Pawnee Grasslands - 3 States Gravel Ride

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Pawnee National Grassland, CO
Date Published:
May 28, 2019
Gravel Ratio:
95% G / 5% P
Difficulty Rating:
Enjoyability Rating:
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This ride in Pawnee Grasslands allowed us to go through three states in one ride (Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado!!).

95% dirt and gravel roads. (YES!!!)

The herds of Mule Deer bouncing though the fields alongside us (their white butts are adorable).

The solitude that comes with being in wide open spaces where you can see for miles!

There were very few cars (we saw maybe 10 vehicles all day), and courteous drivers that slowed down, got over and waved.


Annoying headwinds for long stretches (surprise! surprise!?). We’ve determined that there is no way to escape wind on the eastern plains.

It felt desolate- We went hours without seeing a home, a car, or a plane, and the only living things nearby were deer and cows and we felt a little vulnerable to being that isolated from any help. (Although we did get sporadic cell service).

Do this ride if you are in Pawnee Grasslands and you have the perfect day when it’s not too hot, not too windy, and you just want to pound away on gravel for miles and miles without interruption. (This ride could be a fun team ride if you had a sag for water and any bike problems.)

Other Notes:

You MUST be prepared on this ride. Pawnee Grasslands is no joke even though it is non-technical and pretty flat. Make sure to have enough water, sunscreen, food, and know how to do basic bike maintenance. There is absolutely no trees or shade and you are really exposed to the elements during this entire ride.

The gravel road conditions for us were nearly perfect (no sand or moisture). We would be cautious if it had rained recently because we noticed a few roads that had obviously been extremely muddy in the past.

We began this ride from the Pawnee Buttes Trailhead where there is parking and an outhouse bathroom (bring your own toilet paper!)

Driving Directions

Route Contributor

Laura & Rose

Laura Karpinski and Rose Barcklow are the creators of Gravel Bike Adventures. Click on the About page to learn more about them.

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