Sidewinder Point-to-Point

A long, technical point-to-point singletrack traversing difficult desert terrain filled with drainages and ridges.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
32 km
Ascent
722 m
Descent
867 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.6 km
High Point
1.9 km
Gradient
Sidewinder Point-to-Point Map

The Sidewinder Trail is a long point-to-point singletrack traversing along the ridges and through the arroyos between the towns of Montrose and Delta. Since this trail was primarily designed with dirt bikes in mind, it’s not set up well for looping on a mountain bike. To complete a loop would require another 17 miles of road riding… so it’s best to coordinate a shuttle and just knock this ride out in one fell point-to-point swoop!

Description

When ridden from south to north as mapped here, riders will score almost 600 more feet of descending than if you were to ride the trail in the other direction. Not only that, in this direction the initial climb takes place on a boring dirt road, and the final descent rips down over 500 vertical feet of sweet, sweet singletrack. In short, this is the direction that you want to ride Sidewinder!

That extra 600 feet of descending still isn’t easily won. Completing this entire trail will still require about 2,400 feet of climbing, with most of that ascending coming in short, steep bursts. Sidewinder roughly runs along the ridge to the east of the valley, but between the smooth sections of traversing singletrack the trail drops abruptly into rocky, technical drainages.

In these drainages, the trail has a tendency to bomb straight downhill through rock gardens, off ledge drops, blasting through some delightfully-entertaining gnar. However, after descending a few hundred vert, the trail inevitably pitches straight back up out of the valley, winding along the next protruding ridge as it regains its previous elevation… and then all of a sudden, it’s back into the next drainage!

This constant up-and-down, which isn’t a problem on a moto, will take its toll on a human-powered traveler. Prepare yourself for a long, challenging ride by bringing plenty of food and water. Sidewinder is a rewarding route, but it won’t come easily!

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Technical
  • Singletrack
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens