Colorado ATV Trail Guide
It’s been said before but it’s true, Colorado is a place where beauty and adventure collide. With the majestic Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, with all the beautiful scenery, with all the historic sites, this state offers many, many opportunities to satisfy outdoor loving ATV riders’ quest for the perfect trail. Here at Treadworld, we have the ATV tires you need for everywhere your adventures take you, to Colorado and beyond. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat or email with any questions you may have, and to get the ideal Master ATV and UTV Tires for you.
Alpine Loop (San Juan National Forest)
Location: Lake City (but it’s complicated)
If you have a vivid imagination and a bit of a wicked streak, you might conceive of the Alpine Loop, easily one of the most thrilling ATV trails Colorado has to offer. That is to say, it’s not for the faint of heart, yet the trail attracts off-roaders from around the world. Alpine Loop is a circular, 75-mile system of backcountry trails that navigates through the high elevation Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass in the San Juan Mountains, connecting the mountain towns of Ouray, Silverton, Ophir, Telluride, and Lake City, where it is generally considered to begin (and end). It’s all things to all ATV riders and UTV riders, with stunning views of eight 13,000-plus-foot mountains and five designated wilderness areas, plus with hairpin twists, narrow passing points, and rocks, requiring high-clearance 4-wheel drive. Besides the main trail, you can also venture off to side loops and trails like the 22.2-mile California Gulch, and many others, to keep you riding for days. Or weeks.
Location: Little Park Ct, Grand Junction, CO
Winding through Colorado National Monument with amazing views of the backcountry, this mostly hardpack trail offers something for beginning to expert riders. Ultimately though, it’s no joke, with lots of steep, rocky terrain including many boulders to traverse. Overall, its 25 miles of 4-wheeler trails weaving through 58,000 acres of Colorado wilderness.
Grand Mesa National Forest
Location: 2777 Crossroads Blvd., Unit 1, Grand Junction, CO
Some of the best off-road trails in Colorado can be found in the Grand Mesa National Forest, which rises to 11,000 feet above sea level. Grand Mesa, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world, has an area of about 500 square miles with 150 miles of trails. Depend on ATV and UTV trail riding adventures through the dense aspen, Douglas fir and Engelmann spruce tree forests, past lakes, and over grassy meadows filled with wildflowers on your choice of 50+ trails of varying lengths in this area. Expect some easier trails for novice ATV riders, plus more advanced trails featuring deep mud bogs, steep, rocky hill climbing and water crossings to challenge expert riders.
Hardscrabble Special Recreation Management Area
Location: Located between Gypsum and Eagle, CO
This area is known for off-roading in Colorado with many unforgettable ATV trail riding around Hardscrabble Mountain. The Hardscrabble Saddle, Sawmill, and Elmer’s OHV Route is a 49.9 mile, lightly trafficked loop trail rated as difficult, though the area is operated by the BLM and is a massive 4-wheeler riding playground that offers an open OHV area where you can explore to your heart’s content. Trails offer a combination of mountain, forest, hill, and valley terrain, all with beautiful scenery.
Location: 25 miles west on Colorado Highway 14, (Poudre Canyon Highway), to mile marker 97
Of all the challenging OHV trails Colorado has to offer, this 14.13-mile ATV trail is considered one of the roughest and most rugged, though for many, the sweeping, breathtaking views make it worth the effort. The drive to the trailhead through the Poudre Canyon is stunning and inspiring. The first obstacle is a gatekeeper, and if you find it daunting, there’s still time to turn back, and you likely should. Not far ahead lies the massive incline of Heart Attack Hill, steep and rocky with some areas of solid rock. Heart Attack Hill has a bypass, known as Aneurysm Hill which, though easier, isn’t necessarily a bargain. Kelly Flats can be unnerving, especially for beginning and novice ATV and UTV riders, and the optional obstacles can be difficult and challenging for experienced riders as well, and may require modified rigs with proper ground clearance. When Mother Nature comes to call and it’s wet, all bets are off.
Lizard Head Wilderness Trails
Location: Lizard Head Trailhead is located on the west side of State Highway 145
Love ATV riding trails and UTV riding trails that take you deeper and deeper into the wilderness? Here you go. Lizard Head covers 41,496 acres astride the San Juan Mountains, passing through the Uncompahgre National Forest. Lizard Head Trails is 7.7 miles through beautiful, dense spruce, fir and aspen forest land, ascending toward Black Face Ridge, before descending into Bilk Creek Basin, along creeks and waterfalls. Combined with Cross Mountain Trail #637, it forms a 9-mile loop 4-wheeler riders of all levels of riding experience can enjoy.
Red Feather Lakes
Location: 274 Dowdy Lake Road, Red Feather Lakes, CO
Located in the Roosevelt Forest, Red Feather Lakes area offers roughly 100 different small trails that combined, provide over 100 miles for ATV riding and UTV riding. The most popular ATV trail is Deadman’s Road, a wide, dusty, rocky 22.9 miles of trail that leads into the area. It’s wide, dusty, and rocky in places. The 7.1-mile Seven Mile Creek Road follows a valley across a creek before ending at a forested area. Many of these trails can be combined with offshoots of Kelly Flats and Bald Mountain, and depending on the weather, you many find many of them have become challenging mudding trails.
St. Mary’s Glacier
Location: St Mary’s Dr, Idaho Springs, CO
Ever dreamed about following your sense of ATV trail riding adventure to a glacier? Here you go. St. Mary’s Glacier trails circle around the unique St. Mary’s Glacier, which is technically a large, perennial snowfield. These trails start off on a wide, rocky forest road, before heading through dense willows. Overall, trails vary from friendly smooth tundra that will keep novices at ease, to occasionally steep and rocky, with churned rock and soil that won’t disappoint ATV riders with more experience. All skillsets will appreciate the stunning, picturesque views. It’s a 2.4-mile trail. About a half mile in, riders will arrive at St. Mary’s Lake, located just below the glacier, and ringed by bristlecone pine, thick willow and plentiful wildflowers. This is part of a trail system offering 47 miles of trails, that includes the historic gambling town of Central City to Yankee Hill trail. You can go straight to Central City from Yankee Hill, or get your exploration on with 16 different intersecting ATV trails.
Wagon Wheel Trail System
Location: White River National Forest, 220 East Market Street, Meeker CO
Steep hills, rocky terrain, rugged mountain trails, abundant wildlife, historical sites – you’ll get it all with this Colorado off-road trail system that’s really two systems, split into east and west, covering over 10,000 acres in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. East you’ve got over 250 miles of marked rated, heavily maintained trails with 16 interconnecting loops that weave through a mix of county, Forest Service and BLM land. Terrain is mostly hardpack but includes some loose dirt which can lead to some mud, and sections with sand, some rocks, some steep hills, water crossings and a few berms. On the Western side, you’ll find another 360 miles of trails ranging from groomed to completely wild, to satisfy all levels of skill and experience.