Kremmling, Colorado (Grand) Technical Rating: 8-9
Last Updated: 04-22-2017
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Kremmling Field Office BLM
The Sidewinder extreme 4x4 Jeep trail is located on BLM lands in the Wolford Mountain area, just outside of Kremmling Colorado. This is the only constructed technical four-wheel drive trail of it's kind in the west!
Sidewinder is open for travel one-way south to north, bottom to top. There are 9 obstacles constructed of large boulders and some are fitted with railroad ties. Each obstacle is different and each varies in difficulty. There are no winch points on this trail, thus lockers are a high recommendation. Most of the trail is very narrow, and drivers in wider vehicles will have a much tougher time. High clearance is a must, and it may not be possible to get a vehicle with tires smaller than 35 inches through this trail without a lot of effort and damage. Therefore, a minimum of 35-inch tires are recommended.
Technical rating: (8-9) Difficult
Severe rock over 15". Frequent deep holes over 15". Shelves over 15". Mud bog conditions (long, deep, no form bottom). Over 30" water crossings with strong currents. Steep grades over 30 degrees. Sidehill over 30 degrees. May not be passable by stock vehicles. Experience essential. Body damage, mechanical breakdown, rollover probable. Extreme caution required.
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Directions to Trailhead
From Denver, take I-70 west to Highway 9 just after Eisenhower Tunnel. Take Highway 9 north to the stop light in Kremmling and turn right to follow Park Avenue (Highway 40) through town. Turn left on 22nd Street (the BLM office is on the corner). Turn left off of the pavement onto Cow Gulch Road, County Road 224. Follow this dirt road for 1.3 miles to the trailhead on the right, just before Mulberry Hill.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates:
40° 5' 3.16"N
106° 22' 31.69"W
GPS Exchange File:
Sidewinder is a one-way only trail south to north. It climbs through a wash, up rock obstacles fortified by railroad ties, and through plenty of sand to dig a 40'' tire buggy to it's frame. The Guardian rocks are the first set of rocks a driver will encounter, but don't assume that this small obstacle is any indication of how the rest of the trail will be. The trail continues to get more and more difficult as it progresses.
The toughest parts of the trail are the two rocky climbs that come after the railroad tie obstacles. They are a series of rocks on hill climbs that snake through the wash. You may have to back up in a few places to adjust your approach as you work your way through the rocks. There is also a "tippy tree" that leans you very close to or into a tree. Tall or wide vehicles may come into contact with this tree.
This trail will test a vehicles suspension to the max as it twists and turns through the wash over large boulders, and across massive whoop-de-doos.
1: Trailer Parking (0.0mi)
The best place to leave trailers is at the Wolford Mountain Open OHV Area. About a half mile down Cow Gulch Road, look for a sign on the north side of the road that says "Wolford Mountain open OHV Area". Make the turn and you will quickly come to a very large open area suitable for trailer parking. It is a short drive to the trail start from here.
2: Trail Turn Off (0.0mi)
After following Cow Gulch for 1.3 miles, turn right at this unmarked spot which is the trailhead start. The turn here parallels Cow Gulch for just a short bit, and then it curves right, away from the road. There is a wood sign a little way from the road with a map and good trail description.
3: Trailhead Information Sign (0.3mi)
Here you will find the Sidewinder Trail information kiosk. This is the best spot for airing down because of the open space. Check out the sign as it has lots of good information. From here the trail then dips down into the wash and the obstacles start almost immediately.
4: Guardian Rocks (0.4mi)
This pile of rocks is considered the guardians rocks but does not present much of a challenge after a hard rain as the boulders fill in with silt. These boulders are not a good representation of the rest of the trail. The trail becomes extremely difficult beyond this.
5: Obstacle 1 (0.5mi)
This is the first of two obstacles fortified on one side with railroad ties and large boulders on the other. Most vehicles will have to drive up on the railroad ties to make it through the obstacle. With less than a 40'' tire, the only real line is to stay as high on the railroad tie wall as long as possible. With large enough tires, you should be able to drive up and over the boulder on the right. The white Jeeps in these photos are on 37s.
7: Boulder Hill Climb (0.8mi)
After snaking through the sandy wash for a bit, you make a hard right turn and find yourself at the base of the first rocky hill climb filled with boulder. The first set of boulders here can provide giant wheel stands to entering vehicles. There are many diff catching boulders on the way up this hill.
8: Early Exit (0.8mi)
After the first boulder hill climb, there is a "Y" in the trail. The route to the left is an early exit route. It is challenging and very steep, but is also shorter than continuing to the right. Going to the right will lead you through another boulder hill climb and several other challenges.
9: Tippy Tree (0.9mi)
Just past the top of the second boulder hill is the tippy tree. This obstacle leans you very far right, right into a tree. Careful tire placement must be taken here to avoid a flop one way, or blowing out rear corner windows the other way. If you have a removable soft top, it is highly recommended to put it down at this point.
10: End of the Wash. (1.0mi)
You finally climb up out of the washout and reach the top of the trail. Here you can regroup and make any trail repairs you might need to take care of. Be careful though, as there is some cactus in the area. The trail exits to the left. It is hard to find the trail as it is often overgrown by grass. Head west just over the ridge and you will see where the trail becomes very distinctive once again.
11: Continue Straight (1.1mi)
Continue straight ahead following the trail across the ridge. The road you see to your left is where the early exit dumps out onto the main trail. Do not go down that way.
12: Mulberry Hill intersection (1.4mi)
Follow the road down to the right to exit back on to Cow Gulch Road. Uphill to the left is Mulberry Hill, which is closed to motor vehicles. Only foot traffic is allowed that direction.
13: Great camping spot (1.6mi)
Near the end of the trail, there is a very large camping spot that can accommodate any size trailer.
Motorized use is prohibited from December 15 through April 15 for the protection of wildlife and their habitat during the winter season. Additionally, this trail is closed following any precipitation event until there is no moisture found in the upper 12 inches of soil. Please respect this requirement to keep this trail open for use.
Travel along this route also requires an OHV Permit for ALL vehicles, including street legal plated vehicles.
Visit the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website to read more information on how to purchase OHV registrations and permits, and the projects that the OHV Registration program funds, call (303) 791-1920, or visit one of the OHV Registration Locations.
Camping and Lodging
There are many primitive camping locations around sidewinder located on the BLM land. There is also the Red Mountain RV Park minutes from the trailhead off of highway 40.
Questions & AnswersNo questions have been submitted.
Offroaded on 04-22-2017
The Wolford Travel Management area had just opened up the week before, so we headed out to check the trail. The weather was super gloomy in Denver, but couldn't have been any better up in Kremmling. It was sunny, warm, and beautiful. The trail was in good shape and not very dusty thanks to some recent moisture.
Just beyond the trailhead sign, there is a very deep washout on your left. You can stay out of it, but the path to the first obstacle is becoming very narrow due to that washout. All of the obstacle were pretty much the same as the last report. Nothing new to mention. As always, big boulders keep moving around changing the lines for each vehicle and this trail gives you a fantastic chance to test your vehicle suspension to the max.
Offroaded on 05-14-2016
Conditions: Partially Cloudy
Low Temperature: 60° F
High Temperature: 60° F
While it was cloudy and rainy in Denver, it was mostly sunny and warm up in the hills. Sidewinder was totally dry and open for the season. We ran the trail with a few BLM Recreation Managers and helped with a little maintenance including replacing the kiosk sign at the start with a fresh new map and information sheet.
The first couple obstacles appeared to have been filled in with silt pretty good as the boulders just didn't seem as big as they have in the past. Once a few of the front rigs went through and dug it up a bit, the rigs in the back may not have thought it was as easy as I thought though.
It was a great day with no mishaps. A couple in our group actually ran the trail 3 times this day taking different routes and lines each time. If done in a capable vehicle with good knowledge of the trail, it's easy to complete this trail in 30 minutes or less.
Offroaded on 10-02-2015
Some times you just need to get out and use those offroad lights that you spent a ton of money on. A group of us took on Sidewinder at night on October 2nd. The trail was perfectly dry with no moisture at all, and the temperature was surprisingly warm for this time of year. There are a handful of deeper washouts than I remember being there before, but overall the trail rating has not changed.
Please note that an illegal bypass has been created at the first railroad tie obstacle. THIS IS NOT A LEGAL BYPASS, so don't go that route! If you cannot make it over the first obstacle, you need to turn around and go somewhere else.
The tippy tree is just as tippy as it always has been, and the exit route from the top of the hill appears to be getting used a little bit more so it's more defined than it has been in the past.