Mountain Bike at Oil Well Flats

Rate this Adventure 13 miles 1200 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Connor Bruson

This system of 20+ miles of trails sits in the "banana belt" of Colorado's south-central mountains and stays dry nearly all year long. Avoid the big-city crowds and brush up on your rock hopping abilities in this technical and expansive trail network.

The Basics: Picture this: Winter on Colorado's Front Range. It snowed yesterday. You're stir crazy because today it's 60 degrees and sunny outside, but the trails are a muddy mess! Cue Oil Well Flats. Located just an hour outside of Colorado Springs, this trail network rarely sees precipitation, making it the perfect destination throughout Fall, Winter, and Spring. NOTE: If this area is muddy, do not ride here. Check trail conditions here before you ride. In Summer, it can get very hot here, and the trails are fully exposed to sun except for the occasional shade of a piñon pine. In general, the trails here are fairly technical with a rocky section every 15-20 feet. To ride the full loop, expect a full-body workout of lifting up, pushing down, hucking, and hiking your bike. 

The Ride: This trail system is best ridden three different ways.

Loop 1: Advanced - Ride nearly every trail at Oil Well Flats for a 13 mile loop. From the main bottom parking lot, follow this trail progression: Tectonic Shift, Unconformity, Island in the Sky, Fire Canyon, Anticline, Tectonic Shift.

Loop 2: Intermediate - For an easier ride, access behind the upper bluffs by riding up Fire Canyon. Go left to descend via Unconformity, or go right to do the Island in the Sky loop. Then, finish by going back to the main parking area on Anticline + Tectonic Shift, or Fracture.

Loop 3: Easier Intermediate - Just the lower trails - Park at the upper trailhead (pictured) if you have a moderate clearance vehicle like a Subaru. Start by going up Unconformity, then turn right onto Anticline. Turn right at the Tectonic Shift intersection (pictured) back up to the upper parking lot. Then, do a second little loop. Unconformity > Fracture > Tectonic Shift back to the upper lot. ~8 miles total.

The Area: While Cañon City is mostly know for its maximum security prisons and The Royal Gorge Bridge, this area has a lot more on offer for cyclists. Just off the Hwy 50 through town, the historic downtown main street has a variety of shops and eateries. The bike-themed Bean Pedaler coffee shop has great espresso drinks, and The Cup and Cone is a perfect stop for a post-ride ice cream. And strangely, Momo Sushi Bar has some of the best sushi in Colorado. There are other recreation opportunities nearby, such as climbing at Shelf Road and hiking or biking the Royal Gorge trails. Another great off-season mountain bike riding area that is nearby is Lake Pueblo State Park

Read More

Tags

Cycling
Camping
Mountain Biking
Running
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Groups
Scenic

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Cañon City, Colorado

Sand Gulch Campground

The Sand Gulch Campground offers 16 sites. It is set in a low area, near an open meadow and the Sand Gulch Climbing area. It is open year round. Fee: 7$ individual, and 14$ group site. No reservati...

Cañon City, Colorado

Royal Gorge / Canon City Koa

Cripple Creek, Colorado

Secluded Cabin W/ Game Room & Huge Wraparound Deck

Enjoy spectacular views of nearby Pikes Peak and the Sangre de Cristo 14,000 peaks from this secluded 3BR/2BA hideaway.Thoughtfully appointed throughout, your inviting knotty pine log cabin combine...

From $204/night

Cripple Creek, Colorado

Cripple Creek Koa

Nearby Adventures

  • Drive Skyline Drive

    Skyline drive is a one way scenic roadway mainly going north to south. The 3 mile drive takes you about 800 feet above Cañon City. It starts on the west side of 50, and ends in a residential neighborhood southwest of where it begins. There are mu...

  • Drive Shelf Road

    Shelf Road, which was once a toll road from Cripple Creek to Canon City, is now a maintained dirt road that most high clearance two wheel drive cars can make.  It will take over an hour to travel the 25 miles or so, and it can be completed going f...

  • Explore Shelf Road

    Shelf Road, which was once a toll road from Cripple Creek to Canon City, is now a maintained dirt road that most high clearance two wheel drive cars can make. It will take over an hour to travel the 25 miles or so, and it can be completed going fr...

  • Climb at Shelf Road

    Shelf Road is secluded, rural, and has great climbing. There are so many areas to choose from and it has a great diversity of route levels (mostly sport routes). My personal favorite area is "The Gallery" and "The Bank." Everyone is friendly and g...

    1.5 miles 400 ft gain

  • Inspire Your Fall Aspen Trip!

    Autumn days in Aspen are filled with sunshine and nights with crisp cool air. Watch the mountains and valleys turn gold with the changing Aspen trees. Take in the scenery while enjoying scenic drives, hiking through forests, road biking, and exploring our IMBA Gold Level Ride Center recognized mountain bike trails. 




    Learn More