Rimrocker Montrose, CO to Moab, UT

DSC_5010_1.jpgHey Folks! Drove Rimrocker a couple weeks ago. Arrived at the trailhead in Montrose just before sunset so we camped the first night near the beginning of the route. That area had received a significant amount of rain so the smell of the juniper and sage was intoxicating.

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The next day was spent climbing into the higher alpine elevations with views of the San Juan’s in the distance through dense pine trees and aspens.
Soon we descended into Nucla, CO and refueled.

Once we were back on the dirt we weren’t far from sandstone and high desert landscapes at that point.

We drove through sections that crossed through dry washes with all sorts of vegetation.

DSC_5043_1.jpgWe eventually dropped into the area we camped the second night near the “biscuit” rock formation with many dispersed camping options.

The third day we continued along the route climbing back into areas of green alpine meadows and forests of pine and aspen while crossing the Utah/Colorado border.

We continued through ever changing landscape with the peaks of the La Sal mountain range on the horizon. I had read about the option to take the La Sal Pass road as a diversion from the traditional Rimrocker route and decided to go with that option since we still had over half a tank of gas. The switchback climb up to the pass was absolutely beautiful, green and lush speckled with open valleys and dense forests of pine and aspen. There are a lot of areas where you need to look out for free-range cattle along the way, especially near the top.

DSC_5154_1.jpgDSC_5163_1.jpgWe set up camp at the top of the pass near the start of the Mt. Peale trailhead.

DSC_5195_1.jpgAt sunrise that morning we hiked that trail while taking in the vastness of this area. We returned to our site, had breakfast and broke camp for the final stretch to Moab. At the beginning of the trail that drops from the pass into Moab there is a sign that specifies it as a road that requires a high clearance 4x4 with low range. That absolutely is the case and while there are a few sections that require extra attention to tire placement, our Land Rover with a 3" lift and 32" tires managed it without a problem.

DSC_5211_1.jpgThe descent into the Moab area while experiencing the landscape transitions that occur through the dramatic elevation change is hard to fully absorb. It's amazing what you can experience in just one day of driving this route.

As I have read in other places, this is an Overland dream route. In 4 days I can count on one hand the number of people and vehicles we encountered. When we arrived at La Sal pass there more people than we had seen the entire route, but I imagine if we would have stayed on the standard route that wouldn't have been the case. I highly recommend this route and will be doing it again soon. With fall around the corner, those aspens should bring another element of color and beauty to the incredible views that can be experienced on this route.


OTG Principal Explorer
Staff member
Apr 24, 2021
Hope you don't mind-- but we've used some of your photos in the RimRocker route guide!