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  1. #1
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    In Colorado for vacation. Need a 3 day epic MTB adventure

    I'll be in Colorado for a few weeks in August. Staying in Fort Collins. I'll be doing a lot of hiking and camping and then some local rides around Fort Collins during that time. I also want to do a 3 day epic adventure somewhere around the area. Figured that I would ride during the day, maybe stay at a b&b or car camp during the nights.

    Originally, as my 2001 goal is to race the Leadville 100, I planned on doing the first 60 miles on Day 1, stay in Twin Lakes, ride the back 40 miles Day 2, and then do Monarch Crest Trail on Day 3. I'm now leaning towards doing more scenic riding then the Leadville course as my other 2 days.

    So, considering that one of the days I'll be riding Monarch Crest Trail, what sort of riding/trails/areas should I hit on the other 2 days of my 3 day epic adventure?

    Thanks!!
    -Tom

  2. #2
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    Cb

    I would do 2 rides in CB. My favs are Deer Creek and 401. Everyone has an opinion I'm sure.

  3. #3
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    Agreed about CB for two days, especially since you'll be doing the Crest Trail. CB is only a couple of hours away. Deer Creek would be a great option. For a longer 401 ride, I would head up Washington Gulch to hit 403 which dumps out just below Rustlers Gulch where you can start the road climb up to 401 trailhead.

    If you can pound out some miles, there are lots of options to connect several trails in one ride.

  4. #4
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    So I think 40 miles is totally doable for me in 1, 8 hour day. Especially after a 34 mile Monarch Crest ride the day before.

    Looking a little on google, looks like Deer Creek followed by the 401 trail would make for a good ride. From here: http://mountainbiketrailsusa.com

    Start at Crested Butte, go Brush Creek Rd, go up towards Teocalli Ridge, then up to Gothic. Then head over to Copper Creek Trailhead, up to Schoefield Pass, finish 401 loop, and finish back down Gothic Rd to Crusted Butte. Should be ~45 miles and I'll start at 7am with the whole day to finish. Should be a rockin ride!

    http://mountainbiketrailsusa.com/tra...crested-butte/
    http://mountainbiketrailsusa.com/tra...utte-colorado/

    Hmmm, so that could be a 4 hour car drive on Day 0, Car Camp in Poncha Springs. Monarch Crest Day 1, Car Camp at Crested Butte. Deer Creek/401 on Day 2. Then maybe Halls Ranch Trail on the way back in Lyons on Day 3 as a little 10 mile recovery ride
    http://mountainbiketrailsusa.com/tra...yons-colorado/

    edit: turned images into links

    -Tom
    Last edited by trhoppe; 07-12-2010 at 05:23 PM.

  5. #5
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    OK, here you go

    Quote Originally Posted by smallwine
    Agreed about CB for two days, especially since you'll be doing the Crest Trail. CB is only a couple of hours away. Deer Creek would be a great option. For a longer 401 ride, I would head up Washington Gulch to hit 403 which dumps out just below Rustlers Gulch where you can start the road climb up to 401 trailhead.

    If you can pound out some miles, there are lots of options to connect several trails in one ride.
    I would do this quoted route in CB 1 day, then do Upper loop to Brush Creek to StrandHill/Farris Creek, drop out back on Brush Creek, then do Deer Creek. I have done both of these recommended linked routes, but be prepared these will be tiring rides with lots of climbing. Tougher than the mileage suggests. But awesome!

  6. #6
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    What's more important...Views or Fun factor of the trail?
    Deer Creek has great views but is not that exciting and your route involves lots of paved road and dirt roads instead of single track.

  7. #7
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    That would be a LONG 3 days!! If you only do 1 CB ride, the Deer Creek to 401 loop is a damn good one.

  8. #8
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    If you really want to do such an Epic, I would suggest you start at Gothic, ride the 401 and then continue 2 miles down the road ( Gothic) and then veer onto the Deer Creek and do Deer Creek as an "Out and Back" ... this will save you a LOT of (boring) road riding, and timewise it will ( should) be the same..

    Another option for a fantastic full day riding is the Hartman Rocks Trail system in Gunnison just 40 min. from CB

    Good Luck and have fun..

    @trhoppe.. I have no problem at all with you ( or anyone) using my images, but please C&P them, and do not hotlink them.. thanks for (hopefully) understanding.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dePaulus
    If you really want to do such an Epic, I would suggest you start at Gothic, ride the 401 and then continue 2 miles down the road ( Gothic) and then veer onto the Deer Creek and do Deer Creek as an "Out and Back" ... this will save you a LOT of (boring) road riding, and timewise it will ( should) be the same..

    Another option for a fantastic full day riding is the Hartman Rocks Trail system in Gunnison just 40 min. from CB

    Good Luck and have fun..

    @trhoppe.. I have no problem at all with you ( or anyone) using my images, but please C&P them, and do not hotlink them.. thanks for (hopefully) understanding.
    That sounds awesome. I read your blog about Deer Creek and the 401 and then Deer Creek as an our and back totally makes sense. So sounds like that would make for my awesome epic ride.

    I've also unhotlinked your images and linked to the blog posts. Thanks for the awesome blog and trail descriptions. Pretty much the best site I've seen for such things. Nice work!

    Also, am I underestimating Monarch Crest Trail? From their website, its only a 12 mile climb and then 22 miles of single track downhill. That doesn't sound that hard on the legs to me, and I think that I can do this 45 miler after I do Crested Butte. Maybe I'm underestimating things here.

    -Tom

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450
    What's more important...Views or Fun factor of the trail?
    Deer Creek has great views but is not that exciting and your route involves lots of paved road and dirt roads instead of single track.
    I think I'm sort of split between the two, but according to dePaulus if I do Deer Creek as an out and back after 401, I get the best of both worlds

    -Tom

  11. #11
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    Thanks Tom

    You mention doing the Monarch Crest..
    The Monarch Crest is p2p (point to point) 35.4 miles.. But you will need a shuttle.. and these 35 miles are not extremely difficult miles, last year I did the trail in just over 4 hours.
    Combining the 401 with Deer Creek in one day will be far more demanding than Monarch Crest.

    Maybe consider the following :

    day 1 Monarch Crest ===> day 2 401 & Deer Creek ===> day 3 Gunnison Hartman Rocks .... This way you could make day 3 as long, or as short as you like 'cos it is a network of trails.

    Saying that though, the Lyons Trails are a Top Act, especially Hall Ranch...

    Also if at all possible, DO NOT do any of these trails on a weekend, they can all get very busy.

    Good Luck..

  12. #12
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    Thanks again for the pointers. I figured Hall Ranch would be a great day 3 trail, as according to your site and other reviews it is some awesome single track, and I have a feeling that after 2 days and 70 miles I'll be tired, so a little 10 mile ride on some awesome single track will be just the ticket. It's also almost all the way back to Fort Collins where I have to end up the next day anyways, so that's just a bonus.

    I'm planning on doing the trip Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so should avoid the weekend rush.

    -Tom

  13. #13
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    Doctor Park and Reno/Flag/Bear/Deadman's are worthy Crested Butte options as well!

  14. #14
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    You can do something like the Searle, Kokomo, and Ptarmagan pass ride starting and finishing at Copper Mtn. That qualifies as epic. Then maybe do something out of Vail or Summit.

    I like CB but man, a lot of those trails have been chewed up from motos.

  15. #15
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    Day 1 Monarch Crest, must.
    Day 2 Canyon Creek, Gunnison side of Monarch camp at Whitepine ride form tent.
    Day 3 583>400 in CB, More epic than 401, deer fly creek, ect..

  16. #16
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    CB over Hall

    I would choose CB. Also, the dirt roads & double track that are part of the rides in CB are really pretty nice as well. Great expansive views, I would not avoid them.

  17. #17
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    Just as a follow up here. Forgot to post earlier and it's been about a month since my trip.

    Ended up doing a lot of riding in the Ft. Collins area as I was there most of the time. Lots of good riding up there. Ginny Trail, Horsetooth Mountain area, Lorie Forest, good stuff.

    I then went to Lyons and did Hall Ranch. Holy HELL that trail was awesome. As described on dePaulus' website, it'a 10/10. Best MTB trail I've done. It's basically the best part of every trail I've been on stuffed into 12 glorious miles. I want to do that trail over and over again, so awesome!

    Then we spent 3 days in CB. Did all the beginner trails with the ladyfriend and then I went on upper, upper upper, and those trails around that area. Then did a sweet 6 hours loop of CB to 401 to Deer Creek to some other trails and back to town.

    Was originally going to spend 2 days in CB and then hit monarch crest, but a couple of broken bike parts (derailleur and hanger, etc) cut short my day 2 ride, so I finished it up on Day 3.

    Can't wait until I move there soon and am able to spend LOTS of riding time around those areas.









    -Tom

  18. #18
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    Nice pics Tom..
    Glad you had a great time, and glad you back me up by giving Hall Ranch full marks.
    And a good idea to add a tie-wrap around your Garmin for extra safety.. I'll be doing the same from now on...

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