Sidewinder

Kremmling, Colorado (Grand County)
Last Updated: 05/29/2018
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Seasonal Closure
Typically Open: 04/16 - 12/14
Permit Information: Permit Required - Click Here
Difficulty: 7-8
(MODERATE - DIFFICULT)
Length: 1.7 miles
Highest Elevation: 7900 feet
Duration: About 45 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Kremmling
Nearest Town w/ Services: Kremmling
Official Road Name: Sidewinder
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management
District: Kremmling Field Office
Distance:
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Highlights

Highlight: Sidewinder

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 10 obstacles constructed of large boulders, a few fitted with railroad ties, and one waterfall climb. Each obstacle is different and each varies in difficulty. There are no winch points on this trail, thus lockers are a high recommendation. 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.

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Route Information

Technical Rating: (7-8)
(MODERATE - DIFFICULT)

Heavy rock and/or severe ruts. Rocks exceeding hub height frequent. Shelves to 12". Deep mud or uphill mud sections. Steep grades to 25 degrees and can be loose or rocky. Water crossings may exceed 30" in depth. Side hill to 30 degrees. One vehicle wide. Body damage possible. Experience needed. Vehicle Modifications helpful.

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Description

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, and should set the tone for the rest of the trail. 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. The trail does split at one point where you can go far left to bailout, far right to continue Sidewinder, or stay alight left and climb the waterfall. 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.

Seasonal Information

Spring:Conditions can very day to day from wet to dry
Summer:Dry, Dusty, and Hot
Fall:Dry, nice and cool
Winter:Seasonal Closure

Waypoints

1. Trail Staging Area

Sidewinder starts just off of Cow Gulch Road. Here there is a very large staging area where you can park your trailers and air down your tires. Please do not block the entrance onto the trail. Here you will find the Sidewinder Trail information kiosk. Check out the sign as it has lots of good information. From here continue past the sign where you have a quick decision to make... drop down into the washout and drive that to the first obstacle, or stay on the higher road. Either option is legal per the BLM.

2. Guardian Rocks (0.4 mi)

The Guardian Rocks are the first obstacle you come to on the trail and were built for the sole purpose of keeping out unprepared vehicles. There are multiple lines over the rocks, pick your line wisely. Reminder: there are no winch points along this trail.

3. Obstacle 1 (0.5 mi)

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.

4. Obstacle 2 (0.6 mi)

This obstacle is almost a replica of obstacle one, with very similar lines.

5. Boulder Hill Climb (0.8 mi)

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.

6. Three-way Split (0.8 mi)

After the first boulder hill climb, there is a split in the trail marked with two carsonites. The route to the far left is the bailout route. It is a very steep incline, but is much shorter and easier than following the main route to the right. Far right right will lead you through another boulder hill climb and several other challenges. Between both of these routes is the waterfall obstacle.

7. Waterfall (0.81 mi)

The waterfall is an optional obstacle between the bailout and the main route. It is a steep, difficult, near vertical wall climb covered in loose sand. Short wheelbase vehicles tend to lift the front end before it will carry them over. Be extremely cautious on this obstacle as the risk of rollover is very high.

8. Tippy Tree (0.9 mi)

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.

9. End of the Wash. (1 mi)

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.

10. End of the Bailout Route (1.1 mi)

Continue straight ahead following the trail across the ridge. The road you see to your left is where the bailout dumps out onto the main trail.

11. Mulberry Hill intersection (1.4 mi)

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.

12. Great camping spot (1.6 mi)

Near the end of the trail, there is a very large camping spot that can accommodate any size trailer.

13. End of sidewinder trail (1.7 mi)

The trail ends back at Cow Gulch Road. Take a left to head back to town, or to run the trail a second time!

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 40.083900, -106.375920

Starting Point: Denver

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.

Camping

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.
Camping: Sidewinder

Land Use Issues

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.

Writer Information

Ryan Boudreau

Mapping Crew - Colorado
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Hi, I'm Ryan! I am a Colorado native and I've been wheeling since I was 16 years old. I grew up with a relentless passion for all things Jeep and off road related, and that passion has never died out. I am a member of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Patrol 16 Sasquatch Jeepers and currently own an '06 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (LJ) nicknamed "Minion". I am a huge supporter of Stay the Trail and Tread Lightly, and have participated and even been in charge of many trail restoration projects. I have been a trail leader several times for events such as All-4-Fun, ColoradoFest, Set Them Free, 14er Fest, and other. I am also the creator of the Unlimited LJ Adventure. My rig is built for extreme offroading, but I love to get my tires dirty on any kind of trail whether it's rock crawling or just scenic high Alpine drives. I've wheeled all over the country including Colorado, Utah, Kansas, the Carolinas, AZ, and I have even ran the historic Rubicon Trail. I love a great adventure, and love even more to share those adventures with others. If you see the "minion" out on the trail, make sure to stop and say hello.

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Trail Reviews (4)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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.