After a wild ride with Steve and Ben, I traveled up (meaning south) Sims Mesa Road on my Yamaha XT-250, a road I’ve never followed. Steve warned me that the road was badly rutted in places; his warning was timely and correct. At first, the road crosses wide pastures, but as the road gains elevation, small trees appear. The trees get bigger the further south one goes. I followed the road all the way into the National Forest, where it seems to end in a series of primitive campsites. A large group was holding a “Rendezvous,” so I truncated my explorations and headed back north to Wildcat Canyon. After a few miles I was on Government Springs Road and headed back down to Highway 550. Oddly, Government Springs is paved where Wildcat Canyon meets it. But several miles further north, this turns into gravel. Then, after a few more miles, it’s paved again. Go figure. (Important note: unlicensed vehicles are not allowed on paved roads around here. My XT-250 is street legal, but you can’t take a non-street-legal dirt bike or a four-wheeler on paved roads.)
If you are careful with the ruts, this is a pleasant and relatively undemanding dirt bike ride through some very pretty country, both in Montrose and Ouray counties (Colorado). The GPS track appears below, showing how the route connects to US Highway 550 south of Montrose. You can ride it in either direction. Note that Wildcat Canyon road is steep in places, so use an appropriate gear (I used first).