4.6/5 (56 reviews)
Montrose, Colorado (Montrose County)
Last Updated: 09/01/2022

Trail Information


Ghost Town
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

4.6/5 (56)
Rated 2/5
Visited: 11/07/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

This trail is bland. Easier than suggested. Not nearly as scenic as other trails in the area. Plus the Moab end is bone jarring rocky and there are probably 100 more interesting trails in Moab. Not worth doing.
Official Crew
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/15/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Just completed this. Took 1.5 days and was predictable and simple. River crossing was a creek. Fun and an absolute must over-landing route.
Official Crew
Rated 4/5
Visited: 10/08/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We ran this trail over the course of 2 days from Montrose to Moab. Up until you reach Nucla, the trail is a mixture of pavement and forest service roads. The only real obstacles are the open range cattle. We did not air down until we got back on the dirt after Nucla. The first water crossing was low and easy to traverse. The majority of the trail is easy with only a few small obstacles which a stock 4x4 could tackle. In my honest opinion Waypoint 47 the “epic campsite” should be removed. It’s a small clearing on the side of the road. We initially were planning to camp there but found a truly epic campsite further east. I would have been very disappointed had we pushed further to make it to that campsite. As you cross into Utah the road goes back to a forest service road. There are a few miles closer to Moab that become extremely rocky and almost to the point of torturous if you’re in a hurry to get to Moab. All in all it’s a great trail and as previously stated, Fall is the perfect time to do the trail due to all of the fall colors.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/04/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

What a truly awesome overloading trail! Really fun, varied, and mild-moderately technical. Was mostly dry except for a fun amount of mud before and after the waypoint 52. All creek crossings were either dry or fairly low. Took about 6-7 hours for me to get from waypoint 1 to where I camped around waypoint 51. Found a phenomenal dispersed campsite. Incredible views, leaf change, and weather. The next day was about 4 hours to the end of the trail. I enjoyed every bit of it (except maybe the few miles of pavement going through Nucla), Don't expect this to be a "wheeling" trail. This is a mildly technical overloading trail and it's a lot of fun. I'm gonna say that this trail was barely a 3 in difficulty when I did it. Much less technical than the White Rim which is also rated a 3. I suppose if the creek crossings were high or the mud deeper it would then be a solid 3. Still going to say it's a 3 but its a pretty easy one as far as technical driving goes. Also, fall is the best time to do this trail in my opinion.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/29/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Great time. Encountered a massive storm at marker 23 that lasted for over a day. Did not see another vehicle until just outside of Moab which was nice, plenty of camping. Brought a DJI 3 for some aerial shots, cannot wait to run this again next year.

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