In the world of mountain biking, variety is key. Hartman Rocks, located just a stone's throw away from the charming town of Gunnison, Colorado, offers precisely that. From punchy climbs to challenging rock formations, this trail system promises a thrilling ride for cyclists of all skill levels. Here's the rundown of what to expect.
To begin your adventure, drive about a mile west from Gunnison on US 50 W. Make a left turn onto County Road 38. In another mile, you'll find the Hartman Rocks parking area on the right. Take note that the initial climb starts right from the parking lot, so prepare for an uphill battle to reach the network of trails.
The trail surface varies widely, from sandy to hard-packed ground, often intersecting with rock formations for some added technical challenges. While the system is expansive, offering around 20 different trails, it can be confusing for first-timers. It's highly advised to bring a map; otherwise, you might find yourself navigating via dirt roads.
Colorado's high-desert climate means temperatures can skyrocket during summer, and shade is a rare commodity. Water sources are scarce, so bring ample hydration. There's a pump/jump track at the main parking area for those who like to start or finish their ride with some airborne excitement.
The area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which means free camping is available. Spots are not well-marked but fairly easy to locate. Just make sure your vehicle fits, and you're good to set up camp. The Gunnison River runs along the highway, offering a water source if you're planning an extended stay.
Cyclists who've been through Hartman Rocks generally praise its diversity and challenges. However, the loose soil conditions can impair cornering speeds, so the right tire combo is crucial. If you're new to the trail, stopping by local bike shops like Rock 'n' Roll Sports for a map and route advice is highly recommended.
Hartman Rocks offers an intricate network of trails suitable for riders seeking varying terrains and technicalities. Whether you're looking to explore geological wonders, camp under the stars, or simply cruise through sage-scented air, Hartman Rocks is a destination that deserves a spot on every cyclist's bucket list.