Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    64

    Curt Gowdy State Park

    I know this is the Colo Front Range forum, but figure alot of you have been to Gowdy. Will be there next week for two full days of riding; please give me your favorite rides. Also, what's the best campground to be at for riding? Thanks!
    OVER the rocks, not around

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SurlyBuckeye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    28
    Don't have an answer for you but looking forward to seeing some responses. I didn't even know of this place until this morning, when i began my search on where to go riding this weekend (just moved to Denver a month ago). Now i'm looking to plan a camping trip up there sometime or possibly just a day trip possibly this weekend.
    "Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter."

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    379
    Quote Originally Posted by CanyonDad View Post
    I know this is the Colo Front Range forum, but figure alot of you have been to Gowdy. Will be there next week for two full days of riding; please give me your favorite rides. Also, what's the best campground to be at for riding? Thanks!

    Not sure about camping think they all would be pretty good anywhere in the park, as for where to ride, you can ride the entire park in one day easy or ride one side one day and the other side the next. Pretty big place but you really can't get lost. There are maps of the trails at almost every trail head.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    26
    We took our boys up there last weekend for the Gowdy Grinder, the place is amazing. We camped and rode all weekend, trails are marked and mapped at all trail crossings so it is super easy to get around. Camped at the North Causeway, really windy and exposed so maybe look for something on the south side of the reservoir in the trees. It was pretty cold, something we were not expecting so take that into consideration.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    94
    the whole park is sick. I wish I could get up there more. camping one night will give you two days there so you can hit your favorite parts the second time around. There is a "mountain trail" section that is purpose build MTB and very flowy. Lots of medium difficulty rock sections that go up and over various natural features.

    Don't forget the Reservoir trails. These are much less traveled, yet fun as well. I won't forget cruising down a flowing trail near the reservoir through a wide open meadow, reservoir in the distance, as a herd of 20 antelope bombed past me downhill out of nowhere. Really cool area.

    camping in the park is pricey and very crowded. Many of the spots are very exposed to the high winds of that area. I recall moving my tent a few times as I showed up late and got a crappy spot one weekend.

    Exit the park left and head west a few miles to Vedauwoo campground and recreation area. many miles of jeep roads where you can find an awesome camp site for free. Then you can wake up and drive back to the park to continue riding.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1,120
    you might want to post on Wyoming forum too. Couple of guys who ride there a lot would help you.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    379
    There is also an area about an hour away called happy jack that if not better is just as good as curt gowdy, i have only been there once and hooked up with a local. A lot harder to figure out here.

  8. #8
    "Oldfart from Wayback"
    Reputation: onbelaydave's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,674
    Quote Originally Posted by richccc View Post
    There is also an area about an hour away called happy jack that if not better is just as good as curt gowdy, i have only been there once and hooked up with a local. A lot harder to figure out here.
    Umm, unless they've build a huge new network of trails at Happy Jack since I was there last year, on one of my annual trips going on 20yrs of riding there, it is still a VERY "minor league" area compared to CG.

    But between Curt Gowdy, Vedauwoo, and Happy Jack, you could ride for a week easily, unless the the wind is howling as it usually does this time of year, but the camping is better at Vedauwoo.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    90
    Quote Originally Posted by xjrides View Post
    Exit the park left and head west a few miles to Vedauwoo campground and recreation area. many miles of jeep roads where you can find an awesome camp site for free. Then you can wake up and drive back to the park to continue riding.
    do this. I've camped in Vedauwoo plenty of times. If you head back to I-80 from Curt Gowdy, there is plenty of exits onto USFS land. A lot of jeep trails, pick one, and find a campsite. Free dead wood is abound, privacy, and good views. If you climb at all, check it out for that too.

    Happy Jack is nothing like Gowdy though. Happy Jack lacks all the rock features/skill parks/etc... It is good for dirt single track though. Curt Gowdy is way better, but isn't free.

    Hope that helps a bit

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    141
    I am planning on riding here this weekend but have never been before. Looking at the map it looks like there are a variety of different ways to ride the system. Can anyone suggest a good route? Looking to ride as close to 25-30 miles as possible, as technical as possible. Also curious as to what type of elevation gain we are talking about. Thanks in advance

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    515
    Quote Originally Posted by Dusky21 View Post
    I am planning on riding here this weekend but have never been before. Looking at the map it looks like there are a variety of different ways to ride the system. Can anyone suggest a good route? Looking to ride as close to 25-30 miles as possible, as technical as possible. Also curious as to what type of elevation gain we are talking about. Thanks in advance
    You will probably have to repeat some trails in order to get your mileage in. You could follow something similar to the Stone Temple 8 race loop, which I think is 11-14 miles (can't quite remember). Stone Temple Circuit - Albert's Alley - Mo' Rocka - Crow Creek - Granite Ridge - Canyons - Middle Kingdom - Mahogany - and then either Shoreline for fast, easy cruising for a breather, or you could head up Granite Ridge again. There's also Ignouramus and 2% off of Stone Temple Circuit.

    Personally I've never ridden any of the lower reservoir trails besides Middle Kingdom and parts of Canyon, so I can't comment on what's down there. A friend of mine said he found some steep cliff drop offs down there that he believes is the place you can easily kill yourself if so desired (accidentally of course). I tend to stick to the upper trails.

    Elevation gain can be decent if you try hard enough. According to my Garmin, on my 8.3 mile Gowdy Grinder race I had over 1,400 feet of gain, and that was just two loops of Stone Temple plus 2% and Rock N Roller.

    In Happy Jack's defense, there are some fun techy trails up there - Death Crotch and Headquarters mainly. It's not all super smooth dirt singletrack (it's actually more like wider double track) by any means. No, it's not Gowdy's insane terrain, but sometimes I know personally I need a change from what Gowdy has to offer and a break from the insane crowds who tend to not to yield and generally ride like asshats. Beware though, Happy Jack is not technically free, it's $5 for parking at the trailheads. I've seen a lot of forest service rangers out checking for permits and day passes this year, and sometimes they have a sheriff's deputy looking as well.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    379
    You could do what sooshee says but i would also add a loop in of the reservoir trails from canyons to middle kingdom to canyons to crystal ridge and do all the little loops on the way. This will add alot of miles to your ride and is a great loop.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: slcdawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,101
    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    a break from the insane crowds who tend to not to yield and generally ride like asshats.
    Really? There's insane crowds at gowdy? We're heading up after a 3 year hiatus. I recall the campground being full but the trails being surprisingly empty. Guess its hard to keep a good secret.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    379
    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg View Post
    Really? There's insane crowds at gowdy? We're heading up after a 3 year hiatus. I recall the campground being full but the trails being surprisingly empty. Guess its hard to keep a good secret.
    I agree i go up about one time a month and usually the trails are empty even on the weekends.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    141
    Thanks for the info on routes, I read on the website that a small fire had started in the park as of this past Sunday, does anyone know the status of the fire?

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: slcdawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,101
    Per their FB site:

    An illegal campfire ignited a small wildfire in the southern part of Curt Gowdy State Park yesterday resulting in the burning of less than an acre of grass and small trees.

    The fire, discovered at approximately 2:40 p.m. in a remote area of the park near Crow Creek, was fully extinguished by 8 p.m.

    State Park officials have some suspect information and an investigation into the fire is continuing, according to Ranger Dennis Cease.

    Fire units from Laramie County and F.E. Warren were involved in the extinguishing of the fire, along with State Park and Game and Fish personnel.

    Visitors to all state parks are reminded that campfires are allowed only in established fire rings. Also, visitors are asked to be extra careful when using a campfire.

    There are no fire bans in any Wyoming State Park or Historic Sites at this time.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    515
    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg View Post
    Really? There's insane crowds at gowdy? We're heading up after a 3 year hiatus. I recall the campground being full but the trails being surprisingly empty. Guess its hard to keep a good secret.
    Quote Originally Posted by richccc View Post
    I agree i go up about one time a month and usually the trails are empty even on the weekends.
    Haha, well remember I'm just a simple Wyoming girl, so my idea of trail crowds are probably way different than a typical person has to deal with in the Front Range. I like solitude!

    Gowdy had decent crowds this past weekend due to Xterra pre rides and high school camps. I've seen the Aspen trailhead with no parking available. That's mad mojo in my eyes. I tend to stick to weekdays.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: slcdawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,101
    Haha...guess its relative. Saw a handful of people on Sat and did run into a HS group on Sun - but they didn't really slow me down. Seems like once you get away from the TH's you don't see anyone. I forgot how truly fun Gowdy is - love the granite "puzzles". So fun!

    Gotta say, the one disappointing thing about Gowdy was the condition of the park - aside from the trails. Our campsite was beautiful - but seriously trashed. I spent an hour picking up garbage before setting up. And the outhouses were worse than any I can recall. (And we camp a lot). Such a beautiful place - hate to see irresponsible people ruin it.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    141
    I was there Saturday and enjoyed the trails, however they did seem to be overrun with very young people who didn't seem to know typical trail courtesy. I was wondering if there were always that many large groups of younger kids, but now I guess I know why. Nonetheless, had a good time and enjoyed the trails.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    515
    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg View Post
    Haha...guess its relative. Saw a handful of people on Sat and did run into a HS group on Sun - but they didn't really slow me down. Seems like once you get away from the TH's you don't see anyone. I forgot how truly fun Gowdy is - love the granite "puzzles". So fun!

    Gotta say, the one disappointing thing about Gowdy was the condition of the park - aside from the trails. Our campsite was beautiful - but seriously trashed. I spent an hour picking up garbage before setting up. And the outhouses were worse than any I can recall. (And we camp a lot). Such a beautiful place - hate to see irresponsible people ruin it.
    I've noticed that the outhouses are worse at Gowdy than what I see around the National Forest. It is quite disappointing...

    And definitely, staying off STC and instead riding the other trails definitely helps out with avoiding people!

Similar Threads

  1. Curt Gowdy
    By richccc in forum Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-03-2013, 08:45 PM
  2. Curt Gowdy
    By richccc in forum Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 07-19-2012, 07:52 PM
  3. Curt Gowdy
    By richccc in forum Colorado - Front Range
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 07-04-2012, 07:29 PM
  4. Curt Gowdy State Park
    By Bituman in forum Arizona
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-02-2011, 11:05 AM
  5. Curt Gowdy
    By iMMature in forum Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-12-2011, 07:57 PM

Posting Permissions

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