Explore Cañon City’s Mountain Biking Gem: Oil Well Flats

The purpose-built mountain bike trails at Oil Well Flats offer fast and flowing riding year-round, even when trails in the Springs are too wet or cold to ride. Here’s your day-trip itinerary.

Fuel Up: Coyote’s Coffee Den

Join the locals at Coyote’s Coffee Den in Penrose for some pre-ride calories and caffeine. Wrapped and ready breakfast burritos and a full breakfast menu are available until noon. For the later crowd, lunch sandwiches come paired with cilantro and lime Southwest coleslaw. If you are short on time, hit the drive-thru for a full espresso-based drink menu to ensure you are ready to roll at the trailhead.

675 CO Highway 115, Penrose

Canon City
The author-photographer in action on Uncomformity. Photo by Jason Fleming

Ride: Oil Well Flats

Most trails are suitable for advanced-beginner to intermediate riders, but the high-desert terrain is rough and rocky and can get technical. Blind corners and mixed-use trail (with cows!) mean heads-up, courteous riding is essential. Maps of the system are available at Red Canyon Cycles and are recommended as a few junctions lack clear signage.

For a mellow, intermediate 4-mile loop, begin by climbing Tectonic Shift trail. Continue the climb to Unconformity and drop left down Fracture for a fast, flowing descent back to Tectonic Shift. For another 3 miles of twisting climbs, add Anticline between Tectonic shift and Unconformity.

Or for a 13-mile ride with 1,700 feet of climbing, begin on Tectonic Shift and Anticline. Continue right to climb Fire Canyon and then Island in the Sky. Enjoy stellar views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as you top out 800 feet above the parking lot. Drop your saddle for the rowdy, rocky descent back to Fire Canyon. Link Fire Canyon, Unconformity, Fracture and Tectonic Shift for a short climb followed by a long, twisting descent to the parking lot.

Forest Service Road 5940, Cañon City

Cañon City
Florence Brewing Company. Photo by Jason Fleming.

Feed the Beast: Florence Brewing Company

With some great singletrack under your belt, it’s time for some guilt-free carbs. On your way back to the Springs, hit up Florence Brewing Company to see why they lay claim to the title of “best beer in Fremont County.” Favorites are their Alpine Loop hefeweizen and King Coal Stout on nitro, or try one of their excellent seasonal brews. Many nearby restaurants deliver, and meat pies by Colorado Springs’ own Mountain Pie Co. are also available.

200 S. Pikes Peak Avenue, Florence

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