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16 Road

Suitable for stock vehicles, 16 Road ventures up into the Book Cliffs north of Fruita on mostly smooth, gravel roads.  The driver is rewarded with fantastic views of the Grand Valley.  The trip will also drop down to the upper end of Hunter Canyon (21 Road), where you might see one of the other groups attempting the upper obstacles.


Rating: 3

Trailhead: 12 miles

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21 Road

21 Road is one of the most well-known western slope trails. It follows Hunter Canyon into the Book Cliffs north of Grand Junction. Large rocks with multiple lines possible make this a fun trail for a wide variety of 4WD vehicles. This will be run as an out-and-back trail, ending where it starts. It is a short drive from Grand Junction with a large staging area available for tow rigs.  The trail gets very serious after Jeep Lane which is a popular place to turn around unless you are ready for the extreme.


Rating: 10+ to end, 8 to Jeep Lane

Trailhead: 13 miles

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Billings Canyon Jeep Trail

This difficult trail was originally built by the Grand Mesa Jeep Club and the club has maintained it as an adopt-a-trail ever since. The trail follows a dry wash, climbing up and over boulders, with the second half of the trail progressively getting harder, culminating in a "waterfall" obstacle.  Body damage is likely.  It is a short drive from downtown Grand Junction with a large staging area available.


Rating: 8

Trailhead: 14 miles (3rd flats)

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Boulder Canyon

This is a newer Montrose trail, even bigger and "bidder” than the original trails. It features constant huge boulders requiring the driver to always be looking ahead trying to pick the best line to set themselves up for what is to come.  A big climb midway through the trail will have you hanging onto your seat.  The exit of the canyon is guarded by another huge waterfall. Guts might get you up the wall, but may also land you on your lid. Body damage will occur and rollovers are common. Breakdowns are also common.


Rating: 10+ buggy

Trailhead: 75 miles

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Cactus Park - South Tabeguache

Cactus Park & Wagon Park are along the Tabeguache Trail as it makes its way south from Highway 141.  Highlights include driving along the Dominguez – Escalante Wilderness Area border for miles, occasional sightings of Desert Bighorn Sheep, and great views of the Grand Mesa.  This is a relatively easy trail through some pretty awesome country. Requirements:  Most stock vehicles will make this with little trouble.


Rating: 3

Trailhead: 18 miles (off 141 in whitewater)

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Cactus Ridge & Cactus II

A classic Montrose rock crawling trail following a dry boulder-strewn wash. The obstacles are usually regarded as slightly more difficult than Die Trying, but the trail is shorter. Partway through, the trail forks, with the Cactus II route taking off to the left and making a long, steep loose climb up to the exit. The original Cactus Ridge route continues to the right, featuring a large 6 foot waterfall requiring a longer wheelbase and a committed bump to get you up and over. A winch anchor is available. Rollovers are possible here.


Rating: 8

Trailhead: 17 miles

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Calamity Canyon (Montrose)

The Calamity Canyon trail follows a network of rocky dry washes, making short loops and climbing out each time up a large waterfall.  Rollovers are possible here.


Rating: 9

Trailhead: 75 miles

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Calamity Mesa Loop (Gateway)

This area is extremely remote compared to most others and includes an visit to the Calaity Mine site and a breathtaking view of the Gateway confluence.  A few tight spots means rigs need to be less than 80" wide.  Bring a coat – this is a higher elevation area with cooler temperatures than Grand Junction.   There is a very narrow shelf road  with a steep drop off,  driver experience and nerves are highly recomended.  


Requirements: Tires MUST be less than 84" (outside dimension) to prevent damage to trail and/or your rig.  There are 3 squeeze points on this trail and a short but very very narrow shelf section.


Rating: 5

Trailhead: 55 miles (off 141 near Gateway)

Time on Trail: 6 hours


Do not attempt this trail while wet

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Coal Canyon

This trail offers mostly sand and dirt, with a climb up to the top of the Book Cliffs near Mt. Garfield. Fantastic views of the Grand Valley await you at the top. This trail borders a wilderness study area known for wild horses, so if you keep a keen eye, you may be able to spot one. This is a shorter trip, suitable for stock vehicles and close to Grand Junction.


Rating: 3

Trailhead: 25 miles

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Coon Hollow

This trail starts soon out of De Beque and follows a seasonal wash. You’ll get some steep ups-and-downs as the trail crosses the wash a couple times, before finally leaving the wash to make its way up an unnamed mountain. As you reach the top, you will be rewarded with views to the south and west. You may still see snow on the Grand Mesa. On a clear day, you can spot the La Sal Mountains in Utah.


This trail will test your approach and departure angles.  Once you start up the will, there is a off camber turn leaning over the cliff (not for the faint of heart).  Level ground will be far a few between from there to the top as you wind up, down and sideways like a roller coaster.  


Rating: 5

Trailhead: 45 miles

Time on Trail: 4 hours


Do not attempt this trail while wet

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Cutoff

The cutoff trail is a very short section normally run after Billings on the way back to the parking lot. It is a steep and very rough climb up a steep rock hill. You can either go left or right around a very large boulder in the middle of the trail which gives you a choice of very hard and much harder.


Rating: 9

Trailhead: 14 miles (3rd flats)

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Death Row

It starts as a spur off the Topless Trail and makes a rapid climb up a wash to the top. It features several difficult boulder-strewn climbs. This is buggy territory. Body damage will occur and rollovers are common. Breakdowns are likely.

 

Highlights: Constant boulders, all on a steep grade.

Minimum Requirements: 39” tires, winch, locking differentials, full cage, tow rig.


Rating: 10+

Trailhead: 75 miles

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Die Trying

This is perhaps the most well-known, classic Montrose rock crawling trail. It follows a dry, boulder-strewn wash. It offers almost constant rock crawling, exiting from the wash up a steep loose climb out. A large staging area is available. Body damage is possible.

 

Highlights: A rock crawler’s paradise. An optional 4 foot ledge awaits you at the end. Rollovers are possible.

Minimum requirements: 37” tires, winch, locking differentials. A tow rig is recommended.


Rating: 8

Trailhead: 75 miles

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Dolores Point

Dolores Point is a mild trail but the views from along the mesa will blow you away.  Looking over South Beaver Mesa are sights like Beaver Creek Canyon, North Beaver Mesa, Polar Mesa, Cottonwood Canyon (where Rose Garden Hill is), Sevenmile Mesa, and the Top of the World Trail.  Looking north you see Steamboat Mesa, Sheep Creek, the Dolores River Valley, and the Palisade WSA.  Requirements:  Most stock vehicles will make this with little trouble. 


Rating: 3

Trailhead: 60 miles (Gateway)

Time on Trail: 2 hours

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Dolores Triangle & Steamboat Mesa

The Dolores Triangle area has many trails to choose from.  Trails like Sheep Creek, Granite Creek, Cow Creek, Steamboat Mesa, Coates Creek, Fish Ford and Sharf Mesa are the highlights.  Others will take you into some great country too.  Finding your way here can be difficult as maps are rare.  Requirements:  Most stock vehicles will make this with the exception of Granite Creek.  Granite Creek- 33” tires.


Rating: 3

Trailhead: 40 miles (Glade Park at UT border)

Time on Trail: 4 hours

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Dry Creek - Speer Hunter

Suitable for stock 4x4 vehicles, this is a scenic trail that travels through wild horse country, climbing a mountain for views of the surrounding area.   Located off the Monument Rock trail out of De Beque, Dry Creek gives you a good view of "goblins" and "hoodoos" before climbing up the mountain along the Speer Hunter Trail.


Rating: 3

Trailhead: 37 miles (De Beque, CO)

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Gateway to Glade Park

This runs between Gateway and Glade Park but can be run in either direction.  From Gateway, the trail follows the Dolores River for several miles and then leaves the river to make the climb. The climb features several switchbacks as it makes its way up side of the cliff to an old cabin. It then travels over the top of the mesa on old jeep roads, crossing Granite Creek and ending up at the Utah/Colorado state line, then back across to end in Glade Park. This is a very scenic route. There is one moderately difficult section along the shelf road where a couple of the switchbacks may require backing up. If you are not a fan of shelf roads, this trail may not be for you.


Rating: 5

Trailhead: 60 miles (Gateway), 40 miles (Glade Park)

Time on Trail: 4 hours

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Hard Nox!

Hard Nox! Is the newest buggy trail in Grand Junction located just outside the 3rd flats parking lot in the Bangs canyon recreational area. Bring your tow rig and hang a left and then a right. From there nothing but boulders going straight up. This trail is for extreme off road vehicles only customized to handle the hardest trails.


Rating: 10++
Trailhead: 14 miles (3rd flats)

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Rabbit Valley

Rabbit Valley is a mild loop trail located Northwest of Grand Junction which meanders along at the Colorado and Utah border.   You will travel along valleys and ridges and in the middle of the loop there is a overlook where you can see the Colorado as it enters Utah on its way to Moab. The trail has a couple of off shoots that provide a little more challenge but all can be done with a capable stock vehicle.


Rating: 3

Trailhead: 23 miles

Time on Trail: 4 hours

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Rangely Rock Crawl Park

The Rangely Rock Crawl Park is maintained by the Rangely Rock Crawlers Club. The park features many steep rock faces, with “waterfall” obstacles and exposed climbs suitable to longer wheelbase, low center-of-gravity vehicles. Body damage and rollovers are likely. Not for the faint of heart.

 

It is approximately 90 miles from Grand Junction to Rangely on Highway 139 over scenic Douglas Pass. A tow rig is highly recommended. The group will caravan to the park and then unload at the staging area within the park. From there, the trip leader will choose which trails to lead, usually with input from the group.  


Highlights: Big adrenaline-inducing climbs will test your skill and your nerve.  

Minimum Requirements: 38” tires, winch, locking differentials, full cage.


Rating: 9 to 10+ depending on trail

Trailhead: 85 miles

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Tabeguache Trail

This trail starts off the 141 in Whitewater on the way to Gateway and meanders to the popular Bangs Canyon Special Recreation Area close to Grand Junction. It follows the rim of Rough Canyon along a sandstone fin, with an optional stop at the “playground area” that offers a range of ledges to try. From there on out, it features several rough rock areas mixed with some smooth hard pack sandy areas.


Rating: 5

Trailhead: 18 miles (Whitewater), 27 miles (Bangs Canyon)

Time on Trail: 5 hours

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Topless

Another classic Montrose rock crawling trail, this is a little less difficult than Die Trying, but still not to be taken lightly.

 

Highlights: The first major obstacle is a large ledge spanning the width of the canyon. It has multiple lines for those that are more adventurous. The second obstacle is a narrow climb up a rock “waterfall”. The trail narrows toward the end with large rocks to crawl and trees on either side, with damage to hardtops likely.  


Minimum requirements: 37” tires, winch, locking differentials. A tow rig is recommended.


Rating: 7

Trailhead: 75 miles

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Windmill Loop

This trail loops through the popular Bangs Canyon Special Recreation Area close to Grand Junction.  You can run this trail in either direction, but mot commonly from the Bangs Canyon trailhead, over to Third Flats Road via Billings Canyon Road, down to the river and then back towards the Tabeguache. Along the way you can stop to see the petroglyphs, enjoy a stop at the river’s edge, the windmill, park your rig on pride rock, view the natural wonder of rough canyon and at the bangs canyon play area to test your rig on the waterfalls there.  This area has seen some new post & cable and signage, with the Grand Mesa Jeep Club and several other local motorized clubs pitching in to help the BLM. 


Rating: 3

Trailhead: 14 miles (3rd flats)

Time on Trail: 3 to 5 hours (depending on stops you make)