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Level: Advanced
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: -
Total: 9 riders

Mountain Biking Tanner / Stultz Loop

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#758 of 1,359 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#8,399 in the world

This ride gets a bad rap but it's actually one of the better loops in the Canon City area. Granted, the climb up Stultz trail doesn't let up, is worn in by ATVs, and bakes in the sun on hot days. However, the descent on Tanner trail through East Bear Gulch is a great payoff - a steep, technical, and fast 3 mile drop back to your car. Still want more? When you get back to the car at the East Bear Gulch trailhead, pedal another mile or so up CR 143 to the start of the ~15 mile Lion Canyon Loop.

You will start your ride by heading back down CR 143 to the Stultz trailhead (you also have the option of parking/starting your ride here if you don't mind ending with a short climb) that you passed at about the 9 mile mark on your drive up CR 143. Climb Stultz trail for a long while (5 miles), passing many scenic resting spots on the continuous climb. After a couple hrs or so of uphill, take Tanner trail when it turns off to the left, and begin the descent down East Bear Gulch. Keep it together for the 3 miles of steep, narrow, and rocky trail to pop out back at the car at the East Bear Gulch trailhead. Link with the Lion Canyon Loop, a short pedal up CR 143, for a monster ~25 mile ride.

First added by gatzke on Aug 31, 2008. Last updated May 8, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Hwy 50 in Canon City, head south on Hwy 115 (9th St) for a little more than a mile. Turn right onto Elm St., left shortly thereafter onto Oak Creek Grade Rd (CR 143), and head south out of town for a little over 10 miles to the East Bear Gulch trailhead parking on the left.
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Tanner / Stultz Loop Trail map

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Trail conditions

Open (on Aug 31, 2008)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Canon City, Colorado

Beginner | 0 mi
Easiest | 14 mi
Advanced | 5 mi
Intermediate | 7 mi

Rider questions

Q: Are dogs allowed? Leash restrictions?
A: Dogs are allowed on Tanner and Stultz though a mile of this loop is on a county road that is probably not ideal for your pet, since it sees a lot of traffic, has limited visibility, and is a continuous, fast downhill that most dogs will struggle to keep up on. An out-and-back on Stultz trail is a dog-friendly alternative.

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  • vbeckman74

    I think this is a better hike than a mountain bike ride, unless you like taking your bike for a walk. It is beautiful. My dog did this one with me and treed a mountain lion about half way up the Tanner trail. (see pics) Watch your back.

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  • John Fisch

    This one is something of a masochistic adventure. If you like the idea of slogging up 2100 verts in about 3.5 miles on rutted, sand&gravel filled ATV track, then this is a great trail. The good news is that there's spectacular scenery at every break in the trees and the altitude (this one tops out well over 9K ft) will keep you a bit cooler than Canon City and it's immediate surroundings. Once up high, the grade abates for a couple miles before you turn left with some more moderate climbing before the all out plummet back to the car. The plummet is mostly fun but will cause most riders a lot of trouble. It gets very narrow and throws horrendous, rock-strewn switchbacks at you at regular intervals. All but the best riders will dismount about a half-dozen times. As of summer 2012, the "trail" is mostly just a steep, unsustainable washout that threads its way between the most inconveniently located rocks. I'm glad I did it, but I doubt I'l do it again.

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