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  1. #1
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    Silverton to Durango

    Due to a logistics issue that has presented itself on a forthcoming camping trip to the San Juans (involving a train ride with the family, etc.) it looks like a buddy and myself may have to get ourselves from Silverton to Durango to retrieve a vehicle. Any suggestions on which trail/trails to link to accomplish this? We both can manage the length, any level of trail, etc., but will be leaving lunchtime for the ride back. Thanks for your help with my 'dilema' (I've explained to my wife that mountain biking is the only solution).
    Spiral out, keep going...

  2. #2
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    Reputation: ameybrook's Avatar
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    The Colorado Trail the whole way


    Why would you own 100 Yugos when you could own 1 Porsche? - Rumpfy



  3. #3
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameybrook View Post
    The Colorado Trail the whole way
    Yup - make sure you take a light, though...

  4. #4
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    thanks. ...as familiar as i am with the riding 'round here, never pedaled anything down there. Colorado Trail it is - heard much good about that ride.
    Spiral out, keep going...

  5. #5
    Rigid in Evergreen
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    That's 4 segments of the CT (~75 miles and ~9k of elevation gain) plus a decent road ride just to get to the CT... make sure you book a hotel room for your family in Silverton and stick an extra Clif Bar or two in your pack.

  6. #6
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    What topmounter said and then some. Did I read it right that you will leave at lunchtime to get to Durango that evening?

    I don't think anyone (well maybe Lance or Ned Overend) could make it from Silverton to Durango in a half day unless you are on road bikes riding 550. I would do some more research before tackling this-I would not be wanting to start from Molas pass in the afternoon-you will be risking getting caught by thunderstorms. There is a very very tough segment in the middle that involves a huge scree hike a bike and several false summits and finally tops out over 12K (Indian Ridge I think it's called?).

  7. #7
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    You'll be looking at 80+ miles, mostly above 9500 feet with more than 12,000 feet of climbing including the ride up from Silverton. If you are riding in the next few weeks, you will being doing a some hike-a-bike through snow as well as the talus mentioned above. You can shorten the ride and remove almost 1/2 of the climbing (including the soul-crushing 1400 feet just outside of Durango in Junction Creek) by dropping down to Hermosa Park from Bolam Pass and riding the Hermosa Creek trail to Hwy 550 in Hermosa and then back on the highway to Durango. You can check out a ride profile by visiting the CT Classic website http://www.ctjamboree.com/index.asp Local pro Travis Brown holds the course record with a time of just under 9 hours, and that didn't include the ride up to the Molas Pass from Silverton...

    good luck!

  8. #8
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    copy. family will be staying near silverton, we'll be getting a ride to Molas Pass. i get the afternon thunderstorm thing, but i have no choice on time-of-departure. this will be late July.

    I am willing to roll 550 as much as needed, but would like to hit some of the CT (or other dirt/singetrack) if possible. ...from what folks are indicating, it seems like a real big deal to stay on the CT. yeah, we are fit - but not that fit. now if we had the whole day proper...

    any other trail suggestions - climbing is ok, maybe not 9k or 12k of it though. I really appreciate everyones input for our little adventure.
    Spiral out, keep going...

  9. #9
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    As mentioned above, you can ride the CT to Bolam Pass then down the road to Hermosa Park and ride the Hermosa Creek trail to 550. This gives you about 30 miles+ of dirt with some quality miles on the CT. If need be, you have 2 bail out options. First is after Jura Knob you can ride out on the Engineer Mountain trail to 550 at the top of Coal Bank pass. The second bail out is onto the cascade creek logging road and follow it to Purgatory ski area and 550. This entails a not-so-fun gravel road ride for 5-6 miles. Both of these options are evident along the ride but best have a map along. Dont drop any trails down to into the north drainages as these will take you back to Silverton. Hope your weather holds!

  10. #10
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    CT routes

    Here is a brief overview of the 3 routes I listed in my previous post
    Not sure if you can see much detail, but it will give you a bit of the lay of the land. In putting this together a few minutes ago, I see that the Cascade logging road is more like 14 miles of gravel and dirt. It's the only one of these trails/roads that I haven't ridden. Even if you only ride the CT to Jura Knob and the Engineer Mountain trail, it's still a great ride. If you are strong and the weather holds, take Hermosa Park and Creek down. That will give you a good solid 40+ miles of dirt along with some hike a bike through mud and possibly snow. Wish I was back there to ride it as well
    Here's some of what to expect:




  11. #11
    Rigid in Evergreen
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    I'd also call a shop in Durango and check to see whether the Hermosa Creek Trail is rideable due to the water levels from the snow melt... at that point you do have the option to bail-out at Purgatory and ride the road into town.

  12. #12
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    thanks a bunch for this detail and your time. I'm stoked to get down there and check out the ride. I'll take pics and post a ride report. ...until then, its the front range up-and-downs and maybe something up high if the snow clears.
    Spiral out, keep going...

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