Gunnison Trail Area

Rating

Flow - Tech

60% Complete

Description

Hartman Rocks, just southwest of Gunnison, offers the highest concentration of beginner and intermediate riding in the valley. The geography is high desert versus high alpine. The views include the West Elk Mountains to the north and the Uncompaghre mountains to the south.

Rides may begin from one of three bases. The main lot, McCabes, and Gold Basin Rd., the least convenient of the three for most people. Riders who don’t want to begin their day with a steep uphill on Jack’s from the main base may drive up Kill Hill Rd and park to save legs for a longer ride.

Recommended Rides

A superb beginner/intermediate ride would take riders out Main St. to Josho’s, and then to Broken Shovel. At this point a mixed group could split, with lower level riders taking Sea of Sage to Lost Dog, and then back on Main St. Stronger riders would not follow up Sea of Sage but would climb Rocky Ridge from the terminus of Broken Shovel and then descend the fun and flowy Beck’s (Not Tech Becks!) to either the top parking area or down Collar Bone to the main lot. Most riders will find themselves dismounting a time or two on Josho’s and again on Rocky Ridge. The easier of the two rides runs about 5 miles. 4.5 for the cutout to Rocky Ridge and Beck’s. Add about ½ mile for Jack’s/Collar Bone.

A longer ride for intermediates, and one that because of its distance from most the network offers a lot of alone-time, is the Aberdeen Loop. It can be ridden either beginning with West or East Aberdeen. Trailquest tip: riders must pass Skull Pass on their way to the Aberdeen Loop. Skull Pass is an advanced and tough ride, but if you’re collecting miles, take it. I ride half and walk half and enjoy seeing the occasional rider who can clean the tougher sections. Access is easiest from the Gold Basin Parking lot. Take Bambi’s (1.4 miles) to Enchanted Forest (2.5 miles) to either Aberdeen start point. Aberdeen itself is a 7.4 mile ride. That nasty Skull adds 8/10 of a mile to the trip.

McCabes, a parking area/entrance off Hwy 50 west of Gunny, is a fun place to start the day. Taking the Sandy Wash bypass to Buddy Bear puts you as quickly as possible into the heart of Hartman at the intersection of Luge, Rocky Ridge, Sea of Sage and Broken Shovel. From there the world is your oyster and the trail choices are almost limitless.

If experts want to sweep the Hartman table in one ride, it’s possible to do using double track to connect the difficult single track. Begin by riding Rattlesnake from the south. Then on to Tech Beck’s, Free Fall, and The Ridge. Cleaning this ride would be a justifiable source of great pride for any rider. This is just over 3 miles of tough single track, and also includes that much double track miles.

Trailquest Strategies

Sign up for the Gunnison Growler and you’ll knock out most of Hartman’s in one big day. As far as timing goes, many Trailquesters like to save Hartman’s and the Gunnison Trail Area for the end of the season. Riding in Gunnison can go into November, and even December so it’s a great place to pick up miles after other trails have closed.

Trail Heads 2

  • Hartman Rocks Base Area
  • McCabe's

Trails 79

  • Aberdeen Loop
  • Alonzo's
  • Back Bone
  • Back In
  • Bambi's
  • Becks
  • Behind the Rock
  • Bicycle Jumps
  • Broken Shovel
  • Buddy Bear
  • Collar Bone
  • Dirty Sock
  • Fenceline
  • Freefall
  • Gateway
  • Jack's Trail
  • Josho's
  • Josie's
  • Kiki's Trail
  • Lost Dog
  • Lower Jacks
  • McCabe's
  • Nine-0
  • Outback
  • Qualifier Loop
  • Rattlesnake
  • Ring Duke
  • Rocky Ridge
  • Sandy Wash
  • Sawtooth
  • Sea of Sage
  • Skull Bypass
  • Skull Pass
  • Swoosh
  • Tailpipe
  • Technical Becks
  • The Luge
  • The Notch
  • Top of the World
  • Tugs
  • Water Treatment
  • Aberdeen Loop
  • Alonzo's
  • Back Bone
  • Back In
  • Bambi's
  • Becks
  • Behind the Rock
  • Bicycle Jumps
  • Broken Shovel
  • Buddy Bear
  • Collar Bone
  • Dirty Sock
  • Fenceline
  • Freefall
  • Gateway
  • Hammer
  • Jack's Trail
  • Josho's
  • Josie's
  • Kiki's Trail
  • Lost Dog
  • Lower Jacks
  • McCabe's
  • Nine-0
  • Outback
  • Qualifier Loop
  • Rattlesnake
  • Ring Duke
  • Sandy Wash
  • Sea of Sage
  • Swoosh
  • Tailpipe
  • Technical Becks
  • The Luge
  • The Notch
  • Top of the World
  • Tugs
  • Water Treatment

Categories

Map of the Gunnison Trail Area

Photos of the Gunnison Trail Area

Videos of the Gunnison Trail Area

One Good Ride: Rattlesnake

One Good Ride: Graceland

One Good Ride: The Ridge