Intermediate Trails at Hartman Rocks

As you’re planning your spring or summer mountain biking trip to Crested Butte and Gunnison, you’ll undoubtedly hear about how great the bike trails at Hartman Rocks are. Hartman Rocks Recreation Area, which is located just outside the city of Gunnison, contains some of the best mountain bike trails in Colorado. The trails at Hartman Rocks tend to be technical, rocky and a ton of fun. On this page, we’ll focus on a few of the intermediate bike trails at Hartman Rocks.

 

Mountain biking at Hartman Rocks

Hartman’s is situated at about 8,000 feet in elevation and is characterized by a high desert ecosystem. Unlike mountain biking trails in Crested Butte, which tend to be steep and directional, the rolling hills at Hartman Rocks provide a true cross-country riding experience. With almost 50 miles of trail to choose from, mountain bikers of any skill level will be able to find trails suited to their abilities. Trails at Hartman’s can be ridden on a full-suspension or hardtail mountain bike. All trails at Hartman Rocks are also open to e-bikes. Navigating around Hartman Rocks can be tricky if you’re not prepared, so be sure to plan your route in advance. Bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen and any bike tools you need in case of mechanical issues on the trail.

 

A man mountain bikes over rocks at sunrise at Hartman Rocks in Gunnison, Colorado.

Spring mountain biking in Colorado

Hartman Rocks is one of the best places for spring mountain biking in Colorado. Due to the high desert ecosystem, trails at Hartman’s tend to dry out earlier than Colorado’s high country trails. Most years, Hartman’s opens in April. Riding at Hartman Rocks is like mountain biking in Fruita or Grand Junction. While the rocks at Hartman’s are gray instead of red, the experience is similar to mountain biking in Moab or St. George, Utah.

 

A woman mountain bikes at Hartman Rocks in Gunnison, Colorado.

Six Intermediate Trails at Hartman Rocks

Josie’s

Trail rating: blue-black

Distance: 1.8 miles

Josie’s is located on the northwest side of Hartman Rocks. Riding from north to south will allow you to end on a fun downhill section, but the trail can be ridden either direction. Josie’s is characterized by mellow, flat sections of trail punctuated by large, techy rock features. Link Josie’s with Graceland and Cat’s Castle to the north for an intermediate ride, or ride Gateway to the west if you’re looking for a challenge.

Josho’s

Trail rating: blue-black

Distance: 2.2 miles

Josho’s is located on the southeast side of Hartman Rocks. It is best ridden from east to west (starting at the trailhead by the south end of Rattlesnake), but it can be ridden either direction. If riding from east to west, you’ll start on a fast downhill section with lots of natural jumps. The middle of the trail is rocky and technical. You’ll end by climbing back up the ridge towards Evan’s Loop. If you are looking for an advanced ride, link Josho’s with Rattlesnake. An intermediate option is to include Skyline trail—another blue-black—in your loop.

Beck’s

Trail rating: blue

Distance: .4 miles

Beck’s is one of Hartman Rock’s most famous trails. It is located on the east side of Hartman’s. It is recommended to ride this trail west to east. Beck’s is just shy of half a mile long, but it packs a punch. From the top, you’re immediately catapulted into steep, windy trail dotted with medium-sized rocks. Every feature on Beck’s can be rolled over or jumped off, so it gives you a lot of options as an intermediate rider. If you finish Beck’s and are still hungry for more downhill, check out Collarbone or the Notch to the east.

Dave Moe’s

Trail rating: blue

Distance: 1.2 miles

Dave Moe’s is one of Hartman’s hidden gems. It is located on the southwest side and can be ridden either direction. Either way you’ll start with a climb and transition to flowy downhill halfway through. Make sure you pause at the top to admire the 360-degree view of the mountains surrounding you. Link with Dirty Sock for an advanced ride.

Graceland

Trail rating: blue

Distance: 3 miles

Graceland is one of the newest trails at Hartman’s. It can be ridden either direction. It follows the ridge on the north edge of Hartman Rocks and provides excellent views of the West Elk Mountains and the Gunnison River to the north. The top of the ridge is chunky and challenging, but once you start descending, the trail becomes smooth and flowy, with lots of fun twists and turns. Link Graceland with Cat’s Castle and High Five for a short intermediate loop. If you’re looking for a longer or more challenging ride, check out Gateway and Josie’s to the south.

Outback

Trail rating: blue

Distance: 1.3 miles

Outback is located on the southwest side of Hartman’s and can be ridden either direction. If you enjoy riding slickrock trails in Moab or Fruita, you’ll love this trail. You’ll need to pay close attention as you dip and hop over the shelves and small hills on this playful trail. Link with Nine-0, Aberdeen Loop, Bambi’s or Back In for a scenic intermediate ride.

Outback and all other trails south of Powerline Road are closed every year until May 15 for wildlife conservation. Learn more on our spring trail restrictions page.

 

Where to park at Hartman Rocks

Main Hartman Rocks parking lot

The main Hartman Rocks parking lot is located on Gold Basin Road. From downtown Gunnison, drive west on Highway 50 for about one mile. Turn left (south) onto Gold Basin Road and continue for about two miles. The parking lot will be on your right (the west side of the road). There are bathrooms and maps.

McCabe’s parking lot

Parking is also available at the McCabe’s entrance on the northwest side of Hartman Rocks. From downtown Gunnison, drive west on Highway 50 for about three miles. Turn left (south) onto County Road 32 and continue for about a mile. Park where the road forks by the rock quarry or continue down the left fork of the road for about a quarter mile. Park in the lot on the left (east) side of the road by the bathroom.

 

Beginner trails at Hartman Rocks

Not quite ready for intermediate trails? Check out these beginner trails at Hartman Rocks.

 

A man mountain bikes through aspen trees in Crested Butte, Colorado in summer.

Mountain biking in Crested Butte

For more information about mountain biking in other parts of the Gunnison Valley, check out our mountain biking page. Visit our MTB trip planning page for even more info.

 

Other activities at Hartman’s

There are many other activities at Hartman Rocks besides mountain biking. Hartman’s and the surrounding area contain hundreds of miles of picturesque Colorado roads that are perfect for gravel biking. There are 50 designated dispersed campsites scattered throughout Hartman’s. Love trail running or hiking? Hartman’s has plenty of that, too. All roads and some trails at Hartman Rocks are open to OHV use. Anglers will enjoy trout fishing in the nearby Gunnison River. When you’re done enjoying all the recreational opportunities, check out the shopping and restaurants in Gunnison.

 

downtown gunnison valley

Planning your trip to Gunnison

Don’t forget to book your hotel if you prefer indoor accommodations over camping. For flights, driving directions and more, visit our Getting Here page. Highway 50 construction west of Gunnison may cause delays in your travel, so bookmark our Travel Alerts page to stay on top of road closures and conditions.

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