Buzzard Gulch

One-way Distance: 2.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 6177 - 6524 feet
Cellphone: 1-4 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Buzzard Gulch
Fee: none
Attractions: Fun singletrack

The Buzzard Gulch trail is part of the Buzzard Gulch Trails system in the Dry Creek Recreation Area near Montrose, Colorado. Buzzard Gulch is the main route that provides access to most all of the other trails in the area. The trails in the system are used extensively by hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and trail runners, Mountain bikers will find most of the trails fall into the easy to intermediate skill level.

To get to the Buzzard Gulch trailhead head west on Main St. in downton Montrose. Follow the directions for Highway 90 until reaching the sign for the Dave Wood Road where you turn left. Continue on Dave Wood for about 2.4 miles and turn right onto Popular Road. There is a water fill up station on the right near the intersection. Follow Popular Road around and turn left onto Spring Canyon Road where after a short distance the trailhead will be on the left. The easier thing to do of course might be to just tell your driving assistant to give you directions to the Buzzard Gulch trailhead.

From the parking area the trail heads up Buzzard Gulch following an old double track.

Sometimes when you build a trail rather than haul all of the trash off it is easier to just decorate.

After passing the collectic kiosk of treasured trash the trail dips in and out of a shallow wash. As it continues up the gulch the Mailbox trail branches off on the left.

Around the half mile point the PJ Way trail branches off on the right. That trail is a nice option to consider for a return route as it would be mostly downhill.

Within a hundred yards or so of where PJ Way branched off the Horse trail does the same. The Horse trail is only open to hikers and horseback riders. It gets a lot of use from both of those as well as trail runners and is often combined with Buzzard Gulch or PJ Way to create a loop.

The elevation gain picks up as the trail continues and begins climbing out of the gulch for higher ground.

As the trail gets near the top of the hill there are 2 segments of the Vulture Rim Loop that branch off on the left. After that point the Buzzard Gulch trail levels off for the most part and turns into a nice route leading through pinion and junipers. Around the 1.3 mile point from the trailhead the Bull Snake trail branches off on the left.

Near the 1.4 mile point the Horse trail reconnects on the right and the Bull Snake trail reconnects on the left around the 1.7 mile point. Buzzard Gulch continues across the mesa and as it passes the 1.9 mile point it passes the top of the PJ Way trail.

The last stretch of the trail is an easy roll through the trees and across a few open areas of sagebrush.

Buzzard Gulch comes to an end at the 2.4 mile point form the trailhead when it meets up with the Broken Antler trail. From here you can continue to the right where within just under 1 mile you will reach the upper end of the Rusty Bucket trail and the lower end of the Dakota Rim trail. Following Broken Antler to the left leads to a spot near the lower end of the Rusty Bucket trail. The Buzzard Gulch trail also serves as a segment of the 20.4 mile long Whole Uncolada that begins higher up on the Uncompahgre Plateau. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.