue up Purgatory Gulch.