Sand Canyon (A.K.A. Canyon of the Ancients) - Trail, Cortez, Colorado

Sand Canyon (A.K.A. Canyon of the Ancients) - Trail, Cortez, Colorado

DESCRIPTION

The main trail (sand caynyon) is very wide and a little bumpy, you can go as far up it as you want. There are two spinoff loops of the main trail (i have heard them called east rock and west rock) that go up a parrelell canyon. There is also a trail bridging a saddle between the two canyons. all of these trails start from the slickrock area behind castle rock. The main trail (sand canyon) starts out wide and narrows as it goes on. eventually it enters a creek bed and gets a little sandy. then it climbs out of the canyon on few narrow switchbacks and ends at a county road. The main trail is more fun going down than up. The side trails (east rock canyon and west rock canyon) are narrower singletracks but are just as fun. The west trail is more technical and longer than east rock. There are cliff dwellings along the trails. The trails are ridable almost year round.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-7 of 7  
[Apr 07, 2015]
Brandon Mathis
Cross Country Rider

An hour and a half west of Durango and you'll find desert single-track so sweet you'll swear you're in Junction or Moab. Here's a short vid we did on riding there.

http://4cornerstv.com/show/breaking-point/sand-canyon-mtb#.VSRHYLl0w5s

Customer Service

Park on Road G, which is McElmo Canyo Rd. Sand Canyon out and back. Hike the spurs and gaze at cliff dwelling from Ancestral Puebloans. The impossible switchbacks are a good point to turn around.
You can connect Sand Canyon to East Rock Creek, which is a pretty cool segment, but to milk the riding, you may as well go back to the slickrock and start East Rock from there. It's just a 5-mile loop but feels like more than that. A variety of riding surfaces plus a few ruins and an arch make this a little known gem. The West Rock is also good. Afew miles, sometimes sandy, but you came to ride in the desert, so soak it up.

Similar Products Used:

Boggy Draw had something for everyone, but the hungry rider will like Bean Canyon. Phil's World has some of the funnest mountain biking anywhere.
Toward Rics, Scotch Creek to the Colorado and down Salt Creek is another overlooked treasure.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jun 26, 2012]
redrossrider
Weekend Warrior

Fun single track. My son and I took this trial in ealry April and it was in great shape, well packed and the weather was nice and cool. Nice challenging ride, slick rock sections make the ride, but the rest is clasic sincle track with veried terrain, dry washes, rims and steep climbs and downhills. Our available vacation time was the same week as the Jeep Jamboree in Moab, so we went to Cortez as an alternative. What a smart move, very few people on the trails, great sceanery and nice ruins. Plus I'm sure we spent a lot less money for rooms and meals. I want to come back here again and spend more time on this trail.

Customer Service

We went up the main Sand Creek Trail and took the cut over and then up the East Canyon, then down to the trailhead through the slick rock section. We saw the ruins on the lower portion of Sand creek. The further north you ride up the East Canyon the more technical it gets, but nothing too outrageous. We missed the West Canyon because a storm was comming in. It looked less technical and would have added about 4 miles. Great Ride. Gave this the highest rating because of the ruins, where else are you going to see that cool stuff?

Similar Products Used:

Phils world

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 17, 2009]
boisebomber
Cross Country Rider

this is 'indian jones meets moab'. this is an excellent int/advance ride with amazing views of 6 or more ruins. there is half mile of slickrock playground at beginning of ride. also if you take east rock creek trail off main trail you will enjoy thrilling rim ride.

take trail up sides of sand canyon. trail is well marked. signs at junctions. you will ride slick rock and hard red dirt single track on rideable grade. 1 hike a bike seciton. explore ruins as your go along. at about mile 4, there is sign warning 'steep and rocky' ahead. you soon find yourself in loose sandy creek bottom. turn around. ride back to east rock creek and ride up saddle. follow signs from there to TH. you will ride along rim and at base of multicolored cliffs with a half -mile of roller coaster in the middle and slickrock finish.

this one has is all...climbs, single track, vistas, smooth trials,woop de doos,slot canyons, ruins, slickrock, vistas, rims, couple of expert rock gardens.

trail described is above 8.5 miles. there are other trail called west rock.

map at trailhead. no fee.

NO WATER ....bring from town or you are doomed.


to me its alot more intersting than phils world.

Customer Service

up sandy canyon to mile 4 sign. back down to east rock creek junction. follow to junction ,and follow sign to TH

Similar Products Used:

phil's world

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 27, 2006]
abegold
Cross Country Rider

This is an amazing trail. It seems to change near the start, around every corner. The ruins are plentiful and some are being restored. At times you'll ride on slickrock, usually very well packed dirt and sand surface, found very little loose sand. Feelings of excitement almost extreme here, an emotional experience as trails go.
Vegetation is mainly junipers, cliff rose, some pine, gooseberry, yucca and some cactus. One of Colorado's best.

Customer Service

Route finding is tricky but just stick to the most defined trails. Some fools have ridden across the area causing long standing damage that threatens access, greatly. Get a map and expect to feel lost at times. I arrived on an early summer morning at sunrise to 60 degree weather and solitude. Follow cairns across rock and most defined trails elsewhere. Signs are few. Downhill trails are built by mountain bikers for bikes!

Similar Products Used:

Phil's World

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Feb 26, 2006]
crondula
Racer

Trial system is over a rolling terrain through canyons. Good mix of climbs and downhill. Some slick rock on the Southern end, trail system is scrub brush country, with plenty of shady spots to rest.

Customer Service

Some additional description of the trails: **Sand Canyon** 6.5mi trail connecting Rd G to Rd N. Easy riding, with several native ruins and turnoffs for other trails. Trail most popular with hikers and horse riders. Last 1.5 mi thru sandy wash and then steep rocky climb to get to Rd N, which is not worth riding. **East Rock Canyon** Peels off to the West from Sand Canyon trail 1.5mi North from South end of Sand Canyon trail head. There is a sign on the trail. 5mi loop that will head South. The West Rock Canoyon trail starts 0.7 miles from the start of E Rock Canyon. Follow the sign "To Trail Head" to the left to take the shorter E Rock trail or go to the right to take the West Rock trail. There is a fork on the South end of the trail which you can go right to connect back to the W Rock trail to get the slick rock or go left to take the shorter but way lame trip to the parking area via E Rock trail. **West Rock Canyon** 15 mile loop West of the East Rock Canyon trail. By far the best trail in Sand Canyon, there are some extended runs through rolling terrain which you can haul some major butt. You take the East Rock Canyon trail exit off Sand Canyon as described above. West Rock peels off North from E Rock about 0.7 miles from Sand Canyon. The trail heads off NW and then loops back to the SE. There are some nice climbs and downhills, with several areas crossing creek washes. The South end connects to other Westward and Southward loops for additional riding. The South end nearest the parking lot has about 1.5 miles of slick rock terrain. All loops I know of on the South end lead back to the South parking area.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Feb 04, 2004]
Synn
Weekend Warrior

THIS AREA IS ABOUT TO BE CLOSED TO CYCLISTS! Ride Responsibly, Respectfully, and pack out trash! Speak out against trail abuse so that mountain biking doesnt become illegal!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[May 15, 2003]
TDG

This is a great ride not for the faint of heart. It contains several technical decents/accents with some nice "rock gardens" to boot. This ride is not recommended for the timid rider unless they enjoy walking their bike. Take lots of water in the warmer months, the sandstone landscape can be scorching.

Customer Service

Ride to the top of the slick rock and head to the left into East Rock Creek. Riders will cross several slick rock areas toward the end of the ride that can make navigating difficult. Make sure to look for stacks of rocks (markers) indicating the route home. This loop is approximately 7.5 miles

Similar Products Used:

Phil' World (Cortez), Sam's (McElmo Canyon) Boggy Draw (Dolores), Stoner Mesa (Dolores), and Bear Creek (Dolores/Rico).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-7 of 7  

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