ATV/UTV Rentals Make Colorado Fall Better

Everyone knows the Rockies are famous for skiing in the winter and pleasant temps in the summer, but if you’ve never visited Colorado in the fall months of September or October when the aspens are changing, you are missing out on the spectacular beauty of our shortest season, all the more special because of its fleeting nature. White Aspen trunks topped in vibrant yellow against a bluebird sky creates a stunning scene. We’re going to tell you where and how to see the best fall colors in Colorado.

Aspen trees grow in groves. One grove is a single organism and each tree shares the same root system meaning that you’ll rarely see a lone aspen tree because they grow from the ground up in clusters. Instead of a flaming gold tree here and there, you’ll see large sections or even entire Colorado mountainsides covered in yellow.

Why a ATV/UTV Rental: Fall splendor is not a secret and you’ll be among the masses fighting traffic if you take the well-known scenic drives. Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals can help you break away from the pack and make your gold-finding quest all the more fun with one of our ATV/UTV rentals.

We have multiple Rocky Mountain Adventure Rental outposts, one in Chaffee County and two in Eagle County to better serve our guests and provide a variety of scenery and terrain.

Ghost Town Tour: Take a tour south of our Buena Vista outpost and combine leaf peeping with a ghost town tour. Travel through a golden aspen tunnel to the “abandoned” town of St. Elmo and step back into 1890. St. Elmo was a mining town with a population of nearly 2000 until fires and the end of the mining era drove most residents away. With a remaining 43 original buildings still standing, St. Elmo is dubbed the best-preserved ghost town in the west, giving visitors an authentic look at life in the late 1800s.

Mt. Princeton, the chalk cliffs, roadside rivers and waterfalls are also part of the scenery on a trip to St. Elmo.

Vail Pass: Just outside of our Red Cliff outpost, Shrine Pass also transforms with incredible beauty from summer to winter. With visitorship being slower in the fall, you may find a mountainside all to yourself in the Shrine Pass area. As an off-road trail, this area remains off the radar for mainstream leaf peeping. There is an abundance of aspen groves in this area that are all the more breathtaking with the surrounding mountain range backdrops.

Leaf viewing can be a nice weekend getaway with our Eat, Sleep, Ride, Repeat Adventure Package which is available through fall until the snow flies and we transition to snowmobiles and Timbersleds for the winter season. Our guides love their jobs as much as they love Colorado. Don’t waste time with travel blogs or misinformation on social media pages. The Rocky Mountain Adventure Rental staff lives locally and loves to share insider tips with our rental guests. Call us today to set up ATV/UTV/RZR/side-by-side rentals for leaf viewing this fall. (719) 966-5233 for the Buena Vista area or (970) 471-8491 for the Vail area.

Eat, Sleep, Ride, Repeat Adventure Package

We’ve got the ultimate weekend adventure that won’t require any planning on your part! The Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals Eat, Sleep, Ride, Repeat Package includes all you need to know to get fed, get rested, and get stoked for all the fun in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Explore the top destinations in Colorado in the shortest amount of time while glamping at the beautiful Green Bridge Inn in Red Cliff, Colorado. This incredible package can be one, two, three or even FOUR days long!

Included in your Eat, Sleep, Ridge, Repeat Package is 10% off rentals from Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals, 10% off 6 meals at Mango’s Mountain Grill, and 10% off 3 nights of lodging at Green Bridge Inn. This may just be one of the most amazing deals you’ll find in the entire state of Colorado. See details below.

Day One: Your Rocky Mountain Adventure begins as you head out Red Cliff’s back door on Shrine Pass Road. Explore the backcountry of Vail Pass in a UTV/side-by-side. Discover wide-open meadows full of wildflowers (and an enormous herd of sheep that moves around the valley), thick pine forests and glorious views of the Gore and Sawatch Ranges. The aspen trees explode with color in the fall. Terrain types vary and are suitable for all levels.

Day Two: Pull out of Red Cliff in style driving a Polaris Slingshot. This open-air roadster feels like driving a life-sized version of the Hot Wheels cars you played with as a kid. Heads will turn, but you’ll be having too much fun to notice.

Because Red Cliff really is in the center of it all, you’ve got two options for your Slingshot journey:

1. Cruise south on the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway to Leadville, the highest city in Colorado. Stay awhile for some laid back Main Street shopping and dining in Leadville or turn west and make the drive over Independence Pass to Aspen.

2. Leave north out of Red Cliff over Battle Mountain Pass to I-70 East. Take the Vail exit and browse the elite boutiques in Vail Village. If high-end shops aren’t your thing, just keep going east over Vail Pass to Summit County (the most beautiful stretch of I-70 in the country). Frisco welcomes visitors with an iconic Main Street where you can enjoy family-friendly dining and shopping, a historic park, art exhibits, and hassle-free parking. From Frisco drive over Swan Mountain Road for the breathtaking views and scenic overlooks of Lake Dillon. This is an easy loop back to I-70 West.

Day Three: The past few days, you’ve gotten plenty to eat at Mango’s Mountain Grill and plenty of rest at the comfortable Green Bridge Inn. You’re ready for another day of adventure. Put on some sunscreen and get ready for a day on the lake on a stand-up paddleboard. This watercraft is so much better than a canoe or kayak because you have the option to sit, kneel, stand, or even take a break lying down while soaking in the sun. Floating on the water is incredibly relaxing! Options for your SUP time include Nottingham Lake in Avon or Piney Lake just south of Vail. For bonus fun on this day, take along a Onewheel rental from RMAR and hit a rec path to try out your flow skills. If you like snowboards or skateboards, the Onewheel will blow your mind!

Day Four: You’re a true adventure seeker and can’t get enough. We get it! There is still so much more to do and see. Today you’ll explore the rugged Four Mile Recreational area around the Brown’s Canyon National Monument and the Arkansas River near Buena Vista. This charming town sits at the base of the Continental Divide with the backdrop of Colorado’s tallest mountain peaks. Off-roading terrain includes rock scrambles (for those with advanced skills) and numerous breathtaking overlooks. Buena Vista is a mecca for river sports and if a float down the Arkansas is on your bucket list, we can point you in the right direction.

The Eat, Sleep, Ride, Repeat Package was created with YOU in mind. Your vacation time is precious and you want to make the most of it. Pick and choose from Days 1-4 above.

Our local staff knows the Rockies from the valleys to the high country like no one else. For you this means maximum fun without the guesswork and “wish we had knowns.” By listening to the particular wants and needs of your group, we can offer customized suggestions for each day of your stay in the Colorado mountains of Red Cliff.  Please call or email us today, we look forward to hearing from you. (970) 471-8491.

*Minimum requirements to qualify for the Eat, Sleep, Ridge, Repeat Package are a 2-day rental from RMAR and a 1-night stay at the Green Bridge Inn. Holidays are excluded.

Authored by K Stanford

Scenic Shrine Pass

Looking for a great summer activity while visiting Vail or Eagle County? Something scenic away from the crowds, but won’t leave you breathless and exhausted? Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals has the answer for you in Shrine Pass. See more mountains, wildflowers, hidden gems, and beautiful scenery in a short amount of time without hiking uphill for miles and miles. Our UTV rentals (also known as Razers, Side-by-Sides, offroad vehicles, and ATVs) are the most fun you’ll have while visiting Colorado in the summer. Getting out in a UTV is a great summer activity for acclimating to the altitude and is something the whole family can enjoy at the same pace (children must be at least 8 years of age).

One of the most popular spots to explore in Eagle County is Shrine Pass, easily accessible from our Red Cliff location directly south of Vail. The Shrine Pass Trail is traversed by a narrow unpaved road connecting the eastern side of Vail Pass near Interstate 70 (East) with the upper valley of the Eagle River (west). When the road is not covered in snow, it is an off-road trail for ATVs but is also accessible to sturdy 2WD vehicles and light trucks. The Shrine Pass Trail was formerly the principal route between the upper valleys of the Blue and Eagle rivers before the construction of U.S Highway 6 over nearby Vail Pass which is now the main route for vehicular traffic.

The terrain in the Shrine Pass area offers something for all of levels of driving ability. Drivers must be licensed and over the age of 21. The landscape offers incredible mountain vistas, open meadows full of wildflowers, thick pine forests, and occasionally some wildlife sightings.

The Shrine Pass Trail runs north/south through the Vail Pass Recreation Area. There are 55,000 acres of backcountry paradise and 119 motorized and non/motorized trails to explore in the Vail Pass Recreational Area. Take one of our UTVs out for a half day or get lost deep in the woods and camp for a night or two.

For the hungers, you can fill up beforehand, take carryout, or end your day at Mango’s Mountain Grill in Red Cliff. The menu offers favorites such as fresh salads, char-grilled burgers, fries and an enviable selection of craft beer and spirits.

Year round, Shrine Pass is an incredible mountain mecca for adventure riding, UTVs in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter. Your safety is the top priority for the staff at Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals. Our friendly guides will offer thorough instruction, provide maps and plenty of insider tips before you set out. To book your adventure, give us a call at (970) 471-8491 to get started. We hope to see you on the trail soon!

Colorado Trail Etiquette: ATV, UTV, RZR Side-by-Side

ATV / RZR Side by Side Trails, OHV Trails, and Dirt Bike Trails

Be courteous to all non-motorized trail users. Respect the wildlife, livestock, and all who use the trail.

All OHV and ATV trails are in danger of being closed due to the irresponsible acts of a few. As an avid user, you can help protect our available trails for motorized use by setting a good example for all and using proper Colorado Trail Etiquette while out in the backcountry. Your behavior becomes associated with all trail riders including dirt bikers, atv riders, 4×4’s, and all other forms of motorized travel. Please do not act in such a way that will leave a black eye on the sport. A little common sense and common courtesy will go a long way in helping to protect our available lands for future motorized recreation.



Colorado trails for side-by-side’s, UTVs, and ATV’s

Most side-by-side’s (RZR’s) are wider than the 50″ width allowed for standard ATV Trails in Colorado. Due to the added width, all RZR’s must remain on trails that are designated for full-size 4WD vehicles. All rules and regulations are based on the actual width of your vehicle. Just because your manual suggest that your ATV is under 50″ your aftermarket wheels and tires could place the vehicle over the 50″ threshold at which point you can no longer legally use the ATV on ATV designated trails in Colorado.

Only ride on trails that are wider than your vehicle:

A general rule to keep in mind is that if your vehicle is wider than the trail, don’t proceed forward. Only dirt bikes should be on single track trails. Trail width is often associated with both the difficulty and joy of the experience. By keeping to this rule, you help preserve the tails for long-term sustainable use and help in protecting the trails integrity for all to enjoy.

When staging, do not block the trail or the access point to the trail:

Pull off to the side of the road near the trailhead to unload and prepare your vehicle for the ride ahead. Avoid driving over parking lot barriers including rocks and other objects and be mindful of your trailers and ramps.

Encountering obstacles on the trails:

Avoid going around obstacles on the trails. Doing so will inadvertently widen the trail, cause erosion issues, and negatively impact vegetation. Stay on the trail and challenge yourself to maneuver over all obstacles while being respectful to others on the trail.

In an effort to help protect the environment, these measures should be taken when encountering similar obstacles on the trail.

1. Mud Puddles:

While maintaining a steady speed, go straight through the mud puddle while being careful to not get stuck.

2. Rocks and Scree Fields:

Go over rocks and scree fields. These are natural elements on a trail and part of the challenge.

3. Downed Trees:

If the tree is too big to climb over, go back and contact the land manager or United States Forest Service.

4. Whoopdies:

Whoops are bumps on the trails that are created from continual trail use. You should proceed to go over the whoops.

5. Switchbacks:

Do not cut the switchbacks. They help with the stability of the trail.

6. Ride Single File:

On tight trails, riding single file will help to avoid braiding and help protect against the widening of the trail.

7. Crossing Streams:

If you encounter a stream that must be crossed, do so by crossing at a 90 degree angle while staying on the trail.

8. Avoid Wetlands:

Wetlands are sensitive areas of land that have been designated as protected areas and have important significance to both wildlife and humans. Avoid wetlands and other protected areas at all cost.

Slow down and let others pass:

Slower vehicles should yield to faster moving vehicles. If you are approached on the trail by a faster moving vehicle, you should pull over and allow the faster vehicle to pass. When pulling over, choose a location that is void of sensitive vegetation and be careful to not widen the trail – find a location with added width. When a vehicle approaches, signal your intent to slow down to allow the approaching vehicle to pass.

Use caution on the descent:

Unless unique circumstances exist due to location or obstacles, the descending vehicle should always yield to the ascending (climbing) vehicles.

Passing another vehicle:

When passing another vehicle (from behind), you should always pass on the left side while keeping a safe distance and speed. Signal to the vehicle you are passing and inform their party of how many vehicles remain in your group left to pass. Two fingers indicates that you have two riders behind you and one finger means that there is only one more behind you. If you are the last rider in your group left to pass, a closed fist indicates that there are no more vehicles behind you.

Different vehicles, different approach:

Know your vehicles. Not all vehicles can maneuver the same. Dirt Bikes have minimum speed requirements while it can take some time when passing full-size jeeps and trucks. Dirt Bike and RZR operators should use caution when passing – do not “roost” while passing. Roosting is the process of gassing too quickly causing stones and debris to kick back on the windshield and face visors of the vehicle and riders being passed.

Yield to non-motorized users

Always yield the trail and be prepared to stop when passing or coming across a non-motorized user. Yield the right of way to mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, and be especially careful when approaching horses.

Be friendly and respectful:

When encountering non-motorized trail users, be courteous and understand the importance of multi-use trails. These trails help to minimize the overall impact on the environment and help to remind us that we all have the same rights to enjoy the trails.

Be aware and be helpful:

When approaching others on the trail, always slow down and provide a healthy berth to avoid surprises. If you come across others in need, pull to the side to help. As a motorized user, you often times have the ability to call for help or to seek help much faster than others.

Always respect wildlife and livestock:

Don’t chase or harass wildlife. Always leave enough space between you and the animals. If you encounter gates on your trip, be sure to leave them as you found them – if opened, leave the gate opened. If closed, leave the gate closed.


Stay where you belong.

1. Remember the 50″ Rule for Side-by-Sides vs ATV’s.

2. Only drive on designated, pre-existing motorized routes.

3. Always pack a map and follow the rules of the land set forth by the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)