Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 68

Thread: Best AM Trail?

  1. #1
    I <3 Dirt
    Reputation: mealsonwheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    709

    Best AM Trail?

    Not sure if someone's posted this already, but what's the best All Mtn trail you've done? Not the most technical, but the most fun, well designed AM trail you've ever ridden?
    Last edited by mealsonwheels; 01-09-2013 at 08:44 PM. Reason: added question mark to title

  2. #2
    Airborne Flight Crew
    Reputation: jhazard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,923
    The Whole Enchilada - Moab. I wouldn't even really classify it as "AM", but whatever it is, its the most fun I've had on a non-DH bike.
    Airborne Flight Crew

    Jerry Hazard website

  3. #3
    Bicyclochondriac.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    13,095
    Quote Originally Posted by mealsonwheels View Post
    Not sure if someone's posted this already, but what's the best All Mtn trail you've done? Not the most technical, but the most fun, well designed AM trail you've ever ridden?
    What is an AM trail?

    AM is a descriptor of a type of bike or component, not a trail.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,476
    I second the Whole Enchilada. I make the pilgramage to ride it at least three or four times a year.

    Edit: BTW, I interpreted AM as an Enduro esque type trail for what its worth. I love Rainmaker at Winter Park, but I would classify that as downhill.

  5. #5
    Bicyclochondriac.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    13,095
    Quote Originally Posted by smithrider View Post
    I second the Whole Enchilada. I make the pilgramage to ride it at least three or four times a year.

    Edit: BTW, I interpreted AM as an Enduro esque type trail for what its worth. I love Rainmaker at Winter Park, but I would classify that as downhill.
    Question about Whole Enchilada: What is the earliest in the year you can do the whole thing? Some friends and I are considering a trip to that area in May. Are the upper elevations clear by then?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,476
    I would be remiss in giving you an exact date for the "Whole" Whole Enchilada, but I would guess you are only doing Hazard down at that point. Mid June and fall are safer bets to run the whole thing.

  7. #7
    Airborne Flight Crew
    Reputation: jhazard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,923
    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    What is an AM trail?

    AM is a descriptor of a type of bike or component, not a trail.
    Says who?

    According to the forum description: "More than XC, less than FR/DH." In a forum described as "All Moutain", it would follow that someone asking about an "All Mountain" trail is asking about trails that are (wait for it...) more than XC, less than FR/DH. With a post count so high, I'd guess you've probably had this discussion at least once....

    Last edited by jhazard; 01-10-2013 at 09:16 AM.
    Airborne Flight Crew

    Jerry Hazard website

  8. #8
    beater
    Reputation: evasive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,536
    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Question about Whole Enchilada: What is the earliest in the year you can do the whole thing? Some friends and I are considering a trip to that area in May. Are the upper elevations clear by then?
    When I've gone in May, I've been able to get to either the top or the bottom of Kokopelli, depending on recent precip and road conditions. In a light snow year, and late May, you might have an outside chance at Hazard, but I wouldn't bet on it. No chance at Burro Pass. Much of it's steep, densely timbered, and north-facing, so I'd imagine it holds snow a long time.

    While I also tend to think as AM as more of a product category, I can certainly think of trails that are "more than XC and less than DH." Generally these are trails that we climb for the purpose of a killer descent. Most of the best trails like that in the mountains around here weren't designed as bike trails at all, but are old CCC trails in the USFS. Sometimes they're fairly smooth, but sometimes they're gnarly. We're spoiled for choice up here, actually. Lots of big-mountain backcountry epics.

    The Enchilada route is a bit different though, since the UPS and LPS portions were laid out with bikes in mind. That trail is definitely worth a pilgrimage. I wouldn't argue with it being one of the top contenders in this thread, since it has everything from super steep alpine to desert chunder. It's hard to say which section is my favorite. LPS is a strong contender, but Burro and Hazard are both so awesome that going in the spring is a little bittersweet.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  9. #9
    Bicyclochondriac.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    13,095
    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    Says who?

    According to the forum description: "More than XC, less than FR/DH." In a forum described as "All Moutain", it would follow that someone asking about an "All Mountain" trail is asking about trails that are (wait for it...) more than XC, less than FR/DH. With a post count so high, I'd guess you've probably had this discussion at least once....

    Pot, meet kettle.

    Says who? The people who first started using the term in relation to bikes. It was originally a term for a new type of bike being offered in the early 2000's. It still works well for this.

    As a descriptor of a trail type, it's pretty weak. Regarding "More than XC, less than FR/DH"...... More what? It's a stupid definition when you apply it to a trail. Ride Whole enchilada from the top down and it's "AM". Ride it up and back and its "XC". Same trail.

    I think "Enduro" or "Super-D" (where you go primarily down, or an event where the down part is what is timed) is what some people thinking about when they use the term "AM" trail. Other specifically think of "AM" and meaning a rough trail that you need to pedal to the top of to earn the down. Others just think it means a rough trail.

    It is a sloppy, imprecise word as applied to trails (evidenced by the endless threads arguing about what an "AM" trail is), and since it is also a descriptor of bikes and components, it has led to a lot of confusion and misconception about what stuff people need to ride what terrain.
    Last edited by kapusta; 01-10-2013 at 11:37 AM.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  10. #10
    Bicyclochondriac.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    13,095
    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    When I've gone in May, I've been able to get to either the top or the bottom of Kokopelli, depending on recent precip and road conditions. In a light snow year, and late May, you might have an outside chance at Hazard, but I wouldn't bet on it. No chance at Burro Pass. Much of it's steep, densely timbered, and north-facing, so I'd imagine it holds snow a long time.

    While I also tend to think as AM as more of a product category, I can certainly think of trails that are "more than XC and less than DH." Generally these are trails that we climb for the purpose of a killer descent. Most of the best trails like that in the mountains around here weren't designed as bike trails at all, but are old CCC trails in the USFS. Sometimes they're fairly smooth, but sometimes they're gnarly. We're spoiled for choice up here, actually. Lots of big-mountain backcountry epics.

    The Enchilada route is a bit different though, since the UPS and LPS portions were laid out with bikes in mind. That trail is definitely worth a pilgrimage. I wouldn't argue with it being one of the top contenders in this thread, since it has everything from super steep alpine to desert chunder. It's hard to say which section is my favorite. LPS is a strong contender, but Burro and Hazard are both so awesome that going in the spring is a little bittersweet.
    Thanks for the info
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  11. #11
    Bicyclochondriac.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    13,095
    Quote Originally Posted by smithrider View Post
    I would be remiss in giving you an exact date for the "Whole" Whole Enchilada, but I would guess you are only doing Hazard down at that point. Mid June and fall are safer bets to run the whole thing.
    How is the rest of Moab in mid-June? I've been through there in July a few times, twice it was just brutally hot (did not have my bike, anyway), the other time it was overcast and quite pleasant to ride.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    319
    I figure that "all-mountain" means riding up, riding down, riding all around. With sufficient pucker moments occuring during all three to distinguish it from XC.

    Triple H in Sedona is a good AM ride. Best? I dunno, but it's 50-60km of riding, lots of exposure, plenty of climbing and descending, and plenty of trail (especially on Hangover) that a lot of decent riders will walk. Also a lot of pedalling.

    Much as I love Enchilada, and even just UPS down, I wouldnt' call it all mountain unless you ride up. And that's not so much fun. I've done it as a loop from town on several visits to Moab and, while riding up Sand Flats road and/or the hightway is solid exercise, it's not what I would call beaucoup fun when done on the sort of bike you want for the downhill. Riding up the trail itself is rarely an option, from what I've seen, given the amount of DH traffic. I also think Triple H has way more tech. Other than a couple of moves near the bottom of Enchilada, it's pretty easy to clean everything. It is wicked fast, which makes it fun, though!

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bikeCOLORADO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,350

    Best AM Trail Combo

    +1 for the Whole Enchilada. But it is mostly downhill.

    You want a great combo of technical singletrack, downhill, climbs, ledges, lifts, drops, scenery and overall "epicness"?

    Contact Coyote Shuttle and get shuttled to the trailhead for Gemini Bridges.

    The route is:
    Gemini Bridges to Gold Spike Trail to Goldbar Rim to The Portal Trail.

    The bridges are amazing, the climb to the top of Goldbar Rim is a beast, it's like an all uphill Slickrock. Then you as you traverse toward The Portal it is a technical riding festival. The Portal is an exposure and technical riding legend.

    Can't wait to do it all again in October this year.
    Phillipians 2:3-8 "...but (Christ) made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant..."

  14. #14
    Delirious Tuck
    Reputation: thefriar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,238
    In the North East, Millers Pond is pretty awesome for a 2-3 hour tour features, tech, and pedally goodness.

  15. #15
    dwt
    dwt is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dwt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    3,664
    Another for Enchilada. Best bet IMO is mid- late Sept; everything open, not so damn hot.

    If you take shuttle all the way up to the base of Burro, I'd call the climb up to the top a major one. If you can clean this on any bike- especially a 30+ lbs AM bike- you are a rock star climber in my book. If you can clean the entire descent, you are a rock star rider in anybody's book. The other climb up to the top of Hazard County is also tough but cleanable by a good AM rider on an average weight AM bike

    So it's an "AM" trail by whatever definition, AFAIC
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    267
    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    The route is:
    Gemini Bridges to Gold Spike Trail to Goldbar Rim to The Portal Trail.
    With the new(-ish) Mag-7 system, you actually would hardly use the Gemini road at all, and it's fantastic!

    And with that, I guess I'll toss my favorite as being some of the trails in that system and others that aren't "offically" the Mag-7. I like Bull Run, Arths Corner, Great Escape and Long Canyon.

  17. #17
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    9,927
    i havnt sampled a lot of stuff but i am a fan of catamount in vt.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    644
    Jazz Chrome and Cabin boy in Vernal (think those were the names). Milk n cookies was good for what I could find, never found the bottom half of the trail though (well hidden for someone not being shown around by locals). More trail/XC but I had more fun on the Vernal trails than any other place that I've ridden.


    I've also had more flats, and gotten lost more often
    Just another redneck with a bike

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,476
    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    How is the rest of Moab in mid-June? I've been through there in July a few times, twice it was just brutally hot (did not have my bike, anyway), the other time it was overcast and quite pleasant to ride.
    Mid June typically isn't too hot. It gets punitive around the July timeframe. There are several other great trails in the area if you make the trip: Mag 7, Sovereign, the revamped Klondike bluffs area, Amasa back etc.

    Also, to comment on The Whole Enchilada as not being all mountain as you don't climb, I would disagree to a certain extent. The climb up to the top of the La Salles, the climb to the top of Hazard, and all the undulations in between afford some decent pedaling.

    If we are just talking about long, Epic rides without regard to chunder, and techy moves, that gas your legs a bit more, there are a million of them in Colorado that are awesome: Monarch Crest (with rainbow), Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge, Segment 1 and 2 from Buff to Denver, etc, etc, etc. There are also some nice techy rides in Grand Junction and Fruita like the lunch loops.

    I still consider the Whole Enchilada an AM ride and stands as my favorite.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    16
    In my very limited experience, Tsali has been the best.

  21. #21
    Airborne Flight Crew
    Reputation: jhazard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,923
    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Pot, meet kettle.

    It is a sloppy, imprecise word as applied to trails (evidenced by the endless threads arguing about what an "AM" trail is), and since it is also a descriptor of bikes and components, it has led to a lot of confusion and misconception about what stuff people need to ride what terrain.


    We all know there is a difference between riding a DH trail and an XC trail - "AM" is pointing to that difference.

    Judging from the responses so far, people seem to understand it - it all refers to the same type of riding no matter what its called - Enduro, Super D, or riding UP The Whole Enchilada...

    Mabye "All Mountain" is sloppy terminology... What should trails like this be called? Should they be called anything? Just "trails"?
    |end hijack|

    As for the T.W.E., its worth the wait to do the complete route which includes Burro pass. Its a killer alpine climb so you definitely still earn the turns, despite the shuttle. And the decent to Hazard: lush forest, running water/stream you have opportunity to jump, steeps, DIRT, roots... Not what you'd expect from the town famous for slickrock.
    Airborne Flight Crew

    Jerry Hazard website

  22. #22
    I <3 Dirt
    Reputation: mealsonwheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    709
    Kapusta, by AM I mean not a shuttle or lift assisted DH trail which is ridden in one direction or a XC trail with limited technical features.

    I'm thinking about the best designed trails and the most fun. Trails at Moab like Pipe Dream and some of the newer, more technical stuff at the Brand trails pushed the limits of trail design in my opinion. While these trails may not be at the top of my list for classic AM trails, the quality of trail design was amazing and really fun to ride.

    Honestly, I just wanted to hear everyone's top favorite AM trails so I can make a road trip wish list

  23. #23
    Airborne Flight Crew
    Reputation: jhazard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,923
    Also check Lunch Loops in Grand Junction. Holy Cross and some of the others there are definitely not "XC with limited tech features".
    Airborne Flight Crew

    Jerry Hazard website

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bikeCOLORADO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,350
    Quote Originally Posted by KThaxton View Post
    With the new(-ish) Mag-7 system, you actually would hardly use the Gemini road at all, and it's fantastic!

    And with that, I guess I'll toss my favorite as being some of the trails in that system and others that aren't "offically" the Mag-7. I like Bull Run, Arths Corner, Great Escape and Long Canyon.
    I have not been out there in going on five years. I don't know anything about the routes you mentioned. How new are they? Do you have more intel on them? I am trying to head out there October this year. Would love to try those out.
    Phillipians 2:3-8 "...but (Christ) made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant..."

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bikeCOLORADO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,350
    Phillipians 2:3-8 "...but (Christ) made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant..."

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •