Rusty Buckets

One-way Distance: 1.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 6433 - 6671 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Buzzard Gulch
Fee: none
Attractions: Nice singletrack

Rusty Buckets is part of the Buzzard Gulch Trails in the Dry Creek Recreation Area near Montrose, Colorado. The lower end of the trail begins off of the Bull Snake trail. From there it makes a gradual climb that leads to an intersection with the Broken Antler and Dakota Rim trails. Note: The upper end of the trail travels close enough to a shooting range that is near the Dave Wood Road that it is recommended to avoid whenever gunfire can be heard. The whole idea might seem a little absurd as gunfire could begin at anytime after you have already set out on the trail but that is the recommendation.

This post is beginning at the top of Rusty Buckets at its intersection with the Broken Antler and Dakota Rim trails. We arrived at this point by following the Buzzard Gulch and Broken Antler trails up from the trailhead.

The trail starts out along a rocky singletrack.

Things get a little smoother as the trail progresses.

Going in this direction the trail has a nice downhill grade to it. It is gradual enough though that it also makes a good uphill route.

Short stretches of broken rock continue to pop up all along the trail but most of it seems to be in the upper area. The shooting range is off to the right at this point. We could hear gunfire as we passed but it seemed a bit muffled as though it was behind a hill or large berm. We encountered a number of mountain bikers that were coming up the trail and none of them seemed to be paying any attention to the shooting range.

There are plenty of long smooth rolling sections of trail in the mix as the trail continually transitions down the gentle sloping mesa.

As the trail gets lower the trees thin out and give way to more sagebrush where the trail surface is usually packed dirt.

The trail is decorated with various types of the 'rusty' buckets for which it is named. They provide something to muse about while traveling the route. After all they are remnants of leftover trash that were deposited by someone that had no qualms about hauling their refuse out to public land to dispose of it.

If you keep your eye out there are a couple of optional features built into the trail for anyone wanting to get a little air time.

Right about the 1.3 mile point the Broken Antler trail reconnects once again to Rusty Buckets.

It is less than a quarter mile further past that point to where Rusty Buckets meets up with the Bull Snake trail and comes to an end. If you go to the left at this point you will reach the Buzzard Gulch trail after about a quarter mile of slightly uphill climbing. Going to the right also takes you to the Buzzard Gulch trail which is a half mile away for that direction. As far as Rusty Buckets goes it is a nice alternate route no matter which way you are headed. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.