4.7/5 (50 reviews)
Montrose, Colorado (Montrose County)
Last Updated: 09/01/2022
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Trail Information


The Rimrocker Trail is a route of connected trails that allows you to enjoy 160 miles of off-pavement travel while experiencing the many different stunning landscapes that connect Montrose, Colorado to Moab, Utah. The trail is an especially vibrant destination to travel through the aspens during their fall color changes as well as stopping for the fantastic views at the overlooks. Towards the west end of the trail, the Manti-La Sal National Forest provides beautiful scenery and wildlife as well as gorgeous views of the La Sal Mountains. As you approach Moab, the landscape quickly turns from forest into desert as it transitions to some shelf roads built of the signature Moab red sand. Rimrocker travels through some historic areas of Colorado, highlighting the areas that reflect the mining days of the early 20th century. One area, in particular, is the old, abandoned company town of Uravan. Uravan is a contraction of Uranium and Vanadium. The town was a company town established by U. S. Vanadium Corporation in 1936 to extract the rich vanadium ore in the region. As a byproduct of vanadium extraction, small amounts of uranium were also produced. You will notice a green hue to many of the rocks as you travel through this region. The green hue is an indication of the presence of uranium ore. This trail is an overlander's dream trail offering multi-day camping opportunities, scenic vistas, impressive flora/fauna (absolutely massive swaths of Aspen stands), and a multitude of ever-changing biomes and landscapes. This trail is definitely one to take your time on, soak up the glorious sights and sounds, and make some new incredible memories. Whether you are brand new to overlanding or a seasoned wheeler, this trail has something for everybody. Don't forget the camera!

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

The Rimrocker Trail is a 160-mile trail that is an organization of mostly US Forest Service and BLM roads to form an off-pavement route that connects Montrose, Colorado to Moab, Utah. The road travels through high mountain forests, rocky, mining environments, and high desert terrain. The route can be divided up into four distinct parts as you progress through this classic off-road adventure. Montrose, CO to Nucla, CO (Waypoints 1-21) The first 59 miles proceeds through the Uncompahgre National Forest. Between Montrose and Nucla, CO, the roads that you travel are graded dirt and gravel roads, two-vehicles wide, that would be suitable for most vehicles. Rain and snow could make the roads slick or impassable at times. Along this segment, there are countless trail spurs on each side of the road. Logging trucks are active in this area so be alert for the trucks and machinery on the trail. The terrain is a forest with a variety of trees and many options for dispersed camping. During the fall season, the Uncompahgre National Forest is a popular hunting destination. Nucla, CO to Manti-La Sal Forest (Waypoints 21-52) Approaching Nucla, Colorado, you will move from dirt to pavement as you pass through the town and then revert back to dirt just west of the town. Nucla, CO will be the only spot along this entire trail when you will be able to pick up supplies and fuel. Directly west of Nucla, you will travel on rougher dirt roads where higher vehicle clearance and 4wd would be recommended. These trails are mostly single vehicle width but there is almost always an area to easily pull over for faster-moving traffic behind you or oncoming vehicles. This is desert terrain, with a history of uranium mining, and you will find very few shade trees but many open ranges and cattle sharing the trail. About halfway between Nucla and the Manti-La Sal National Forest, you will come to the water crossing at Tabeguache Creek. Depending on the season, this crossing is 12-24" deep and the water is moving swiftly. The trail continues to be rocky until the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Manti-La Sal Forest to La Sal Pass Road (Waypoints 52-58) In the Manti-La Sal National Forest, the road is well-graded and only has gravel, small rocks, and some ruts and potholes after rain. This section is suitable for most vehicles. This section of the trail is just east of the La Sal peaks and is among the most beautiful parts of the entire route. Most of the camping in this area is relegated to designated camping spots only. Without prior planning, finding a camping spot hear (near Buckeye Reservoir) will be difficult as the area is popular and easily accessed. La Sal Pass Road to Moab (Waypoints 58 to 74) Much of this final push into Moab is bumpy and slow, especially between Waypoints 59 and 63. When you turn west from the La Sal Pass Road (Waypoint 59), the trail becomes a rough and rocky two-track. There are areas to pull over for oncoming traffic. The trees and shrubs are close-in on the trail and will brush along one or both sides of your vehicle. Some pinstriping is likely. There are tight corners, climbs, and descents and larger rocks along the trail to navigate through. A higher clearance vehicle is necessary here. As you get closer to the Moab and turn onto Black Ridge Trail (Waypoint 63), the trail will become less bumpy dirt and gravel suitable for most vehicles. The trail eventually becomes pavement as you enter the south edge of Moab, UT. Additional information about the Rim Rocker can be found on the official website Rimrocker.org.

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (50 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/14/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Trail was great. Need to tell more about after crossing into Utah Road gets really rocky after la sal rate is a 1 or -1. It did get better. You need minimum of 2 day
Status: Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 09/04/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

We did the western half last October and decided to come back and do the whole thing this year. We were super disappointed to find the eastern "half" is 80% graded gravel (or paved) road, which definitely explains how people get it done in a day, as we did. As is this should be split into two trails to at least make that more apparent. Had a blast in south West Colorado out of Ouray after this though so the trip was super worth it.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/02/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We ran the trail over the long holiday weekend. Forgot hunting season was underway, so lots of traffic in the forests and challenging to find a camp spot. We decided to do the Roubideau Jeep Road loop near the Iron Spring campground. The middle of that trail was challenging but lots of wheeling fun! Did a lot of scraping and had to use the lockers at least twice. The rest of the trip we had the trail mostly to ourselves. Was hot and really dry. The views all around were stunning and made the trip worth every bumpy mile. Water crossings all bone dry. The washout on the road near Moab was closer to waypoint 72. It is significant. There are no detour signs so we just went in and out. It was about 10 feet across and about 5-6 feet deep. An effort was made to grade berms going in and out. Trucks may have a hard time with the longer wheel bases. At that point, there are several opportunities to turn left and get on the highway. Overall, was an amazing trip and would definitely recommend!
Official Crew
Status: Open
Visited: 09/01/2022

It is reported that a detour in place between Waypoints 70-72 near Moab is due to a washed-out portion of the road. As with all desert trail areas, plan on changes due to recent monsoons.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/29/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Ran the trail from East to West over two days. Normal water crossings were minimal, however we did experience rain both afternoons. Ran into two separate groups that were doing the trail from West to East on the first day, and a lone ATV on the second. Trail is well marked the entire route.

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