Robb M. on Cheyenne Rim Trail
The trail begins about 100 ft north of the picnic area at the South Trailhead Parking Lot in the Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. The trail meanders and gradually gains in elevation along the bluff line to the west. At about the five mile mark the gain markedly increases, but is still moderate until you gain the rim the overlooks the Red Mountain Open Space to the West. The trail is easy to follow, but there are numerous game and stock trails along the way. There are many side trails. These run to various stock tanks or are old Ranch roads. The trail is popular with horses and mountain bikes. The area is good winter range for Pronghorn Antelope, Mule deer, and Elk. The ares is also winter range for cattle.
Approaching the rim from the east was a great ride, but attempting to decent via the western route was very rough. Several portions of the trail were essentially riding down sand and gravel filled washouts, and extremely tight single track conditions. Would recommend full suspension.
Approaching the Cheyenne Rim Trail from the Wyoming border is a bit tricky as there is no way to get to that end of the trail without hiking about 4 miles from Harriman, Wyo. All other roads into that area are gated. In addition, there’s no pedestrian gate in the fence where the topo map indicates a trailhead. So, it was unclear whether or not I was on public land. That said, this part of the trail offers some beautiful views of the surrounding hills and valleys. It’s an easy hike with only minimal elevation change. Watch out for the brambles along the canyon rim, though. They’re a bit tough to negotiate…