Biking in Montrose
Montrose offers a variety of scenic and challenging road and mountain biking excursions within just a short drive, or ride, from town.
The Montrose area is unique to Colorado because it has miles of paved,
rural farm and ranch roads ideally suitable for cycling
. Most of these
picturesque byways are virtually traffic-free.
They climb onto mesas and roll through irrigated fields and orchards
from Montrose north to Delta on both sides of Colorado Highway 50. From
Delta an additional network of roads extend north to Cedaredge and east
to Hotchkiss, Paonia and Crawford. Rides from Montrose of from ten miles
to 200 miles are possible.
Within 20 miles of town, you can find flat roads for an easy spin or
long tough climbs. The Montrose area has arguably some of the best and
most varied climbing terrain in the US, all within a 20-mile radius.
A dozen steep, one kilometer climbs reach to the tops of the surrounding
mesas. They resemble the “walls” of famous European races but with more
moderate grades ranging from 5-9%. Longer ascents include the tough
6-mile climb to the entrance of Black Canyon National Park (see
description below. From the Park entrance station, you can opt for the
fearsome 3-mile grunt out of the East Portal of the Gunnison that
averages a knee-buckling 16%. Take good brakes for the switchbacked
descent and mountain bike gearing for the climb back out of the Black
Canyon. Dave Wood Road, southwest of town, offers an easier climb, 5
miles of stair-stepped ascent varying from 3-6%.
If you’re willing to ride a century, you can climb Grand Mesa from Delta
(30 miles and 5500 vertical feet) or Red Mountain Pass from Ouray (13
miles and 3400 feet of vertical). Montrose is also home to varied dirt
climbs ranging from a mile to 10 miles all starting within a few miles
The public lands adjacent to Montrose have numerous mountain bike routes
in three general geographic areas:
Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area
The GGNCA is north of Montrose in an area commonly referred to as the Adobes. The main trails used by mountain bikers emanate from two main trailheads - the Flattop Trailhead and the Peach Valley Staging Area. A third access point near the end of the Bostwick Park Road is Kurts Trail. The NCA is interlaced with many trails, and some aren’t suitable for mountain biking – mostly too steep. The best seasons to ride these trails are spring and fall. Avoid these trails after heavy rain.
Dry Creek Area
These trails are located in the canyon/mesa country west of Montrose. The main trailhead for the area is the Tabeguache Trailhead at the north end of Shavano Valley Road. Access to riding is also possible from Transfer Road. Spring and fall riding season.
These trails are located in the high country southwest of Montrose. Most of these trails are accessible from the Divide Road by way of Dave Wood Road and Highway 90. Summer and early fall riding season. The Aspen and Buck trails are the most popular.