The BLM’s Penitente Canyon Special Recreation Management Area has many trails for mountain bikers and hikers to enjoy among twisty rock canyons and towering boulders. A recently reworked trail system offers 21 miles of rides for all levels, from easy pedals to technical boulder jumping. These trails provide high alpine riding as well as some of the best features of desert canyon. One of the trails is named “Rock Drops” for very obvious reasons.
While in the area, you’ll ride through some of the country’s most fascinating history and geology. This part of the La Garita Caldera, 22 miles wide and 47 miles long.
Approaching from the south, the area is 20 to 25 minutes north of Del Norte. From Colorado Highway 160 in Del Norte, take highway 112 north for 3.1 miles; turn left onto Country Rd. 33 toward La Garta; at mile 5.7 Rio Grande County Rd. 33 becomes Saguache County Rd. 38-A; continue north to the marked entrance to Penitente Canyon at mile 12.5. See Map Here
Approaching from the east off of Colorado Highway 285 (18 miles north of Monte Vista), turn west onto Saguache County Rd. G (toward La Garita); in 6 miles you will pass the La Garita Trading Post; go another .5 miles to a Y intersection; take the left fork (County Rd. 38A); the entrance to the Penitente Canyon recreation area is another .5 miles, on your right. See Map Here