Rimrocker

Montrose, Colorado (Montrose County)

Last Updated: 05/16/2022
4.8 / 5 ( 25 reviews )
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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

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

MANDATORY
3
MODERATE
OPTIONAL
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.
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Community Consensus

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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

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 (44)

Questions & Answers (15)

Q: We are planning to run the trail October 13-17 Montrose to Moab with a Taco pulling a Conqueror 490 camper. I do not see any issues from all the threads, mapping and the Montrose RR site. I only see one review pulling a trailer. Do you foresee any issues, am I missing anything? I have not run this trail for many years - really wasn't a published trail back then and I was not pulling a trailer. We are not in a rush and want to spend several nights camping along the trail before turning and running a different route home. We live on the western side of Pikes Peak, the drive from home to Montrose is a little over 5 hours. Any insights would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all you do with this site - very helpful. I would like to ask if there is a way to add a classification on pulling dispersed campers, it is a growing way of travel here in the west. Just a thought - thanks again - Mike
–Mike Chandler (10/01/2021)
A: The Tacoma will be just fine for the whole road. The trailer will present some problems in one stretch. Starting a Waypoint 59, the trail becomes very bumpy as you drive over exposed rocks. The trail is also VERY narrow here because of the brushy vegetation. Being able to negotiate some of the tight turns through the brush with the trailer will be extreme difficult. I do not know if others have done this stretch with a trailer, but I would not do it myself. At Waypoint 59, there are some alternative, maintained county roads available to be able to find an alternate route into Moab. I'm sorry, but I do not have the specifics on other routes. Good luck on the journey. Please share your photos, I'd love to see your trip.
–Tim Palmer (10/01/2021)
Q: Doing this trail next week. Are there hiking trails along the route that will get us some more incredible views? Are they marked or do we just explore as we wish? Thanks in advance and can't wait to check it out. Driving from Wisconsin to Zion Utah with as much off road as possible. -Nate
–Nathan Fager (06/09/2021)
A: Nate, What a great adventure for your trip. The views are varied and breathtaking along the way. I'm sorry, we did not map or specifically identify hiking trails along the route, but there are plenty of places to step out along the trail. The area between Waypoint 22 and Waypoint 37 offers many opportunities for pedestrian exploration. Biscuit Rock, at Waypoint 39, offers a hiking option to explore this unique formation. For most of the trip, you are travelling through the National Forest and BLM territories. Check their websites for specific hiking trails along the Rimrocker. Good luck on the trip, please post photos and tell us about your trail adventure.
–Tim Palmer (06/09/2021)
Q: I see trail is partially open. When does the trail usually open by? If there is snow is it still passable?
–Antonio Alcala (04/27/2021)
A: Antonio, Some parts of the trail are open year round, while others segments are closed by the forest service to prevent resource damage. The area around the Uncompahgre National Forest is closed until May 16 each year. After May 16, you will be able to explore the route in its entirety.
–Tim Palmer (04/29/2021)
Q: Would you recommend Traveling on trail with our Ford Transit high roof with 2.5 lift / 2WD?
–Jeff Vrooman (01/13/2021)
A: Jeff, I would only recommend part of the trail for your Ford Transit. If the roads are clear of snow, you can easily drive from the Trailhead at Montrose, CO to Nucla, CO (Waypoint #15). After that the trail is much more difficult and could prove too much for what you are driving. If you are wanting to travel to Buckeye Reservoir, (at Waypoint 52), there are some alternate easier routes to get there that are not along the Rimrocker. The Rimrocker Trail after Waypoint 59 is simply way too much for your van.
–Tim Palmer (01/15/2021)
Q: I see on the Rimrock trail there are water crossings. Can you get through with a stock 2004 TJ and not get your interior wet?
–Dave (10/22/2020)
A: Hi Dave, depending on what time of year you go, the Tabeguache will either be flowing pretty good or barely at all. We mapped this May 2020 (almost at the peak of snowmelt) and were totally ok (white Rubicon is stock). Later in the season, there should be no issues whatsoever. Take a look at https://rimrockertrail.org/trail-updates/ if you plan on going early in the season and have any concerns.
–John (10/22/2020)
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: We did it with two full size pickups. There was extensive pinstriping between waypoints 59 and 61. Like miles of being scraped by scrub oak. This part can be bypassed though. Otherwise, no issues at all for a full size. Even pulling a trailer like we were.
–Franklin Crandall (10/09/2020)
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.