Before we start
This is the third post in a five-part series on the Rimrocker Trail. If you have not read the previous posts, you may want to start at the beginning before continuing.
Montrose to Nucla
When we start, the trail from Montrose to Nucla is fairly tame with graded gravel roads.
Logging trucks tear through, throwing up dust clouds. We share the Iron Spring Campground with a class A camper. I am at a loss to conceive of a vehicle that could not easily handle this stretch of road and really would recommend it to anyone who wanted to get off the beaten path, some brilliant vistas, and a taste of dirt roads without the anxiety of complicated switchbacks or aggressive elevation changes. The route traverses pine and aspen forests as well as grass and scrubland with views of snow-capped mountains in the far distance.
Nucla is a very small town and a natural point for day-trippers or drivers with low clearance vehicles or towing trailers to access the scenic & historic Highway 141. Regardless of your route, take a quick detour for a burger and shake at Blondies in Naturita, Colorado.
Fantastic wildflower views just outside of Montrose, Colorado
Camped in Iron Spring Campground
We start to get a sense of the dramatic vistas that will typify the Rimrocker Trail: it's all wildflowers and distant mountains.
Frankly, we were a little disappointed by this stretch. Yes, the views are amazing. But, by the time we reached Nucla, we were resigned. Accepting that the Rimrocker was the Disneyland equivalent of offroading trials: very pretty but lacking any challenge. We were about to find out how wrong we were.