5 day trips from Rangely: Hiking, rock art, off-roading, boating and wildlife
The grand finale of the ROAR is the OHV Rodeo starting at 7 p.m., which will have five rodeo events for participants. Photo Courtesy: Town of Rangely
We should all make plans for when we can travel again with friends and family–it’s good for our state of mind to plan our vacations now, when it seems like the walls are closing in–and in Rangely, there are wide-open spaces and new friends to meet!
If you drive your RV in, you can camp at several excellent campgrounds including Buck N Bull, Silver Sage, and Camper Park. After you’re settled, check out the only designated rock-crawling park in the state of Colorado. There, enjoy more than 560 acres of natural terrain specifically designed for four-wheeling in the OHV of your choice—roll bars and cages are not optional for some of these trails. You can see wild horses along one of the trails; and all of them showcase the high desert beauty of Rangely.
Surrounded by 1.5 million acres of public lands and averaging 300 days of sunshine, getting outdoors has never been more accessible than it is in Rangely. Whether you enjoy motorized, non-motorized, water sports, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, horseback riding or anything outdoors, Rangely has year-round offerings minutes from glorious campsites, friendly motels and fun VRBOs or AirBnBs with highly rated hosts!
Just outside this peaceful town is Canyon Pintado National Historic District which encompasses over 16,000 acres of public land. In Canyon Pintado, you can hike solo or take guided tours to Fremont and Ute Native American Tribe Rock Art sites dating back over 1,000 years. Minutes from town you can observe the magnificent Piceance/East Douglas wild horse herd and, if you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of more elusive wildlife like black bears, bobcats, or mountain lions! We’ve listed a few of our favorite trails, below, but there are so many more to explore. The high desert air and sunshine will help you recover from the days indoors and the distressing chaos of these difficult times.
1. Camel Ridge Site
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Milepost 70.5 (SH139) (40o 4.0908’N, 108o 46.2978’W)
On highway 139 right outside of town, you can pull off at the sign–the art panels are about 250 yards away on the north-facing cliffs just above the road and depict a camel-like figure, anthropomorphic shapes, and abstracts. Carved tracks are located at waist level on the east facing cliff and the carrot men are a short hike away (see Hoodoo Site, below).
2. Lookout Point Site
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Milepost 67.6 (SH139) (40o1.7958’N,108o 46.2792’W) T
This may have been a watchtower and is located on the ridgeline north of the pullout and may have served as part of an early warning system. The walk to the site is not difficult and provides an excellent vantage point to survey the valley. Stroll the area to wonder at the mysterious drilled holes in the caprice (no one knows what they are for!) and Bureau of Land Management historical and cultural information on several interpretive panels interspersed among the tremendous vistas and warm cliffside seating areas set up for stunning Instagram photos with your friends and dogs.
3. Hoodoo Site
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Milepost 63.2 (SH139) (39o 58.1292’N, 108o 46.4958’W)
Pull off in the wide turnout to the right below the two hoodoos on the hilltop on the west side of the highway. The rock art panel is through the fence and along a path to the south where a rough fenced enclosure protects the panel from livestock. Tapering “Carrot Man” figures are depicted here, which will awe your family–these were carved hundreds of years ago and are still here as wonderful artwork for us all to enjoy!
2. The ROAR off-road rally revs up
The team getting ready for the rally is working on ways the event can happen while maintaining social distance rules and staying true to any state rules for traveling in the state. The decision has not been made to cancel at this time, but updates will be posted on the Rangely FB page or on the Rangely OHV Adventure Rally page You can also contact the Rangely Chamber.
If all goes well, on April 30, you’re going to have access to more off-road terrain than almost anywhere in Colorado. You will also get a free ticket to a down-home shrimp boil and the best time you’ve ever had in Rangely, the country-friendly OHV destination for Jeeps and other four-wheelers. The Rangely OHV Adventure Rally lets OHVs deep into the backcountry to get all the air-time they could ever want. For the uninitiated, OHVs describe any vehicle, from 2-8 wheels or tracks, that can take the trails and are designed to operate on unpaved surfaces. All or part of this operation is conducted on Public Lands under special permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management–a rare opportunity to explore public lands on ATVs or other off-road vehicles to your heart’s content.
What’s included in a ROAR registration?
- Two breakfasts
- Shrimp dinner for 1
- Goodie Bag
- 1 Rodeo Event Entry Ticket
- BLM permitting and daily fee
- 2 Rodeo dinners
- 1 diddy bag with goodies
After you’re settled, check out the only designated rock-crawling park in the state of Colorado. There, enjoy more than 560 acres of natural terrain specifically designed for four-wheeling in the OHV of your choice—roll bars and cages are not optional for some of these trails. You can see wild horses along one of the trails; and all of them showcase the high desert beauty of Rangely.
The ROAR—Rangely Off-Highway-Vehicle (OHV) Adventure Rally welcomes OHV enthusiasts from all over the region and beyond to ride the Wagon Wheel West OHV trails, some of which are named evocatively, like “Chase Draw” and “Texas Mountain.” So, fasten those chin straps and get revved up for the mountain west’s best time driving out of bounds. And be sure to plan your awesome Colorado day trip for before and after the rally–see our suggestions in this article or visit Rangely for more.