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