Rimrocker

Montrose, Colorado (Montrose County)

Last Updated: 07/21/2020
4.7 / 5 ( 14 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: 05/16 - 11/30
Difficulty: 3-3
(MODERATE )
Length: 160.88 miles
Highest Elevation: 9973 feet
Duration: About 10 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Montrose
Nearest Town w/ Services: Montrose
Official Road Name: Rimrocker
Management Agency: Uncompahgre National Forest / BLM / Manti La Sal National Forest
District: Ouray, Norwood, Manti-La Sal
Distance:
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Rimrocker
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!

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Rimrocker

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Stock SUV with High Clearance and 4 Low
Concerns:
Summary:
This is a long trail through many different terrains. The first 50 miles of the trail is graded gravel road suitable for most vehicles. After Nucla, CO, the trail becomes rocky with some steep climbs and descents. Rocks are generally less than 6" with a few larger freestanding rocks scattered throughout the trail. The water crossing at the Tabeguache Creek can be 12-24" deep depending on the season. Between Waypoints 59 and 63, the trail becomes a rough and rocky two-track. There are limited 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 pin-striping is likely.

Technical Rating: 3-3
(MODERATE )

Typically, more rock or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 12" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 12" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 24" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep.
Read more about our rating system

Description

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.

Waypoints

1. Rimrocker Trailhead (0 mi)
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 (11.52 mi)
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 (14.3 mi)
Continue straight. Divide Road, aka USFS 402, joins from the left/south.
4. Iron Springs Campground - Continue Straight (14.81 mi)
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 website.
5. Nucla Road - Keep Right (15.02 mi)
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 (16.06 mi)
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 (18.54 mi)
Continue straight. USFS 548 is a spur that heads north and dead ends. Continue straight to remain on Rimrocker.
8. Houser Road - Continue Straight (19.21 mi)
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 (23.04 mi)
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 (28.09 mi)
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 (29.72 mi)
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 (30.52 mi)
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 (38.3 mi)
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 (46.86 mi)
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 (52.39 mi)
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 (52.99 mi)
Turn left. This is downtown Nucla.
17. 10th Street - Turn Right (53.52 mi)
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 (55.12 mi)
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 (57.24 mi)
Keep left. Stay on the pavement veering to the left to remain on the Rimrocker.
20. 2600 Road - Turn Right (57.98 mi)
Turn right. Head north on 2600 Road. There is an official Rimrocker sign that points to the proper direction.
21. Z26 Road - Turn Left (59.47 mi)
Turn left. Z26 Road initially heads west and will then turn to the north. The pavement ends near here.
22. V19 Road - Turn Left (61.13 mi)
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 (67.51 mi)
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 (68.69 mi)
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 (68.81 mi)
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 (71.69 mi)
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 (72.85 mi)
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 (73.03 mi)
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 (73.81 mi)
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 (75.56 mi)
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 (76.32 mi)
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 (76.74 mi)
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 (77.21 mi)
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 (78.25 mi)
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 (81.81 mi)
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 (82.58 mi)
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 (87.63 mi)
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 (89.07 mi)
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 (89.43 mi)
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 (91.45 mi)
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 (92.89 mi)
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 (93.73 mi)
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 (94.14 mi)
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 (96.06 mi)
Turn right. Here, you will rejoin Q13 Road.
45. T10 Road - Turn Left (96.46 mi)
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 (97.84 mi)
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 (98.57 mi)
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 (101.98 mi)
Continue straight. Lessor roads take off to the right and the left. Continue straight to remain on the Rimrocker.
49. R3 Road - Turn Left (102.68 mi)
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 (104.12 mi)
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 (105.36 mi)
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 (107.05 mi)
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 (108.26 mi)
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 (108.84 mi)
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 (112.55 mi)
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 (117.65 mi)
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 (122.02 mi)
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 (124.68 mi)
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 (125.9 mi)
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 (130.91 mi)
USFS Road #717 heads off northbound. Keep left to remain on the Rimrocker.
61. Lackey Basin Road - Continue Straight (131.22 mi)
Continue straight. This is known as Lackey Basin Road (USFS Road #717).
62. USFS 764 - Turn Right (131.61 mi)
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 (134.48 mi)
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 (137.28 mi)
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 (143.98 mi)
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 (147.28 mi)
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 (148.69 mi)
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 (149.53 mi)
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 (150.19 mi)
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 (150.38 mi)
Veer right. There are no road signs out here, so stay alert to the directions.
71. Unknown Road - Veer Left then Stay Left (150.69 mi)
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 (151.89 mi)
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 (153.14 mi)
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 (160.73 mi)
The Rimrocker ends in town on the south side of Moab, Utah.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 38.430550, -107.985267

Starting Point: Montrose, Colorado

Travel west on Colorado Highway 90, which initially follows East Main Street/Spring Creek Road in Montrose. As you leave town, continue to follow Colorado Highway 90 (taking several 90-degree turns) for 8.3 miles to the end of the pavement. There is a large parking lot on your left. This is the start of Rim Rocker.

Camping

Dispersed
Designated
Camping conditions change as you progress along the Rim Rocker. Much of the route allows for dispersed camping with one area of designated camping only. Some other areas are just not suited for a pleasurable camping experience. The first 50 miles travel through the Uncompahgre National Forest. Dispersed camping is abundant and the forest contains a few improved campgrounds with some pit toilets available. After Nucla, CO, the trail travels through BLM controlled property and allows for a more high mountain desert-like dispersed camping experience. Once you enter the Manti-La Sal National Forest near Buckeye Reservoir (Waypoint 52), camping is restricted to designated camping spots only. Dispersed camping is allowed along most of the rest of the trail, however, harsh terrain conditions between Waypoints 59-63 make the area unsuitable for camping. There are portions of private property as you near Moab. Here are a few official websites that can help you find suitable camping to match your needs: Utah BLM Manti-LaSal National Forest Uncompahgre National Forest
Camping: Rimrocker

Trail Reviews (25)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Awesome trail that has its easy parts and it's slower parts. We took our time coming from the Moab side and camped twice. Once around waypoint 60 and again around waypoint 12. Started at about 4pm on Thursday and was finished about 11am Saturday. All the water crossings were dry this time of year.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great overland trail. I ran it westbound from Montrose. Didn't see a single other vehicle from Nucla until we were into Utah. I ran it in my mildly lifted F150 supercrew longbed with no problems. I would recommend a vehicle with good clearance and 4 low range as some spots are pretty rocky and steep. Most of the steep grades showed 9-12% with one short piece showed 18%. This is a long trail with a lot of variety in scenery and technicality. We did it in one long day, but if you have time and like to camp, staying overnight along the way would be good.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
A fun trail that I just completed. None of the water crossings were an issue at all this late in the season. I found the detailed directions listed above to be unnecessary as the Rimrock is very well marked for the entire length. Someone has done a lot of good work marking the trail with the green signs. I did have the printed description from the Rimrockertrail.org site and that was a big help. I think it could be done in 1 day, but I stretched it out to a day and a half by camping at Buckhorn Reservoir near the Colorado/Utah state line. The weather was overcast with occasional sprinkles of rain throughout my two days on the trail, but that was no problem at all and helped keep the dust down. I did not encounter a single vehicle which surprised me a bit. Maybe the weather kept everyone home. Saw a bit of wildlife - coyotes and LOTS of cows!

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We were very worried about the ROC fire that closed the Rimrocker road just past the Buckeye Reservoir. We drove 2 mile road to Buckeye Reservoir day one because we were advised to avoid the section between there and Moab with trailers. We had a great camp spot at the group camp at Buckeye Reservoir. Day 2 we pulled our overlanding Trailers all the way to Montrose. It was a long but not hard, day. I followed the trailsoffroad guide on paper backward (west to east) and missed a couple turns because the roads looked equally traveled. There was no gas in Nucla and we had to make a side trip to Naturita to find gas. (Even there only two of 9 pumps were giving gas). I'll do this one again without a trailer so I can go from MOAB to Montrose. This shortcutted about 50 miles. No water at all in the Tabagauche river crossing. Greatest part was descending into and climbing out of the Dolores River Canyon. Printing out the .pdf map from https://rimrockertrail.org/trail-maps/ and the .pdf Trails offroad Trail Guide helped immensely. Between the Buckeye Reservoir and the Dolores River, there are numerous forks that will be encountered and it could be hard to decide which way to go. (But they eventually rejoined the main road). Keep a sharp eye out for the brown and green RR signs. They will help.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
There is currently a fire burning part of this trail. Moab, Utah, June 30, 2020- Despite high winds on the Roc Fire the last two days, no growth occurred. The fire acreage held at 210 acres, and is at 20% containment. From rimrocker.org - "THE RIMROCKER TRAIL IS CLOSED FROM HIGHWAY 141 TO BUCKEYE CAMPGROUND THROUGH JULY 8TH. BUCKEYE CAMPGROUND IS CLOSED UNTIL JULY 8TH"

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran most of the trail with a few exceptions. I have been on part of this trail on a mountain bike hut to hut trip so I knew some of the route. We ended up on a few side excursions which are worth mentioning. Rim road outside of Montrose was a side road our GPS led us to while having issues. It is sort of a mini moab and rocky for sure but great views and an added hour or so to the trip. We also did the Burro creek alternate which was a little more technical but awesome views as well! Then past Nucla we diverted and followed the river to Paradox and reconnected via the jeep road to just before Buckeye. Then in Utah we heard north on Taylor flats road to the dinosaur lookout and then into Moab via Sand flats! Great trip

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I did this whole trail in two wheel drive in my Taco. Having said that, I went from UT to CO. It was in the middle of summer. Some spots could definitely require 4wd when wet. All the water crossings were dry. If you are traveling from UT to CO I would recommend getting at least 25-30 miles in before you start looking for camping. Also, on the UT side you will be sharing your camp spot with cows. This truly is an Overlander's paradise. There are numerous off shoot trails especially on the Colorado side. I recommend having the trail pulled up on your tablet or phone as there are some spots that are lacking signage. All in all I highly recommend this trail.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
If you are looking for a multi-day overland trip near the SW Colorado/SE Utah area, this is the one you'll need to put on your list. This trail has it all - absolutely incredible scenery/wildlife, awesome camp spots, and lots of cool history and other activities to do as you travel along it (hiking, fishing, kayaking, etc). This is a great trail if overlanding is a new activity for you, or if you are introducing it to someone, as its not a hard trail. From the lush, green forest, to the arid, yet vegetated desert, Rimrocker will make you feel extremely grateful to be experiencing these sights and sounds in the present moment. I give this trail 5 stars for that reason. It is just a special trail - it is hard to put into words. Go run it and see for yourself. If I was to do it over again, I would completely bypass WP 58 to the end (travelling from east to west). In my opinion, it is not an enjoyable section of trail. Everything else before WP 58 is spectacular, however.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Just Completed the Rimrocker, start to finish. This trail is a marathon. I especially enjoyed the section through the old mining area of Uravan, CO (Waypoint 24-37) as I enjoy to old mining ghost towns from Colorado's history. The scenery along this part of the trail was spectacular with the best part along the Atkinson Creek canyon. When we hit the Buckeye Reservoir, the backdrop of the La Sal Mountains was like the scene from an old western movie. The trail took us two days to complete with a bunch of sightseeing stops along the way. I'm not sure that this will be my regular route to get from Colorado to Moab, but I'll visit this trail again.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We ran rimrocker this past weekend beginning in Montrose to the point just before the track goes around the La Sal's. At this point we hopped out to the highway to return to Western Colorado so that we could avoid the camping bans currently being enforced in Grand County, Utah. The trail was dry however the Tabeguache Creek was quite high and moving quickly. We decided that the risk of this crossing was a little too high especially since there is an easy detour around this creek. The camping around Buckeye Reservoir was incredible -- you just have to take some of the side roads and you're guaranteed to find a spot with a wonderful view, just be mindful of the private property once you cross into Utah. Enjoy this wonderful track!

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
According to the Facebook Page - Rimrocker Trail, this trail is now OPEN. We are planning a full rewrite of this trail soon. Stay tuned. From Rimrocker FB page... The Rimrocker Trail is OPEN! Please keep these things in mind: The Tabeguache crossing on U19 near Uravan (pictured) has extremely high water, but there are ways to bypass this water crossing. Visit rimrockertrail.org for additional information. Signs have been added and the missing link portion of the highway has been widened. Expect muddy conditions as we have melting & runoff.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
2014 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road on 3" lift with 265/75r16 tires. We ran the trail from 5/8 to 5/9, east to west. We took the Delta to Nucla road and hooked up with the Rimrocker in Nucla. We were unsure of snow conditions for the Montrose to Nucla route, and were confident of no snow on the Delta to Nucla route. The Tabeguache Creek crossing was pretty high on 5/8/2020.. the water got over my doors about 10 inches on the upstream side, and about 4 inches on the downstream side. I'd expect it to be impassable soon if it isn't already. We were unable to pass on La Sal Pass due to snow at higher elevations. We had to turn around at 9800 ft. Overall the trail was pretty mellow. The scenery was far more enjoyable than the off road driving... nothing technical.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We loved this trail. Ran it with three vehicles. My leveled 2018 F150 CCLB towing a trailer, another identical truck with a slide in camper, and a stock Escalade (!) towing a trailer. Other than having to stack a couple of rocks in one small washout none of us have any problems at all. The scenery was fantastic and there were some amazing campsites. We camped two nights along the way. You could do longer days but with kids this was our best option. We camped one night not far west of 141 and another night when we were close to Moab. Both sites had complete solitude and amazing views. One word of caution, the trail is incredibly narrow and pretty slow going starting at waypoint 59. The scenery isn’t great on this stretch either due to being hemmed in by scrub oak. If (when) I do it again I think I would continue on La Sal Pass Rd into Moab for better views and to avoid some of the pinstripes.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We enjoyed the trail very much. Several different terrains and scenery. Not sure where the 5 is at, that must only count in rainy conditions, the trail was mild and enjoyable.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
What a fun trail. A mix of rocky trail and smooth as glass fire road. Desert scape to pine forests. One note when you are at waypoint #16 if you head down to hwy 141 a short distance there is a great FREE campground on the banks of the San Miguel River. Spent the night there splitting the trip. River crossing at #17 was no issue. Pic is campground not river crossing. Lol

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
We made it up the trail about ten miles above Montrose and camped for the night, knowing that the trail was impassable up another ten or so miles. In the morning, we rolled back down and took the hwy around to Naturita and caught the trail again there. The Tabaguache Creek crossing was impassable due to heavy water flow that turned the creek into a fast-moving, deep river. There's an easy work-around though, just a short distance up the hwy and on the right. I think it's road Q17. Things got sloppy a couple of miles before we reached Buckeye Reservoir due to heavy, sustained rainfall. Nearly impassable, and those two miles took over an hour to drive. The reservoir is a beautiful place, and the campground was only at about 10% occupancy. The final 8-10 miles of the Rimrocker is slow going and rocky, but it's not a technical section. It just goes on and on and by the time you wrap it up, you are ready to put it behind you. I do believe that this section could be bypassed, however. All-in-all, an awesome experience. Completed over three days and two nights.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
I was hoping that the trail would be decently clear from the Montrose side but after climbing up the first switchback I got to a section that is now being used by snowmobiles due to the amount of snow. There are some awesome campsites before you hit that spot that look over the valley. I have been told that other sections are accessible mainly due to being plowed for logging access but I didn't have time to explore and see what areas are accessible.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Man, what a fun trail. The views are amazing. My girlfriend and I ran this trail in 2 days. I would say pretty much any stock 4x4 could handle this trail. There are a few high clearance spots but nothing crazy. There are opportunities to veer off the beaten path and get into some more intense trails, but make sure you always have a backup plan. As you can see, we ran this trail in late Nov. We had concerns about snow of course, but we did not experience any real deep snow until we veered off the trail and did some exploring in way higher elevations. If you stay on the trail you should be fine. Give yourself a good deal of time. Not just for the drive, but also to be able to set up camp and explore a little :). Some amazing views out there

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
A fun trail. mostly pretty easy. Drove from the Denver Metro area to Montrose and hit the trail from there. Spent the night at the Columbine campground and had the entire campground to ourselves. It was great to use the pit toilets instead of our portable units. Apparently a lot of beaver activity in the area. From there we took the alternate cutoff to Burro Creek, avoiding Nucla. This is a little more challenging with a couple good switchbacks and heavy brush in some areas with lots of pin-striping. Once back on the main trail, it was smooth sailing all the way to Moab with some spectacular views. Definitely a great a great way to get from one state to another without much on paved roads. Did see some pretty good bear tracks mixed in with either cat or canine tracks in the soft roadside sand.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
My first REAL overlanding trip and it was quite successful. The Rimrocker is a great, scenic trail. My slightly modified 4runner (lift,tires,bumper,sliders) was more than enough to tackle the trail. From Montrose to Nucla, the trail is more of a two lane gravel road. Once past Nucla, I was completely surprised by how truly far away you are from anything. As mentioned previously, bring plenty of water, fuel, tools, and think ahead, getting stranded out there would be bad news as you will NOT have cell service for very long amounts of time. We didn't see another human being for nearly 20 hours, near the Colorado-Utah state line. The trip took about 14 or 15 hours of drive time. It could be shortened a bit by moving at a quicker pace but I was there for the views and the experience. Weather was gorgeous throughout the day but got down to 36F at our first campsite in Uncompahgre. The second night wasn't nearly as cold, somewhere atop a peak near the Utah border. Be prepared for most of the trail to leave your passengers feeling uneasy as you are near the edge of a cliff for most of the drive. One could easily spend weeks on the trail, exploring the various offshoots and tons of scenic stops. Overall we had an amazing time, and I cant wait to get back out and tackle the next trail.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Ran Rimrocker late in the season. The plateau was snow covered, but otherwise the rest of the trip was sunny and dry. According to the folks at Montrose, the plateau will stay open most years until the end of elk season or the first big multi-foot snow storm. As with previous comments I suspect a stock vehicle would be fine for the vast majority of the trail, and low range likely optional. Beautiful and quiet are the 2 words I would use to describe it. It felt remote, but in reality you were never more than an hour or two from some kind of town or road with various options to bail out. We opted to check out the 'Burro Creek' offshoot being that our rig was a little more built, and would definitely NOT recommend this side trek. We double checked that it was open to 4x4 traffic and wasn't an ATV trail it was so tight, and I had to use the axe to clear the trail at points lest we take body damage. Definitely took some some permanent pin striping from that one. The trail was a little more rugged, but no real rocks or obstacles to deal with outside of 1 tight/steep creek crossing. A note on gas: my FZJ80 with a dented tank made it through just fine, with a total driving time of around 14 hours (burro took awhile). That being said, getting stranded out there would be less than ideal.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
On June 25 a buddy and I traveled the majority of the Rim Rocker Trail. We skipped the first section and just started it in Nucla. In preparation I had taken note of the major creek crossing (Tabeguache Waypoint 17) and had attempted to find a possible way of avoiding it. I was concerned that with the late and heavy snow Colorado had been hit with, the creek would be at peak water levels later than normal and would not be passable. However upon approaching the creek the water levels were much lower than anticipated and it was easily forded. The water was probably only about 10 inches deep. Although there were some rocky sections and some very exposed trail sections, this trail is not technical for a mildly built rig and would probably be passable with a stock 4WD vehicle as long as you have dry weather. If you were to be caught in heavy rains I could see portions of the trail becoming very difficult and scary. The campsites are plentiful throughout the Colorado section, there are countless gorgeous dispersed sights in the high desert, then the sites become once again plentiful when you enter the Manti La Sal National Forest. Watch out for cattle all over the roads when you enter Utah, they were everywhere. Although it is difficult to see from the photos provided, the trail is very well marked with small green posts. Although having the GPX track on your phone or tablet will help you make sure you're still on track, do not worry about having to know where every turn is and keep on eye out for the green posts that say rimrocker on them. I cannot recommend doing this trail enough. I have never seen so much raw beauty in one day before. As you travel from Montrose westward it just continually becomes more gorgeous, each view topping the last. Make sure you take your camera and be ready to have your jaw drop!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We did this trail from Montrose, heading west. The week before we went out, a snowstorm came through western CO and everything over 9000ft was covered in 3ft of snow. This threw a wrench into our night one plans, as all the campgrouds were buried. When we hit Cottonwood Pass, the forest service had closed and locked the gate. We spent the night camped in the road, hoping the forest service would come by in the am an open the gate so we could continue. No luck, had to back track into Montrose and take the highways around and then rejoin the trail in Nulca, so we missed a sizeable piece of the trail. Moving on it, has a fun water crossing. Shelf roads aren't bad. Once you get into UT, around La Sal Pass, the last section takes you through some tight, paint removing scrub brush. If you drive a Tacoma, I suggest this product https://www.goat-truckarmor.com/default.asp. All in all, it's fun two day ride.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Over the course of two days we traveled the bulk of this trail and rather enjoyed it a ton. It is a fairly simple and not a technical route. Which makes it perfectly suited for the Overland traveler. We spend the night overlooking the towns of La Sal, UT and Old La Sal, UT high in the La Sal Mountain Range. Which at night yielded some amazing night views of Monticello, UT in the distance at the foot of Abajo Mountains. I will forewarn the traveler who doesn't like cliff edges, because this trails gets the name Rimrocker for a reason. The majority of the trail on the Colorado side predominantly hugs the edges of mountains and mesas, which yields some spectacular views. Along the whole journey we where awarded not only with great views but a large and lively bunch of deer and grouse along the whole route. We did find ourselves with 2 issues running this at this time of year. The river crossing at waypoint 17 was flooded out to a point that crossing would have been meet with issues. However a simple backtrack to waypoint 20 and going left/west and grabbing 141 to V19 Road and continuing back on trail at waypoint 16 got us around the flooded section. The other issue we had was due to the section of trail from Waypoint 6 headed into Montrose. Forest Service maintains this section of trail being closed from November to May 30th as it gets lots of snow/rain. Resulting in muddy roads that they would rather not enjoy repairing lots of ruts. We got through this by just continuing on the Nucla-Delta Road to Delta, CO as this was the only way to continue forward from what we could see. Once in Delta you can continue to Montrose via US HWY 50.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Traviling the trail backwards as you get closer to the mountains on the ut side there is some large snow drifts blocking up the road. Also a few tight spots for lots of pin striping

Questions & Answers (10)

Q: About how long will it take to get to the Buckeye Reservoir from Montrose?
–Christopher Laney (08/11/2020)
A: Hi Christopher, if you were just going to burn through the trail, maybe give yourself about 6 hours. If you wanted to stop along the way and enjoy the trail, I'd give yourself 8-12 hours.
–John (08/11/2020)
Q: Jon, Planning to run this to FJ summit in July. A couple questions: How much time to budget? Can my trailer make it ( m100 offroad trailer w RTT)..?
–Jim Long (03/15/2020)
A: Hey Jim, I plan on re-mapping this trail this summer since this has been in a few different authors' hands. I am purely going off information that I can surmise about this trail (since I have not personally ran it). If it were me, I would plan on at least 2 days (1 night of camping) since it is 160 miles (I like to take my time and take in the scenery). I can't answer about the trailer, but maybe someone else can!
–John (03/16/2020)
Q: Can you take this trail the opposite way? I mean, enter from Moab and exit in Colorado? I’am trying to plan a week overland trip that starts in Arizona and come thru Utah and then Colorado through New Mexico and back into Arizona.
–Logan Daugherty (05/27/2019)
A: Yes
–Brandon Marlow (05/27/2019)
Q: Would like to do this trail over memorial day. Do you think the trail would be 100% by the end of May? What time of year does it usually open 100% ?
–Terry Foste (03/24/2019)
A: Unfortunately Colorado is not a place where you can rely on the weather to be normal. Much of the SW has received more snow than normal. The best bet is to have a backup plan and keep an eye on the conditions. With continuous warm weather and no more storms, it could likely be open.
–Brandon Marlow (03/25/2019)
Q: Is there camping along the trail? And is it really a 9 hour trail? Thanks
–Lance kyser (01/26/2019)
A: Yeah it is a very long trail, some sections are higher speed while others will have you crawling along slowly whether it's the bumpy terrain or stopping to admire the scenery. But the good thing with it being so long is you can section it up and jump back to other forest service roads or highways depending on your wants. Camping is all over near the trail so you should be able to find something that suits your needs. Winter will make it a little more interesting as some areas get packed with snow, turn into snowmobile areas and then other parts may get plowed for lumber access.
–Brandon Marlow (01/27/2019)
A: Sorry, skipped over the camping section of the info
–Lance kyser (01/27/2019)
Q: Can this trail be completed from Montrose to Moab in one day in a Jeep?
–HKLover (09/16/2018)
A: It would be a long day, but could certainly be possible with little traffic.
–Brandon Marlow (09/30/2018)
Q: How do you ‘plan’ on crossing 141 on Rimrocker Trail on an UTV?
–robert silverman (09/09/2018)
A: That is a highway which does not allow unlicensed vehicles so you can make it an out and back to that location or arrange for transport across the highway.
–Brandon Marlow (09/30/2018)
Q: Would there be any issue with a full size pickup?
–Rejean Barbeau (05/24/2018)
A: Other than a possibility of some pin striping, full size will be fine.
–Brandon Marlow (05/24/2018)
Q: How much gas did you use? Did you fill up at any point or did you bring extra gas with you?
–Andrew Dixon (04/28/2017)
A: I may have had extra gas with me but never had to worry about getting gas during the trail. As long as you can do 200 miles on a tank regularly, you should be fine.
–Brandon Marlow (04/28/2017)
Q: What time of year did you do this trail?
–Ed (02/26/2017)
A: The pictures on the write up were completed in June of 2016.
–Brandon Marlow (02/27/2017)

Writer Information

Tim Palmer

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Tim lives and works in Northern Colorado. He has owned and driven 4X4 vehicles his entire adult life including Jeeps, pick ups, ATVs and UTVs. After high school, Tim's first 4X4 was a 47 Willy's CJ-2A with a flat 4 and a 6-volt electrical system. Typically wheeling in Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming, Tim loves being in the mountains and the back country. Because of a desire to enjoy and promote responsible off-roading and to keep it available for the future, he belongs to a local 4X4 off-road club. Being part of the Trailsoffroad.com community furthers that goal as well. A love for off-road adventures, camping, fishing, and hunting keeps Tim away from pavement and always exploring. While his wife likes the comfort of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Tim prefers the ruggedness of the Jeep Wrangler. Although most off-road time is spent in Colorado and Wyoming, an occasional trip to the Moab area is common. Tim will spend the summer going topless and enjoying the value of the great outdoors. Amateur Radio Technician license call sign: ke0npg
For individual use only, not to be shared.