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Chinaman Gulch 4x4 Trail

Popular hard-core route open all year

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Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 6.9 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview:  One of the most popular motorized recreation trails in Colorado for both licensed and unlicensed vehicles. Minimal snow and close... more »

Tips:  Narrow canyon can get hot in the summer. Take lots of water and sun protection. Trail remains open all year increasing difficultly in ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Entry Gate

Across from Detention Center, turn left from County Road 301 at gate with BLM sign marking Chinaman Gulch. Head east towards parking area. Portions of this road can get quite rutted.

2. Parking Area

Pass through second gate just before large parking area. Chinaman Gulch heads north (left) along fence line. (If you continue east through parking area, you'll soon reach the extrance to extreme Carnage Canyon.)

3. Hard Right Uphill

Trail swings right uphill across clearing. Turn hard right up a narrower shelf road. Conditions quickly deteriorate with large awkward boulders and steep sections. Take your time and use a spotter if necessary.

4. Exit Point from Carnage Canyon

Turn sharp left. Exit point for Carnage Canyon is on the right. Things ease up for a while as trail twists and climbs through fun section.

5. Loop Begins

Bear right in sandy wash bottom. You'll return to this spot later via the road that comes downhill on the left. (Hard left in wash is permanently closed to motor vehicles.)

6. The Rockpile

Stay left to avoid the difficult "Rockpile." This is a fun obstacle for modified hard-core vehicles. Much time can be lost here if you are traveling with a group and many take the hard line.

7. The Waterfall

Swing left here up a big ledge called the "Waterfall." The easiest portion is on the right side. Left is extreme. This is a popular spot for photos. Large groups may take a while to get through this section.

8. High Point

After long narrow climb out of Chinaman Gulch, you reach a high point. Stay left and you'll soon pass an optional obstacle on the right called "Little Double Whammy." (Right through fence is fun dirtbike and ATV trail that leads to a large network of trails.)

9. Difficult Section

Trail continues to climb very steeply and is very rocky in places. Since there are no bypasses, many find this stretch the most difficult part of the trip. This section is followed by an equally steep and rocky descent.

10. Steep Descent

Bear left down a narrow steep road that returns to start of loop at Point #5. Continue across wash and climb up the other side and return the same way you came in.