Updated: Jul 27
It's been quite obvious looking at our route catalogue, that there has been a bit of bias in terms of the geographical distribution of our routes-- leaning heavily on the West Coast, and especially California. But hey-- you asked, we listened, and now we've delivered a trio of new overland tracks in the great state of Colorado. We like to think this is just the beginning, with a lot more adventures to come in the Colorado Rockies.
Of the three new tracks, the Trans-Rockies Adventure Trail is definitely the most ambitious of the three. This 935 mile track, with nearly 700 miles of dirt connects Denver to Salt Lake City, cutting through the heart of the Rockies, traversing the red rock canyon country around Moab and through the San Rafael Swell, and then into the Wasatch Mountains until the track meets Salt Lake City. The Trans-Rockies Adventure Trail is not for the faint of heart. Expect to spend a solid two weeks on the trail, as there are numerous high elevation, technical and slow-going mountain passes that you'll need to navigate. Adventurers looking to take on the TRAT, will need a high clearance 4x4 with rock sliders. Folks on adventure bikes will want to take the more nimble dual sport bike, or if you're on a mid-sized bike, you should be comfortable riding rocky and technical jeep trails. Big bikes and Sprinter 4x4s are not advised for this track. Those who take on the TRAT will be rewarded with the iconic alpine views the Colorado Rockies are famous for, loads of history (old mining camps and ghost towns), opportunities to explore quaint mountain towns and outposts like Tincup and Crystal, awesome vistas in the canyonlands from Moab to San Rafael-- and the views atop the Wasatch mountains just east of Salt Lake City aren't half bad either!
For those looking to escape the crowds of the Alpine Loop and San Juans, look no further than the Flat Tops just north of Glenwood Springs. And while many of the peaks in this corner of the Rockies are flat, they're certainly no less impressive. In fact, we think that many of the tabletop peaks make for rather interesting and distinct-looking topography. The Flat Tops may not feature the same level of technical trails as the Trans-Rockies Adventure Trail, but there are a few opportunities to throw your rig into 4-low and test your technical driving capabilities. The real highlight of the Flat Tops are the lush green meadows, and seemingly infinite supply of dispersed camp sites. Even to the most moribund of souls, the Flat Tops are a sublime spectable. A week spent in their presence is enough to awaken the senses and restore one's appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. There is more to life than chasing and accumulating material wealth. Need you only look to the Flat Tops if you have any sense of doubt in that statement.
Last up is the Grand-Rocker Loop. We already wrote a feature article on this new Moab route, so we'll keep it short and sweet. The White Rim Trail and RimRocker Trail have grown in popularity over the last several years, and one could easily argue they're both go-to tracks for folks making the overland pilgrimage to Moab. We're certainly not looking to take anything from either of these tracks, but security the permits for the White Rim Trail can be a challenge, and the RimRocker (as well as the White Rim) can be easily completed in 3 days. What if you're looking to be out in the bush for a week plus, and to some locations that are way off the beaten path? Enter the Grand-Rocker Loop.
At 509 miles in length, one could easily spend 10+ days exploring this track that visits some of the more popular locations in and around Moab (Kokopelli Trail, Porcupine Rim), and some of the lesser known areas that are local favorites, like the Dolores Triangle. So what are you waiting for? Packing up the family and kids, all of your gear, and make a beeline to Moab!