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  1. #1
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    Fort Collins Trails

    Im going to visit my brother in Fort Collins and sister in Boulder. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on the best singletrack in or near Fort Collins and Boulder. Im just looking for some buttery Colorado Single track. Also, if you know a good place to rent a bike for a couple days in either city that would be great too. Thanks for any advice/replies I really appreciate it.

  2. #2
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    Buttery Colorado singletrack exists mostly in the higher mountains. Front range singletrack tends toward more rocky. That being said, try Bobcat Ridge, Horsetooth Mountain Park / Lory State Park.

  3. #3
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    Most smooth trail I know in Fort Collins would be:

    Start in Lory State Park. Take West Valley Trail south. Continue on Nomad south. Continue on Blue Sky south until you hit the stairs leading into Devil's Backbone. Turn back north and ride it all back.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  4. #4
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    When are you coming ?

    As was pointed out, most stuff around Ft. Collins tends towards more rocky, tech riding but Kaba's recommendation is spot on (with "Indian Summer" thrown in on the return) for a long, level, smooth ST in the area.

    But the trail network is NOT in the mountains, but in a valley between the first Hogback and the start of the higher Foothills that tends to absolutely bake during the summer.

  5. #5
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    If you can drive 20 mins from Fort Collins Hewlett Gulch is about as buttery as it gets. Take Hwy 14 into Poudre Canyon (north of town) and cruise up the canyon until you hit Poudre Park, trailhead is at the end of this tiny town, on the right. With driving and riding you'll spend about three hours on it. You'll climb gently up the gulch, then the trail leaves the gulch and you'll get a couple lung burning climbs in the upper meadows. Climb these meadows until you hit an obvious high point and then bomb it back down the way you came. Sooo fun and flowy. This ride made me fall in love with mountain biking!

    And you'll get stream crossings to cool off in.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by andykrow
    If you can drive 20 mins from Fort Collins Hewlett Gulch is about as buttery as it gets. Take Hwy 14 into Poudre Canyon (north of town) and cruise up the canyon until you hit Poudre Park, trailhead is at the end of this tiny town, on the right. With driving and riding you'll spend about three hours on it. You'll climb gently up the gulch, then the trail leaves the gulch and you'll get a couple lung burning climbs in the upper meadows. Climb these meadows until you hit an obvious high point and then bomb it back down the way you came. Sooo fun and flowy. This ride made me fall in love with mountain biking!

    And you'll get stream crossings to cool off in.
    Gently climb the gulch ?? While a very gentle climb, the stream crossings are pretty tech, and the climb from the last stream crossing to the meadow is generally a walker. But I agree, the Upper Meadows are the place I have an actual verified computer speed of 43 mph on the DH.

    Even more "Fun" but w/o the "buttery smooth" CO singletrack is Youngs Gulch, no lung busting climbs but 60-70 stream crossings in the short out/back and the tech sections are short enough to walk.

    Whenever I try to take a Nooby riding, I start w/ Hewlett's and then ride Youngs since they're so close.

    Buttery Smooth ??? NOT ! Excellent fun for any level rider, 2 thumbs up

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by I3erto
    Also, if you know a good place to rent a bike for a couple days in either city that would be great too. Thanks for any advice/replies I really appreciate it.
    There may be other places, but the one LBS I know of that rents bikes is Full Cycle on North College Ave (in Old Town).

  8. #8
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    Bought one of my bikes from FC in Boulder. Good folks.

  9. #9
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    A ton of photos....

    Just moved to Fort Collins back in October. As a endurance/xc racer, marketing guy, and customer service guy for Ergon USA....I couldn't be happier. Here is a little sampling....

    Dirt road recon ride

    Blue Sky 10-23-07

    Pingree Park training ride

    Pingree Park training ride

    Oh, that's steep!

    Blue Sky, Horsetooth 10-27-07

    Blue Sky, Horsetooth 10-27-07

    There are many more photos posted up HERE.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by onbelaydave
    Gently climb the gulch ?? While a very gentle climb, the stream crossings are pretty tech, and the climb from the last stream crossing to the meadow is generally a walker. But I agree, the Upper Meadows are the place I have an actual verified computer speed of 43 mph on the DH.

    Even more "Fun" but w/o the "buttery smooth" CO singletrack is Youngs Gulch, no lung busting climbs but 60-70 stream crossings in the short out/back and the tech sections are short enough to walk.

    Whenever I try to take a Nooby riding, I start w/ Hewlett's and then ride Youngs since they're so close.

    Buttery Smooth ??? NOT ! Excellent fun for any level rider, 2 thumbs up
    Definitely agree with your assessment, but no one should be scared of the tech sections on Hewletts. They're short and fun, not too hard so noobs will give them a try, and in between them are the nice flowy buttery spots. And somehow I never encounter more than 1 or 2 groups of people on that whole downhill. Just lucky I guess. Compared to everything else near the Front Range I think it's pretty smooth! (Other than Blue Sky which sort of bores me on a 40 pound bike...)

    Young's is good but much wetter and much harder! I've had a couple noobs get pissed at that ride so I don't take beginners there anymore.

    As an aside have you noticed the amount of cleaning over the years on Hewlett? Diamond Peaks seems to be handling trail work now so maybe that will stop.

  11. #11
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    mmmmm.. Hewlett's
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    Where are you in those first two shots? Is that the spur trail to the right after you drop through the big ditch?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by andykrow
    Where are you in those first two shots? Is that the spur trail to the right after you drop through the big ditch?
    Yep. The third photo is a view of Young's Gulch from above, also taken from near the end of the spur trail.

  14. #14
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    Hey Kerkovj those are some funky grips on that bike....

    All kidding intended.

  15. #15
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    thanks for the suggestions, i will have a car while im there.. so 20 minutes out of town is no biggie at all.. id be willing to drive further than that if the trail was worth it.. i guess maybe i should rephrase, what is the best riding in the remote vacinity of ft collins

  16. #16
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    If you can go further, about 45-60 mins up the Poudre Canyon from FC, Dadd gulch is a great one too. Shorter mileage than Hewlett but more of a climb and possibly the best singletrack downhill in Northern Co, IMHO. It's an out an back, but the top of it connects with lots of jeep roads so there are lollipop options. The upper half of the singletrack has so much flow it's like a powder day... Anyway it's on the left a few miles past the Pingree Park road on Hwy14. If you hit Rustic you went too far.

    Hewlett is hard to pass up though - I just rode it Saturday and it was dryer than ever before. Maybe four out of all the crossings on that trail had water in them, and only the ones down by the trailhead. Everything higher was dry - never seen that many dry crossings. We were just railing that upper part SOOOOO fast. Crazy seeing all the rocks you try to avoid that are usually covered in water.... Great day - went from 96 degrees in town to 68 at the trailhead.

  17. #17
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    Scenery, trail, both or otherwise ?

    Quote Originally Posted by I3erto

    Thanks for the suggestions, I will have a car while I'm there.. so 20 minutes out of town is no biggie at all.. I'd be willing to drive further than that if the trail was worth it.. I guess maybe I should rephrase, what is the best riding in the remote vicinity of Ft Collins
    If you've NEVER been to CO but want to see the High Mountains and ride a bike at the same time, (not just the "Foothills" around Ft. Collins), further up the Poudre Canyon above Dadd's, is Cameron Pass and the start of the Michigan Ditch. Its almost level, at ~10,300', in one of the most beautiful cirques near Ft. Collins that allows biking, but with spur trails that can take you to the American Lakes, which are even more amazing, or to some little used snowmobile trails in the next draw over. Get up there early (dawn) to beat the everyday thunderstorms, then ride one or more of the "Gulch" trails on the way back to town.

    Check out THIS thread for photos of the short spur to the American Lakes. It is possible to "ride" even further to Thunder Pass which is the boundary to Rocky Mountain Nat Park where bikes aren't permitted.

    I'm not real familiar w/ the Boulder "Backyard trails"and I'm a little surprised that no one from there has offered up any trails near Boulder yet, so I'll just have to venture a guess that the W Mag trails above Nederland might fit your need's as well. HERE'S a map to the area. Mostly level rollers through the Aspens I've heard/read.

    Not singletrack, but near Boulder, is Rollins Pass, an old RR grade that will take you over the Continental Divide at about 11,600' if you want to experience riding the Tundra. Reference THIS excellent photo heavy thread for details.

    While a longer ride, you could Rollins Pass in the morning, then check out W Mag in the afternoon if the thunderstorms aren't pounding.

    Got enough options yet ??

  18. #18
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    I second the Cameron Pass beta - great scenery - but with one caveat: You better be in great shape and/or used to altitude if you really want to enjoy it. My flatland friends typically have trouble even hiking up to American Lakes. The Michigan ditch road is essentially flat though and you will see amazing mountains.

    This time of year you need to be off the mountain by noon. Serious lightning strike potential in the afternoons, and you often don't even see the storm until it's right on you. Bring rain gear. Especially up by Cameron - it's called "Thunder Pass" for a reason!

    Other somewhat remote yet awesome Fort Collins riding is in the Red Feather area. Take 287 north until you see the "Forks" at Livermore. Take the paved road up towards Red Feather and then clear on past the town. "Kilpecker" trail is amazing - jeep road climb and singletrack downhill. You'll drive about an hour to get here.

  19. #19
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    thanks for the info.. ive been to co before, just havent really done any riding other than out in fruita.. ive actually snowshoed up camerons pass before in the winter and had a great pow run on the way back down.. i didnt know there was biking up there as well.. i agree it certainly is very scenic up there.. what are the boulder back yard trails??

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