A 3 Day Itinerary for High Adventure in Colorado’s West End
For visitors on a long weekend we have prepared an itinerary for 3 days of fun and adventure for hearty souls wanting to explore the West End – wildly! For your utmost enjoyment and safety, please follow these simple rules!
- Stay on designated trails and roadways – no off-trail excursions
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
Find more information about Leave No Trace here.
Visit the West End Trash Free Coalition here.
Start the day off right with a hearty breakfast from the 5th Avenue Grill in Nucla.
Mountain Bike the Paradox Trail
The 110-mile long Paradox Trail traverses the unique landscape of Western Montrose County on some of the hundreds of miles of backcountry jeep roads and trails that exist in this area. The route links two other long-distance trails in the region, the Tabeguache Trail to the east on the Uncompahgre Plateau and the Kokopelli Trail to the west in the La Sal Mountains of Utah. The Paradox Trail is known to have some of the most rugged and remote backcountry terrain in the lower 48, and while some areas qualify as singletrack because of the trail width, there are at least five “hike-a-bike” sections to be negotiated.
Learn more about the Paradox Trail and where to access it and other mountain bike trails in the West End at West End Trails Alliance. Find printed West End Trail Maps and bike gear and services at High Country Bicycles in Norwood.
After a big morning riding the Paradox Trail visit Blondies for a lunch break.
120 W Main St, Naturita, CO 81422
Paddle the San Miguel River
Grab your paddleboard or kayak or rent one from Rimrocker Adventures and paddleboard the San Miguel River. The San Miguel River starts in the San Juan Mountains southeast of Telluride and flows northwest, along the Uncompahgre Plateau. This river is just 81 miles long with lots of campgrounds, picnic areas and boat ramps along the way. For more information on where and how to stand up paddleboard the rivers in Colorado’s West End, visit San Juan SUP Co.
You deserve it. Get ready for day 2 with a delicious meal from Uncle Reeds Restaurant at the Rimrock Hotel.
Naturita is an International Dark-Sky Designated Community. While camping at the Uravan Ballpark Campground, look up for an incredible view of the stars.
Uravan Ballpark Campground
The Uravan Ball Park Campground is self-contained and RV friendly, though it has no hookups. Each site has a picnic table, BBQ grill, and fire ring. The entire campground has access to the San Miguel River with a ramp for rafters and anglers. Managed by the Rimrocker Historical Society, this campground doesn’t take reservations, has a 14-day camping limit, and asks for donations to support the campground.
Start your second day off with breakfast at the Rimrock Hotel in Naturita.
123 E Main St, Naturita, CO 81422
Rock Climbing in Paradox Valley
Head northwest out of Naturita and into Paradox Valley for some of Colorado’s best—and still under-the-radar—rock climbing.The climbing here is excellent, is mostly on sandstone, and is spread over many many miles in several different locations. One can spend a lifetime exploring all areas, and the potential for establishing new routes is endless.
Climbs range from short one pitch to a 350+ feet multi-pitch. Some are bolted, some are trad. Most can be climbed with one 60 meter rope and Most routes are equipped with fixed belay/rappel stations.
A 4WD vehicle is required for some of the crags, but many are accessible by normal vehicles on well-maintained dirt roads.
For more detail on climbing in Paradox Valley, Visit Mountain Project.
After a nice morning of climbing or bouldering visit Blondies for a lunch break.
120 W Main St, Naturita, CO 81422
Mountain Bike the Dolores River Trail
The Dolores River Trail begins at a BLM-developed campground and then winds its way along a long-abandoned state highway roadbed that was active from the 1890s to the 1930s. You can expect to find stunning views of the Dolores Canyon, the Dolores River, and at 2.5 miles into the hike, you’ll come across a large boulder field. Be sure to pause at this spot because amongst these boulders you’ll find petroglyphs, pictographs and dinosaur footprints.
Get ready for day 3 with a delicious meal from Uncle Reeds Restaurant at the Rimrock Hotel.
Nucla, Naturita and Norwood are all International Dark-Sky Designated Communities. Don’t miss the special night show. Head out to the Hanging Flume Overlook and look up!
The Vestal House at Tabeguache Park B & B
Get caffeinated at Genesis Coffee Roasters in Nucla.
OHV the Rimrocker Trail
The Rimrocker Trail is an off-road and OHV route from Montrose, Colorado to Moab, Utah. The trail traverses terrain from pine and aspen forests to rolling hills of sage and cactus. The road condition varies from regularly graded gravel to rutted dirt roads and one seasonal high water crossing. The trail winds through federal and private land, flirts with cliff sides and rolling prairie. And while some stretches may get you down, the highs are consistently breathtaking.
Visit Rimrocker Trail for more details and maps. OHV rentals and service are available at High Country Motor Sports, West End Adventures & Rental, and 3 Peaks ATV Rental.
Finish the morning off right from the 5th Avenue Grill in Nucla.
Hike the Shamrock Trail
Stretch your legs on the Shamrock (aka Y-11) Trail. This 6-mile round trip hike offers spectacular views and wild western mesas. This intermediate route takes you above the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers to beautiful views of the Hanging Flume and West End canyons.
For information on hiking trails in the West End, visit the West End Trail Alliance.
Norwood is the first International Dark-Sky Association Dark-Sky Community on the Western Slope of Colorado and the second Dark-Sky Community in Colorado, and Wright’s Mesa is an ideal spot to look up and be amazed.
Miramonte Reservoir in Dan Noble State Wildlife Area
Camp in one of Colorado’s most beautiful State Wildlife Areas at Miramonte Reservoir. Free from crowds but filled with incredible views, an evening lakeside will not disappoint.
Keep In Touch