1. Rimrocker Trailhead
The Rimrocker Trail has its own official website listing this location as the official start of the iconic 160-mile long route. The trail begins on BLM land at the Dry Creek Recreation Area parking lot. Here, you will find plenty of room to air down and prep for the Rimrocker journey. As you exit the parking lot, turn left, to the west, to begin. The next few miles will proceed through a mixture of BLM and private property.
2. USFS Boundary - Continue Straight
Continue straight. This is USFS Road #540 in the Uncompahgre National Forest. Along the route you will also find official Rimrocker Trail signs. These signs are similar to USFS road marking signs, fluorescent green in color with the Rimrocker logo. As the Rimrocker travels through the National Forest, the Rimrocker logo appears on brown colored signposts to match forest road markers.
3. Divide Road - Continue Straight
Continue straight. Divide Road, aka USFS 402, joins from the left/south.
4. Iron Springs Campground - Continue Straight
Continue straight. This is a rustic Forest Service campground with 8 tent sites and a vault toilet available. Information about the campground can be found at Iron Springs Campground
5. Nucla Road - Keep Right
Keep right. At this point, USFS Road #540 (Nucla Road) diverges to the left. For Rimrocker, remain right and continue on USFS Road #402. Dispersed camping is abundant for the remainder of your trip through the Uncompahgre National Forest.
6. Transfer Road - Keep Left
Keep left. Transfer Road (USFS 508) continues north all the way to Olathe, CO. Keep left to remain on Rimrocker.
7. USFS 548 - Continue Straight
Continue straight. USFS 548 is a spur that heads north and dead ends. Continue straight to remain on Rimrocker.
8. Houser Road - Continue Straight
Continue straight. Houser Road (USFS603) heads to the left/west and eventually reconnects with Rimrocker at Waypoint 13. To the right of this intersection (east) is a small mountain lake, Darling Lake. It is serene and easy on the eyes.
9. USFS 545 - Continue Straight
Continue straight. To the right, USFS 545 heads north. This road eventually dead ends. Over the next five miles, several similar minor USFS roads branch off to the north, all of which dead-end. Remain straight on USFS 402 for Rimrocker Trail.
10. USFS 505 - Continue Straight
Continue straight. USFS 505 heads to the right/north. This leads to a long series of forest service roads to the area of the 7N Mesa.
11. Tabegauche Overlook - Continue Straight
Continue straight. Don't blink as you might miss this short loop turn off where you can park and take in the view of the Tabegauche (Pronounced: TAB-uh-wahch) Basin below. This is worthy of a photo opportunity.
12. Columbine Pass - Turn Left
Turn left. You are at Columbine Pass. Turn sharp left/south onto Delta-Nucla Road (USFS Road 503) to continue the Rimrocker. The USFS Columbine Campground
sits about 1/2 mile to the north on the Delta-Nucla Road. This campground has 6 designated tent sites and a vault toilet.
13. Houser Road - Continue Straight
Continue straight. Houser Road (USFS Road 603) reconnects to Rimrocker here from the left. Continue straight to stay on the Rimrocker.
14. Pavement Begins - Continue Straight
Continue straight. As you approach Nucla, CO and leave the Uncompahgre National Forest, the road surface turns to asphalt. You will remain on the paved surface for the next 12 miles or so until you reach the west side of Nucla.
15. East 4th Street - Turn Right
Turn right. Nucla, CO is a small town and the next few turns will wind you through the streets of the town.
16. Main Street - Turn Left
Turn left. This is downtown Nucla.
17. 10th Street - Turn Right
Turn right. A small gas station sits on the southwest corner of this intersection. This is your only opportunity for fuel until Moab.
18. 2700 Road - Turn Right
Turn right. As you reach the rural farmland outside Nucla, its time to find the trail again. Turn right onto 2700 Road to remain on the Rimrocker.
19. AA Road - Keep Left
Keep left. Stay on the pavement veering to the left to remain on the Rimrocker.
20. 2600 Road - Turn Right
Turn right. Head north on 2600 Road. There is an official Rimrocker sign that points to the proper direction.
21. Z26 Road - Turn Left
Turn left. Z26 Road initially heads west and will then turn to the north. The pavement ends near here.
22. V19 Road - Turn Left
Turn left. Finally the road becomes more trail-like. V19 Road is now well maintained like the road has been so far. Please remain on the road through this stretch as the road crosses both private and public lands.
23. Shelf Road - Continue Straight
Continue straight. The road narrows a bit as it descends into the valley along a shelf road. No guard rails to be found here. This road seems like a good-old-fashioned trail through the backcountry.
24. Bottom of Hill - Turn Right
Turn right. At the bottom of the hill, the road will come to a "T" intersection. Going left will take you to Colorado Highway 141. A free campground, known as The Ballpark Campground, is nearby on the highway and along the San Miguel River. Turn right to stay on the Rimrocker.
25. Tabegauche River Crossing - Continue Straight
Continue straight. This is potentially the most dangerous obstacle along the trail, especially for short, stock vehicles. Crossing the Tabegauche River. The river can range from 12-24" depending on the season. Under the water, the road surface is stable and rocky making it easy to cross. The real danger here is getting water inside your vehicle. If you like river crossings, this one is pretty good.
26. Rock Raven Mine Scenic View - Continue Straight
Continue straight. The mining history of Colorado comes to life throughout this next section of the Rimrocker. This site is the Rock Raven Mine. Looking down into the valley below along the San Miguel River is the ghost town of Uravan, Colorado. This was a mining town that provided uranium and vanadium for use in the Manhattan Project. The town is now an EPA Superfund site.
27. Spring Creek Truck Trail - Turn Right
Turn right. A turn to the left will take you to CO Highway 141. To remain on the Rimrocker, turn right.
28. U17 Road - Turn Left
Turn left. There are some signs posted here to keep you on track. Veer to the left to remain on the Rimrocker.
29. Scenic Overlook - Continue Straight
Continue straight. This old mining route remains atop the ridge overlooking the San Miguel River. Ahead, off in the distance, you can see the Manti-La Sal Mountains while behind, off in the distance, you can see the San Juan Mountains.
30. Power Plant - Turn Left
Turn left. The road to the right leads to an area known as the Department of Energy Uranium Reserve. These hills have not been depleted of uranium just yet. Uranium mining all but stopped in the 1980s only because of decreased demand.
31. Rocky Descent - Continue Straight
Continue straight. This short, rocky descent is a bit rougher than the trail has been so far. A few large rocks protrude from the road here. There is nothing too difficult here that cannot be solved with slowing down and paying attention to your line.
32. S17 Road and Creek Crossing - Turn Left
Turn left. Turn left onto S17 Road. Immediately afterwards there is a small creek crossing. This is the Atkinson Creek. The Rimrocker will follow this creek for a little ways and provide a few more crossings along the way. The creek is only a few inches deep.
33. Atkinson Creek Crossing - Continue Straight
Continue straight. You will cross Atkinson Creek twice within a few hundred feet. This area is a bit of a canyon with some trees and small rock outcroppings. Have your camera at the ready.
34. T16 Road - Turn Right
At the T16 Road intersection, turn right to proceed on the Rimrocker. Immediately after making the turn, you will cross the Atkinson Creek one final time.
35. S15 Road - Veer Left
Veer left. After the final creek crossing, you will ascend back up onto the ridge. At S15 Road, keep to the left to remain on the Rimrocker.
36. Abandoned Mining House - Continue Straight
Continue straight. This dilapidated structure is a relic from mining life of yesteryear. Your imagination pictures the harshness of life from this era.
37. Highway 141 - Turn Left
Turn left. After completing the gradual descent from the mining ridge, the dirt trail intersects CO Highway 141. Turn left onto the highway for about 1.5 miles. The Rimrocker will resume as dirt shortly.
38. Q13 Road - Turn Right and Cross Bridge
Turn right and cross the bridge. Although this road is not well marked, you will find a large informational board along the road's edge right after crossing the Dolores River bridge.
39. Q13 Road - Veer Right
Veer right. R13 Road goes to a formation known as Biscuit Rock, a unique formation with some hiking and rustic camping opportunities. Keep to the right, onto Q13 Road, to continue the Rimrocker. As you climb this next section, you will experience great views of Biscuit Rock.
40. S12 Road - Veer Left
Veer left. You are now in an area known as Carpenter Flats. While Q13 Road is the main road in this area, the trail will include some of the lesser roads to provide some great views. On some maps, Q13 Road is sometimes referred to as Moab Road. At this intersection, veer left to remain on the Rimrocker.
41. Q13 Road - Turn Left
Turn left. Conditions here are hot, dry, and dusty during the summer months. Keep to the left to remain on the Rimrocker.
42. Option Climb - Left or Right Path
This is a very short option and both routes will end in the same spot. Going to the left is a little less steep, but rocky. Both routes are roughly the same and not difficult.
43. S10 Road - Turn Right
Turn right. S10 Road is one of the lessor trails that will loop back onto Q13 Road. S10 Road follows a ridge around the hill and provides some great scenery. Turn right onto S10 Road to continue the Rimrocker.
44. Q13 Road. Turn Right
Turn right. Here, you will rejoin Q13 Road.
45. T10 Road - Turn Left
Turn left. Actually, there is no wrong way here. For this route, remain on Q13 Road as it crosses Carpenter Mountain. These two roads will rejoin one-another in about a mile.
46. T10 Road - Turn Left
Turn left. This is where Q13 Road and S10 Road rejoin from the previous waypoint. Turn left here to continue the Rimrocker.
47. Epic Campsite - Continue Straight
Continue straight. If its time to set up camp, this would be a great dispersed spot. The Rimrocker has been following the ridge that overlooks Paradox Valley. A few desert trees and shrubs provide a nestled campsite that is relaxing. This also makes a great picnic lunch spot if it's not yet time to make camp.
48. S6 Road and S5 Road - Continue Straight
Continue straight. Lessor roads take off to the right and the left. Continue straight to remain on the Rimrocker.
49. R3 Road - Turn Left
Turn left. The short route on R3 Road will take you by some beautiful views of Paradox Valley. Turn left here to remain on the Rimrocker. The route will reconnect to Q13 Road at the next waypoint.
50. Q13 Road - Veer Left
Veer left. R3 Road reconnects with Q13 Road here. Veer left back onto Q13 Road. This area is beginning to look less desert-like as the route nears the Manti-La Sal National Forest.
51. Q3 Road - Continue Straight
Continue straight. Now in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, the Rimrocker marker signs are again brown in color instead of green. Continue straight to remain on the Rimrocker.
52. Buckeye Reservoir - Continue Straight
Continue straight. Buckeye Reservoir is a popular recreation area with camping, biking, and fishing. The roads here are once again well maintained and wide enough for two vehicles. Camping is restricted to designated sites.
53. Buckeye Reservoir Campground - Continue Straight
Continue straight. A sharp left here take you to the main Buckeye Reservoir user area and campground. Large, old-growth pines and mountain vistas are abundant.
54. CO/UT State Line - Continue Straight
Continue straight. The Colorado - Utah state line is well identified. A small ranger station located here appears to be built straddling the state line. We suspect that was intentional.
55. Two Mile Road - Turn Left
Turn left. This road is known as Two Mile Road although we found it much longer than that. There is also a sign indicating this is also known as San Juan County Road 154. Turn left here to remain on the Rimrocker.
56. Road 1501 - Continue Straight
Continue straight. There is a sign on the intersecting road that calls it Road 1501. This road may lead to private property to the north. Continue straight ahead for the Rimrocker.
57. Dark Canyon Lake Road - Continue Straight
Continue straight. Dark Canyon Lake Road (USFS Road #129) takes off to the north. This road also eventually goes over Geyser Pass. For Rimrocker, continue straight ahead.
58. La Sal Pass Road - Turn Right
Turn right. Turn onto La Sal Pass Road (AKA USFS Road #73) heading northbound. This next section of the road sees considerable ATV and side-by-side traffic. The area is also popular for dispersed camping. Turn right here to remain on the Rimrocker.
59. USFS 128 - Turn Left
Turn left. Turn westbound onto USFS Road #128. The trail will get considerably more narrow and rougher. Brush lining both sides of the road ahead can cause pin striping. Trailers are not advised through this next section.
60. USFS 717 - Keep Left
USFS Road #717 heads off northbound. Keep left to remain on the Rimrocker.
61. Lackey Basin Road - Continue Straight
Continue straight. This is known as Lackey Basin Road (USFS Road #717).
62. USFS 764 - Turn Right
Turn right. The USFS Road #764 is unmarked, but the route is well established. Turn right to remain on the Rimrocker.
63. USFS 757 - Turn Left
Turn left. Turn onto USFS Road #757 and proceed westbound. This 3 mile stretch of road begins to smooth out as compared to the past few miles of a rocky, bumpy, teeth shattering, brain-rattling route.
64. Black Ridge Trail - Turn Right
Turn right. Black Ridge Trail is a winding canyon road that makes the final drop into the Moab Valley. This segment of road is not difficult, but it is rocky in a few places.
65. Pole Canyon Road - Turn Right
Turn right/north onto Pole Canyon Road. There are several large group camping opportunities between here and the next Waypoint. You will also pass Area BFE
, a 320 acre private recreational park for off-road enthusiasts.
66. Coyote Canyon 4x4 Route - Continue Straight
Continue straight. On the right side of the road, you will find the trailhead for Coyote Canyon 4x4 Route. This wheeling area has a difficulty rating from 9.5 to 10. This is extreme off-road rock crawling. Coyote Canyon 4x4 Route
requires drivers to obtain a permit weeks in advance from the BLM.
67. Frontage Road - Turn Right
Turn right. About 200 feet before reaching the highway, there is an unmarked trail that heads to the north. This is where you want to turn. If you've gone to the pavement, you've gone too far to remain on the Rimrocker. Then again, if you go to the pavement, turn right onto Highway 191 and it becomes the main drag through Moab.
68. Yellow Circle Road - Veer Left
Veer left. Join Yellow Circle Road and continue northbound. There are often large groups camping in the field to the east.
69. Gate - Veer Right then Left
Veer right then left. There is a cattle fence here. Close the fence behind you after going through. The left is right after the fence.
70. Unknown Road - Veer Right
Veer right. There are no road signs out here, so stay alert to the directions.
71. Unknown Road - Veer Left then Stay Left
Veer left then stay left. The roads out here are old ranch roads, many of which do not have names. Keep an eye on your GPX to help you stay on the right path.
72. Unknown Road - Continue Straight
Continue straight. This new, well-developed gravel road's name is not known. Cross the road and continue straight to remain on the Rimrocker. A turn left here will take you to Highway 191, the main road through Moab.
73. La Sal Loop Road - Turn Left
Turn left. You will get back on the pavement here and proceed north into town on La Sal Loop Road.
74. Trail Ends in Moab
The Rimrocker ends in town on the south side of Moab, Utah.