Vulture Rim Loop

One-way Distance: 1 mile
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 6290 - 6332 feet
Cellphone: 2-4 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Buzzard Gulch
Fee: none
Attractions: More technical route

The Vulture Rim Loop is part of the Buzzard Gulch Trails in the Dry Creek Recreation Area near Montrose, Colorado. At present the trail has 2 places where it connects to the Buzzard Gulch trail that are both within a short distance of each other. The current COPMOBA map shows the trail traveling along the rim above Buzzard Gulch, connecting to the Mailbox trail on top of the mesa, and then descending an old double track until it reconnects to the Buzzard Gulch trail a short distance from the trailhead. Some of the trail markers give the last section of the trail that is along the double track to the Mailbox trail.

Vulture Rim has 2 trail markers that are within a few hundred feet of each other. The first one is at the 0.8 mile point of the Buzzard Gulch trail and the second is near the 0.9 point. This post begins at the second marker.

The trail starts out by dropping into a wash where another trail marker indicates the route goes to the left. There are tracks to the right that aren't on the map that might be either rogue routes or something that is newer than the current map.

As the trail turns down the wash it travels over a smooth section of slickrock.

As it continues the wash gets a little deeper and a whole lot more scenic.

Things quickly get more technical as the trail begins dropping over a series of ledges. At the bottom of the last ledge the route in the wash is joined by the other spur that connects to the Buzzard Gulch trail. If the technical features up to this point aren't to a persons liking then they can get on to the Vulture Rim Loop at that point and skip them all together.

The trail leaves the wash at the bottom of the ledges and begins its short ascent up to the rim.

The trail gets a little narrower as it travels around the face of a rocky outcrop below the rim.

Previous difficulties become a thing of the past as the trail climbs higher.

The trail levels off and begins skirting the rim where you can look down upon Buzzard Gulch and across the canyon at portions of PJ Way and the Horse trail.

Eventually the trail turns away from the rim and cuts across the top of the mesa.

The trail dumps out onto a road beneath the powerlines where it turns to the left. If you follow the trail to the right it ends up running into private property after a hundred yards or so.

After following the powerline road for about a quarter mile Vulture Rim merges with the Mailbox trail. This is as far as we are describing the Vulture Rim Loop. From here it is 3 tenths of a mile along the edge of the mesa and down the hill to rejoin the Buzzard Gulch trail near its quarter mile point from the trailhead. Going to the right from here on the Mailbox trail it is a half mile down to the Dave Wood Road. With the new optional section of the Vulture Rim Loop that travels through the ledgy wash it is by far the most technical trail of the Buzzard Gulch group providing mountain bikers a little something for everyone. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.