Monday, March 14, 2016

Oil Well Flats is mountain bike majesty

Posted By on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 2:01 PM

I heard some scuttlebutt about a new mountain biking circuit in Cañon City called Oil Well Flats, thanks in part to recent articles by The Gazette and Pinkbike

To answer the latter's query regarding "will Canon City be the next Fruita?", it's a little early to say, but sure, I guess most anything's possible. A friend and I greatly enjoyed our ride this past weekend, spending roughly four hours covering the great majority of the expanse. 

I'm not a pro-level mountain biker by any measure, but have biked for 20 years, and found the course quite challenging in several areas. (Yeah, that was me walking down part of Island in the Sky having just pulled a cactus spine out of my foot and many prickly pear needles from my hand.) Overall, it's a blast and I highly recommend it. 

Here's some cell-phone snaps that show the terrain, plus a map of the system that shows your options for which direction you care to ride it first:

click to enlarge A gorgeous view of the mountains. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A gorgeous view of the mountains.

click to enlarge Cool rock formations. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Cool rock formations.


click to enlarge Look out for cows — it's open grazing land. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Look out for cows — it's open grazing land.

click to enlarge A view in Canon City from the crest of the ridge line. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A view in Canon City from the crest of the ridge line.

click to enlarge One section of the Island in the Sky gets cliffy, also showing off some cool carved bowls in the rock. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • One section of the Island in the Sky gets cliffy, also showing off some cool carved bowls in the rock.


click to enlarge Snap a pic on your cell phone to consult while on the trail, because not all the trail markers are up yet. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Snap a pic on your cell phone to consult while on the trail, because not all the trail markers are up yet.

And a PDF map if you so desire:

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