FATMAP difficulty grade
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.
To complete the loop as mapped will require a plated bike, so if your moto isn’t street legal, it’s best to plan on an out-and-back ride. The Sidewinder Trail 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.
This is where most of the climbing and descending is found—in short, challenging bursts. 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! While perhaps 60% of the trail is quite easy, the other 40%—the technical drainages—will require advanced bike handling skills and throttle mastery.
On paper, Sidewinder may not look that challenging but as soon as you get out on the trail… well, it’s another matter entirely. The distance won’t come easily on Sidewinder, but those who brave the entire trail will be richly rewarded!