The ride from Pawnee Buttes trailhead was 98% gravel. (Why did they need to pave those few wee little sections??!)
So often, while we are out on gravel roads, we want to explore and end up doing long, hard rides, but it was quite nice to do a shorter, casual ride. (We planned a longer route but due to weather, we had to improvise.)
We were able to keep the Buttes in our site most of the way which made for nice scenery.
Getting a tour of the not-so-beautiful (and stinky!) oil drilling operations.
The monotony of the terrain after two days of exploring in this area. (Living in Colorado, we are used to dramatic mountains and views, but Eastern Colorado definitely lacks variation.)
Do this ride if you are at Pawnee Buttes Trailhead camping for a few days and want a quick tour of the area.
There is very little shade on this ride so be prepared with water and food.
There is a designated scenic byway route through Pawnee Grasslands that seems to avoid most of the oil drilling and wells which we would recommend. The only traffic on the roads is from oil trucks and tankers and although they were very friendly and slowed down as we passed, it would have been nice to avoid them altogether.
We began this ride from the Pawnee Buttes Trailhead where there is parking and an outhouse bathroom (bring your own toilet paper!)