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  1. #1
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    Durango trail suggestions

    My wife and I will be in Durango next week for a few days. What are the 'don't miss' rides down there? We'll have 3 days

    BTW, I'm checking the other forum as well.
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  2. #2
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    Reputation: ameybrook's Avatar
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    Lived there for 12 years. Hermosa Creek is overrated IMO, unless you do it out and back.

    Spend a day in Horse Gulch and ride everything you can. That will be a couple hours and you can get out early enough to avoid afternoon / eve thundershowers.

    Spend a day up high and do the Molas - Cascade shuttle. That's if your wife is up for the high country stuff.

    Day three you should be tired, so ride Dry Fork from town and do it all CCW.

    Breakfast at the Diner. Beers at Carvers. PM for more info.


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  3. #3
    Rigid in Evergreen
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    Junction Creek / Colorado Trail (Kennebec Pass back to town on the CT if it is rideable)
    Any of the "in-town" trails, e.g. Animas, Telegraph, etc. (lots of Trails 2000 built stuff should all be in great condition)
    Hermosa Creek (if the creek crossings are doable yet)


    Lots of great stuff up high, but check with the local shops and see what is rideable.



    Quote Originally Posted by ameybrook View Post
    Lived there for 12 years. Hermosa Creek is overrated IMO, unless you do it out and back.

    ...
    Everyone has to do it at least once before they can officially consider it overrated
    Last edited by topmounter; 07-12-2011 at 02:00 PM.

  4. #4
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    Hermosa Creek is overrated, as in it's not one of the best rides in the country, but it's still a sweet ride that is enjoyable for a wide variety of abilities (sweet for experts, epic for beginners).

    Kennebec Pass to town is one of my top 5 rides period, but it's WAY WAY WAY better if you can pay for a shuttle (Hermosa Tours).

    Molas to Cascade is the best ride I have every done. Epic, amazing, beautiful. But it took my sorry ass 6 or 7 hours, which is a lot of time to be above treeline (as all but the end of this ride is). If you'd like a shorter one, Coal Bank Pass to Cascade will do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameybrook View Post
    Lived there for 12 years. Hermosa Creek is overrated IMO, unless you do it out and back.

    Spend a day in Horse Gulch and ride everything you can. That will be a couple hours and you can get out early enough to avoid afternoon / eve thundershowers.

    Spend a day up high and do the Molas - Cascade shuttle. That's if your wife is up for the high country stuff.

    Day three you should be tired, so ride Dry Fork from town and do it all CCW.

    Breakfast at the Diner. Beers at Carvers. PM for more info.
    Very much agree Hermosa is overrated. However, Jones Creek, to Dutch Creek, to Hermosa is a great loop. Check with locals in regards to creek crossings. They still have tons of snow up high, maybe more than we have here? Expect wet feet for sure, but it's well worth it. If you like Dakota Ridge you'll like Raider's Ridge in the Horse Gulch area, but it get's smoking hot down there. If you like steep trails Hog back is fun but very short. There's plenty of other trails in that area for added miles but most of them were kind of boring IMO. You can see the Hog Back DH from town. The whole trail system is very user friendly with maps at most trail junctions just like Horse Gulch.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    However, Jones Creek, to Dutch Creek, to Hermosa is a great loop.
    I'm going to assume that since IE's wife is coming along that she's going along for the rides. In this case, I'm also going to assume that he wants to stay married after the trip.

    If so, Jones/Dutch is out. Too much hike a bike.


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  7. #7
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    ive never ridden a trail in or near durango that doesnt put most of our local front range trails to shame...you cant go wrong. dry fork is a must do.

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    Hermosa may be overrated, but it is awesome.

  9. #9
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    haflin before the fire

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rontele View Post
    Hermosa may be overrated, but it is awesome.
    Exactly. Calling something overrated needs context, as in how is it generally rated? It is often touted as one of the best trails in Colorado, sometimes even the country, when it is not even the best trail in the Durango area. But it is still a freaking awesome trail, and there are not many places where you can bike for 20+ miles down a drainage and see virtually no signs of civilization (roads, power lines, etc) the entire way.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameybrook View Post
    I'm going to assume that since IE's wife is coming along that she's going along for the rides. In this case, I'm also going to assume that he wants to stay married after the trip.

    If so, Jones/Dutch is out. Too much hike a bike.
    Haha - I was going to post the exact same thing. And +1 to Carvers.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagwhan View Post
    Exactly. Calling something overrated needs context, as in how is it generally rated? It is often touted as one of the best trails in Colorado, sometimes even the country, when it is not even the best trail in the Durango area. But it is still a freaking awesome trail, and there are not many places where you can bike for 20+ miles down a drainage and see virtually no signs of civilization (roads, power lines, etc) the entire way.

    I think a lot of the Hermosa backlash has to do with it being written up numerous times over the years (with no shortage of hyperbole) by numerous MTB and outdoor "lifestyles" rags as the or one of the best trails in Colorado or North America or The World (you know, the ones with the pictures of everyone screaming while holding their bikes over their heads).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter View Post
    Junction Creek / Colorado Trail (Kennebec Pass back to town on the CT if it is rideable)
    Any of the "in-town" trails, e.g. Animas, Telegraph, etc. (lots of Trails 2000 built stuff should all be in great condition)
    Hermosa Creek (if the creek crossings are doable yet)
    Lots of great stuff up high, but check with the local shops and see what is rideable.
    Everyone has to do it at least once before they can officially consider it overrated
    The Dirt Divas were just there over the July 4th weekend. Kennebec Pass to town is totally rideable and beautiful! Hermosa is also very rideable -- creek crossings are not bad at all for either trail. Actually, getting your feet wet just keeps ya cooler! As for Telegraph,etc -- was a bit too hot for us when we did it so advise motivating & getting up on the trails lots earlier than 10 am for those rides! You guys will LOVE the riding up there IE!
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    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter View Post
    I think a lot of the Hermosa backlash has to do with it being written up numerous times over the years (with no shortage of hyperbole) by numerous MTB and outdoor "lifestyles" rags as the or one of the best trails in Colorado or North America or The World (you know, the ones with the pictures of everyone screaming while holding their bikes over their heads).
    Yup, it ticks all the ride velo-tourist boxes: Scenic, "mostly downhill," and buff Colorado singletrack. It is fun, but it involves most of the day with a lengthy shuttle, and skilled fit riders can go TH to TH in under two hours. Plus there's a real tough climb out that gets real nasty when it rains. Hit it for sure if you have a week, but pass if you only have three days.


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  15. #15
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    Thanks everyone! Great suggestions, we'll avoid Hermosa, but we do welcome shuttles. I understand the epic vs. staying married, but we're in 13 years now, so she's stuck. Would it be worth taking a day and DHing at Telluride? We both DH as well.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter View Post
    (you know, the ones with the pictures of everyone screaming while holding their bikes over their heads).
    i think i just threw up in my mouth a little

  17. #17
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    I've been thinking of hitting Durango--trying to get out there soon.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarateChicken View Post
    haflin before the fire
    Over 20 trees down on Haflin, many more if you come from Missionary Ridge trail.
    If the Mrs. may not like Jones/Dutch, she will not like Haflin.
    Craig, Durango CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure View Post
    Thanks everyone! Great suggestions, we'll avoid Hermosa, but we do welcome shuttles. I understand the epic vs. staying married, but we're in 13 years now, so she's stuck. Would it be worth taking a day and DHing at Telluride? We both DH as well.
    Can't comment on DH riding in Telluride, but there is at least one DH specific trail off of the Log Chutes trail. Cliff at Pedal The Peeks can give you details.

    I'm not a Carver's or Steamwork's fan, Durango Brewing Company and Ska have better beer and a more local atmosphere. Try the Double Blonde at Ska.

    PM me if interested and maybe we can hook up for a ride or beer or both. We have a great group of riding friends which includes all the wives, and as you know, the ladies like it better when other ladies are involved. You just have to promise to tell all your front range buddies that Durango sucks and they should not consider moving here
    Craig, Durango CO
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure View Post
    Great suggestions, we'll avoid Hermosa, but we do welcome shuttles.
    I wouldn't avoid Hermosa, don't let the haters get to you. Especially if you and your wife have differing abilities and she's not super aggro. People hate on it because it gets so much publicity, but it is a great ride, especially for a group of different abilities. It actually hits a sweet spot for all but the best riders, long enough to feel like something epic, but short enough that you won't be walking out in the dark. If your wife rides but does so more recreationally than you (not that I even know how you ride) Hermosa might be perfect. Yes, it is overrated, but there IS a reason that it is so highly rated. It is a pretty special ride, and the shuttle isn't that bad, maybe an hour (and Hermosa Tours will shuttle you for a price!).

    What are your favorite front range-ish trails? What are your wife's? If the answer to both is Mountain Lion at GGC or the front side of Hall Ranch, well, maybe Hermosa Creek isn't the best choice. But if the answer is Buff Creek or the CT near Breck, maybe it is.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrossman View Post
    Over 20 trees down on Haflin, many more if you come from Missionary Ridge trail.
    If the Mrs. may not like Jones/Dutch, she will not like Haflin.
    Craig, I said "before the fire". It was a great trail and will hopefully be so again some day. I hope to get down to Derangedo to ride with you later this Summer.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarateChicken View Post
    Craig, I said "before the fire". It was a great trail and will hopefully be so again some day. I hope to get down to Derangedo to ride with you later this Summer.
    Even after the fire it is a great area to ride, and in fact last fall it was tree free. But heavy winds this spring have changed that
    Craig, Durango CO
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  23. #23
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    Okay, here's an update.
    Day 1. Did many of the horse gulch trails, hot, but fun!
    Day 2. Did the CT to hoffheins to dry fork, then on up the ct until it tops out. We ran the ct all the way back to town. Great loop (more of a clock-wise) as suggested by some locals since we like descending more than tech climbing. Only one tree down. Flowers are off the hook.

    She is sore today, and we're looking for something easier and perhaps more out of the saddle. Should we give the hermosa shuttle a shot tomorrow?

    Ie
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  24. #24
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    Kennebec
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrossman View Post
    Even after the fire it is a great area to ride, and in fact last fall it was tree free. But heavy winds this spring have changed that
    I need to get back down there to ride onea these days. The Fall is looking like a possibility right now. Haflin is one of my favorite close to town trails there.

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