Explore Canon City’s Epic Desert Mountain Bike Trails

Canon City boasts over a hundred miles of top-tier desert riding.

Greg Heil


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Island in the Sky Cliffs. Photo: Greg Heil

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Dropping down from the Island in the Sky. Rider: Greg Heil. Photo: Marcel Slootheer

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Dropping down from the Island in the Sky. Rider: Greg Heil. Photo: Marcel Slootheer

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38.540318°, -105.194223°

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Pedaling along the rim of the Island in the Sky. Rider: John Fisch. Photo: Greg Heil.

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View from the Island in the Sky. Photo: Greg Heil

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John pedaling through classic Oil Well Flats landscape. Photo: Greg Heil.

A couple short sections of Dakota Ridge are flowy. Rider: Marcel Slootheer. Photo: Greg Heil.

The top of Dakota Ridge is gnarly, but the views are worth the effort! Rider: Marcel Slootheer. Photo: Greg Heil.

Technical rock-filled descending abounds. Rider: Greg Heil

Some exposure on the higher trails. Rider: Greg Heil

The lower Graneros trail is very beginner-friendly. Rider: Greg Heil

Rocky steps make for hike-a-bike in some places. Photo: Greg Heil


by Philip Sterling


by Philip Sterling

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by Greg Heil


by Greg Heil


by Greg Heil

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Pedalling along the Hard Time trail. Rider: Greg Heil

by Philip Sterling

Philip dropping down Hard Time

by Greg Heil

Hard Time trail

by Greg Heil

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Flowy machine-cut singletrack. Photo: Greg Heil

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Dropping down a freshly-cut trail. Rider: Greg Heil

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Beautiful singletrack twisting through the pinons. Photo: Greg Heil

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Pikes Peak off in the distance. Photo: Greg Heil

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Pedaling along the upper reaches of Dream Weaver. Rider: Greg Heil.

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Dropping down an optional rock roll. Rider: Greg Heil. Photo: Summer Heil

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Fresh singletrack! Photo: Greg Heil

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Incredible views of the Royal Gorge from the singletrack! Photo: Greg Heil

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The Royal Gorge is simply massive. Photo: Greg Heil

Riding the new made in the shade trail. Rider: Greg Heil

by Marcel Slootheer

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Fresh singletrack at the Royal Gorge

by Greg Heil

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Ripping down a new trail. Rider: Marcel Slootheer

by Greg Heil


by Greg Heil


by Greg Heil


by Greg Heil


by Greg Heil


by Greg Heil


by Greg Heil


Thousands of mountain bikers on the Colorado Front Range are now asking themselves, “why would I drive all the way to Fruita or Moab when I can just go to Canon City?” And as they try to answer that question and fail, thousands of riders are choosing to cut down an entire day of driving to just an hour (or so) to reach the epic desert mountain bike trails being built in Canon City.

On the grand spectrum of Colorado mountain bike destinations, Canon City is relatively new. Most of the trails here have been built within the last 5 years, and at the time of this writing, construction on the network is still ongoing. Every year new trails are being opened all around Canon City, and this trend doesn’t show any signs of stopping.

As the network presently stands, you can find superb desert mountain bike trails ranging from beginner to advanced. Whether you prefer buffed out flow trails or gnarly rock hits, Canon City has it all. For easy riding, check out the lower trails in the South Canon network, or some of the flow lines at the Royal Gorge Park. For more challenging trails, head to Oil Well Flats, the upper trails at South Canon, and the Hogbacks.


Oil Well Flats

Flowy bike-optimized singletrack trails filled with chunky, technical rock sections lead to an incredible overlook on top of Island in the Sky.

South Canon Trails

A diverse network with trails for all riders from beginner to advanced, the easy accessibility from town to such a big trail network is astonishing!

Royal Gorge Park

New school machine-built trails coupled with stunning views of the Royal Gorge make for a winning combination.

The Hogbacks

The Hogbacks trails can be accessed easily from downtown Canon City, providing both easy beginner trails and gnarly black-diamond descents.