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  1. #1
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    Mountain biking in Grand Lake?

    Our family is planning a trip to Grand Lake over the Labor Day weekend.

    I'm wondering on mountain biking options that may work in this area. I won't be able to spend much time as it is mostly a family trip (aka I should be spending time with wife and kids and not being a loner on a bike somewhere ) so what I can bike should be close to town and bikeable in a morning (no time to head to Fraser or Winter Park).

    I see that Grand Lake boasts of a trail network in the town that they claim to be intermediate to advanced (though I have my doubts on that with no elevation gain). Has anyone tried this? Is it really intermediate to advanced?

    Other options may be the Grandby area. Are there any standout trails I should be looking at riding while in the area?

    Finally, is there anything that I can take my 6 and 9 year old on?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    There are some great trails on the way to Grand Lake, and plenty around Tabernash/ Sol Vista that would be suitable for your kids. Check out Devil's Thumb/ YMCA of the Rockies - Snow Mountain Ranch. And I wanted to be the first to throw this picture in your thread...

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  3. #3
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    Water biking! That'll work

    Though by Labor day it'll probably be a bit chillier than it is now.

  4. #4
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    The trails in Grand Lake are actually pretty good -- spent a day there last year. Forested twisty xc style trails with short steep ups/downs and a couple of technical options, IIRC. Very West Mag -ish, so it can fill that void while the Forest Service does their thing...

    Grand Lake Recreation - Hiking & Biking Trails Open to the Public
    Grand Lake Rec Trails Mountain Bike Trail in Grand Lake, Colorado || SINGLETRACKS.COM

  5. #5
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    If you want big backcountry riding instead of bike paths check out the Stillwater Recreation area. It's just S and W of Grand Lake. It's a mixed use moto area but has some INCREDIBLE singletrack, a lot of which is not open to motos. Also, on the S side of Lake Granby, there's really good riding in there, too. Check out Strawberry Bench, etc. Next time you're thru Lyons, I'm happy to bust out the map and show.
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  6. #6
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    im in granby not much here for mtb... but iv been told that the grand lake nordic center has some good trails. its just past the turn into town on the left im sure there are some signs. maybe 3 or 4 miles out of the town of gl.

  7. #7
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    I grew up going to Grand Lake all summer as a kid, have ridden most of the available stuff near there. I think you'll find the nordic stuff near the golf course boring, they are short, flat and meh. i actually prefer teh OHV trails north of town near RNMP, North Supply, Wolverine, etc you;ll see motos, but there are good views, plenty of miles and some decent singletrack hidden back there.

    for some reason strava doesn't work on water bikes, so I wouldnt recommend those either.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr View Post
    If you want big backcountry riding instead of bike paths check out the Stillwater Recreation area..
    Also, if you're looking for a cool place to base out of, Vagabond ranch is a place we've stayed at during the winter, and there's a ton of trails near there (this is on Stillwater pass)Mountain Biking Guiding Now Available

    Very cool place to check out.
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    How about we take the "let it burn approach" with the rotting cesspool of the Denver metro?

  9. #9
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    Had anyone tried the Gilsonite and Wolverine trails?

    I'm wondering how long it may take to do this loop. It seems to be a bit of an epic with its hike a bike section. Wondering if it is worth it and if I will have time to try it.

  10. #10
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    You can make a loop by going up the North Supply Route and connect with Woverine at the top. Out and back north to the wilderness boundary, then descend Wolverine (not Wolverine bypass) to Gilsonite, then wrap it back around to where you started. Great loop, pretty long.

    Here's a link to some photos from that ride. Starts at the picture of the map on page 2 in the link and continues to page 3 of the album.
    Grand County pictures by redstonecyclery - Photobucket
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  11. #11
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    Kerryn

    I Tried The ride as described in the WP description last month. A few things you should know that will make/ break the attempt. PM me and ill fill u in. Logging operations Closing parts of trail, Recent but inaccurate maps, etc. i had to bail after losing the trail afew times and negotiating closed sections

    I may make another attempt labor day weekend too, i wont let the trail win, its a must do for me this year

  12. #12
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    +1 recommendation for Stillwater area and Vagabond Ranch. Just spent some time up there this week and the trails we rode were stellar, and we only hit one big ride really. I definitely want to get back up there to do some more 'splorin. The guys at Vagabond really know the area as well... they've skied, biked, sledded, and moto'd darn near everything up there. Really nice guys as well!

    Also, there were lots of logging closures like was said before, so be aware of that.
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  13. #13
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    Last time I was there was 09. RE logging closures, probably a good idea to get in touch with the USFS Ranger up there or Grand Mountain Bike Allowance. They are aware of closures in the WP area so they'd probably be able to get some info about further north.
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  14. #14
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    here's a map of summer 2012 trail closures I found after a ride up Gilsonite/wolverine bypass/wolverine ---back. would have been helpful before I set out. generally logging operations arent running on the weekends, most of the equipment I saw was idle with not a person in sight, but Im sure they'd be salty if they catch you on the closed areas.

    EDIT: oh and trail N30/wolverine bypass has next to 0 trail definition toward the summit and is no where close to accurate on this map

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...rdb5381808.pdf

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the input. I'm heading off to Grand Lake tomorrow but I'll figure out what to ride when I'm there depending on weather and time. While I'm taking the bike this is more a family trip so if I get to ride that is more a bonus.

    I've already been told by the boss (errm, my wife) "No all day adventures!"

    So from the sound of it, the Wolverine/Gilsonite route may be too much of an expedition for this trip. But I'll look over the options. I'm liking the sound of the route Dave suggested using the North Supply route to Wolverine. That keeps me (mostly) on the right side of the mountain for Grand Lake, so I can always bail if I run out of time.
    Last edited by TheNormsk; 08-29-2012 at 11:47 AM.

  16. #16
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    I was up there in July and went over to the Stillwater area, it was riding distance from where I was staying off shadow mountain lake. I blew part of one of my mornings trying to "cut through" to the trails on things that looked like roads on my iPhone but turned into private gated ranches. Doh! So ride over via Hwy 4 or drive over to the staging area.

    I found some of the lower moto trails kind of a hassle to ride up (loose/steep sections going up) but I was also on a SS and not in prime shape this season. I did have fun by riding more up on the dirt roads that parallel the trails and back down to the parking lot via the trails. Got to one really nice overlook spot, and also did the climbs on Hwy 4 so got some riding in early before family time but no epics.

    I did run into one logging guy at the gate one day, he was pretty cool about things and said they were way back in and did not seem to mind what I was doing... I would give them a wide berth in the work areas though for sure.

  17. #17
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    I didn't get the chance to hit the high mountains but I did get to explore the new added trails by the Grand Lake Metropolitan Recreation District.

    These trails were built out at the end of last year. I was expecting beginner level trails, even though they claim they are rated as intermediate/advanced, as there were down near the golf course. After all how difficult can they be?

    I have to say that if Grand Lake continues to build this system out they will have a true gem of a trail network. I would say that they are truly intermediate/advanced trails. Call me impressed.

    I never rode West Mag in the 90s before it got "discovered" but from the pictures I have seen I would guess that it is similar. The trails close to the trail head are tight and twisty comprising hard dirt single track with numerous rocky features. At times I had only a inch gap on the width of my bars between the trees.

    Near the trail head the track was a couple feet wide. Further out the single track could be just a few inches wide. The "Maze" is fun. The trails for the most part are well signed.

    Further out you can cross the Colorado River which leaves the Grand Lake trail system and connects up with FS land. Luckily a sign at the beginning indicated that motorized vehicles were prohibited but that bikes were okay. Here, there is near "virgin" single track that follows the river and then turns in to start climbing the mountain. This was bliss. This was like the days of discovering lightly trodden trails before mountain biking became popular. these trails are not signed to this is one of exploring and discovery.

    Here are some photos.

    Mountain biking in Grand Lake?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1346783713.702049.jpg

    Mountain biking in Grand Lake?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1346783655.961125.jpg

    Mountain biking in Grand Lake?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1346783678.498657.jpg

    This was one of the trails, euphemistically described as "Most Difficult"
    Mountain biking in Grand Lake?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1346783697.332663.jpg
    Last edited by TheNormsk; 09-04-2012 at 12:58 PM.

  18. #18
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    More....

    Mountain biking in Grand Lake?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1346783749.006727.jpg

    Awesome "virgin" single track. Later I was bushwhacking damp, dewy vegetation with my legs due to the tightness of the trail. The ground was moist but firm and this was pure bliss.
    Mountain biking in Grand Lake?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1346783773.983876.jpg

    Can you spot the "secret" single track heading off to the left?
    Mountain biking in Grand Lake?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1346783791.980786.jpg

    Overlook to the golf course.
    Mountain biking in Grand Lake?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1346783857.580885.jpg
    Last edited by TheNormsk; 09-04-2012 at 01:02 PM.

  19. #19
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    Cool, looks like fun! Might have to take a trip up thataway soon.
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  20. #20
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    I had missed the turn of the trail from (semi) wide-track to descending switched backed single-track that was so tight it was hard to turn on my 29er. Still the views were good.
    Mountain biking in Grand Lake?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1346783912.118168.jpg

    There was a lot more single track than what was shown on this map.
    Mountain biking in Grand Lake?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1346783951.119562.jpg

    All in all, it was the tightest, twistiest single-track that I have ridden so far since I moved to Colorado. Except of the elevation gain and the rocks (hey it has to have rocks right to be Colorado trails!) it reminded me of a mixture of midwest trails though the woods and the best of the pine forest trails in Southern England (but without the mud).
    Last edited by TheNormsk; 09-04-2012 at 02:55 PM.

  21. #21
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    I haven't gotten up to Vagabond Ranch in the summer, but that area has a lot of trails and staying at the ranch is cheap and fun. I know they have guided rides, and package deals with lodging. Great guys up there to boot.

  22. #22
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    Just in case anyone is still perusing this thread.... I just finished up 5 days worth of riding here in grand lake (okay, im sneaking an extra one in tomorrow before we leave) and "thenormsk" descriptions are pretty accurate... Personally, i find the trail created by the GLMRD to be awesome and it is my favorite trail... It might not be enough if you are looking for advanced but for an average rider it is great... Being an average rider myself, i can ride the entire trail with only two exceptions where it is just too steep and technical... And as norm also stated... Once you get to the bridge, you can go on what seems like an endless ride and the grassy/boggy area he mentioned was a new experience for me... I went for an additional 5 miles before i headed back and there was no end in sight... I also rode a place that i dont know the name of and i think norm described as well... I started by an atv/snowmobile rental place (if youre ever interested let me know and I will look it up) and after an insane introductory climb (steep with loose rock) i had a great time cruising along and seeing what was out there... Did get a little lost though and added an extra 6 miles above what i intended to do that day but alls well that ends well.... From what i understand (and definitely correct me if i am wrong) those are the two places to ride whilst in grand lake as rocky mtn natl park pretty much encases the rest of the area... Of course there is more riding down by granby (what i think norm described from CR 4) but i had so much fun with the above trails i never bothered to go check it out...
    I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.. Oh SH*T!!!

  23. #23
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    Cool, glad my descriptions were of use!

    It reminds me that I really should book another trip out that way..

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    Cool, glad my descriptions were of use!

    It reminds me that I really should book another trip out that way..
    Grand lake is one of my most favorite places in the world! Any time spent there is time well spent, be it summer, fall, winter, or spring.... I can now double that sentiment after driving through that zoo they call estes park today....
    I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.. Oh SH*T!!!

  25. #25
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    I'm going to be spending a couple of days there in a couple of weeks.

    Are there any bike shops with rentals in the area?

    Thanks, Jared

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