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  1. #1
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    Travels to CO to MTB

    Hello all,

    My little brother and I plan to visit Colorado for some great mountain biking Aug 1st. This thread is actually a cross between the Front Range and the Western Slope. The end of our EPIC adventure will end at Monarch Crest.

    So! We have a couple of days to get acclimated. We're coming in from Kansas and plan to stay with some people in Denver. We want to hit something near Denver that next morning and then again something in the evening somewhere around Fairplay. We then have another day to plan a couple of rides near the Summit and Fairplay area before we head to Salida.

    Any suggestions on good trails to get acclimated? We want to keep those rides pretty simple and probably no more than 5-8 miles each. Plan to bike one trail in the morning and then again in mid afternoon. We were thinking Dedisse Trail near Evergreen for the first one.

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    Soulforce Cycling
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    Travels to CO to MTB

    What is your skill and fitness level?
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  3. #3
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    I'd say intermediate on skills. Here in the Midwest we actually have quite a lot of technical terrain without the big descends. Fitness will be pretty low due to attitude. We know that is going to kick our asses. We did Crested Butte once and ski every year so we have a general idea what to expect but know it isn't going to be easy.

    For our "warm up" rides we really our looking for easy to intermediate that isn't going to wear us out too much.

  4. #4
    zrm
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    Near Fairplay are the Gold Dust trail and the Sheep Creek trails.

    Gold Dust is near the town of Como ~10 miles east of Fairplay. You can take a very easy 10 mile spin up Boreas Pass Rd, jump on the Gold Dust near the top of Boreas Pass at the continental divide and ride down the Gold Dust back to Como. There is a pretty good little climb before you get to Como and one section is pretty technical, but overall, it's a pretty easy (by our standards) loop.

    Sheep Creek is southwest of Fairplay and can be looped using county roads or done as an out and back. Overall it's more technical and the climbing is harder than the Gold Dust-Boreas and less traveled so route finding will be a bit harder.

    You should have maps and the ability to read them for both of these rides.

  5. #5
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    Travels to CO to MTB

    If you're interested I heading to Evergreen then look into Three Sisters area. Lots to choose from and really popular with locals as a fun trail near Denver.

    Up in Summit County you can ride Peaks Trail. If you ride from Breckenridge to Frisco I'd says its about 80% downhill. And Frisco to Breckenridge just the opposite so it would be a bit of a lung buster. Riding one way instead of round trip would probably be enough for you and can ride the Summit Stage (free bus with bike racks) back to whichever town you started in. These busses run all over to the ski towns.

    Tons of info out there on both trails I recommended.
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  6. #6
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    I'm in Evergreen, love Dedisse as access to 3 Sisters, but as a first ride it will kick your ass. Very steep, continous climb. For first ride drive to upper lot off Buffalo Park rd and do Evergreen Mountain, great easy loop. Also the Meadow View loop at Elk Meadow will fill the bill as a great starter. If you're feeling it, Lair of the Bear as out and back(13 mi) is a bit more riding, but super cruisy and great to hit. Also a bit lower elevation. BTW, did Monarch Crest yesterday, it is epic and a great way to end your trip. Sounds like a great trip, have fun.

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys, these are great suggestions! We're certainly going to look into them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woolbury View Post
    I'm in Evergreen, love Dedisse as access to 3 Sisters, but as a first ride it will kick your ass. Very steep, continous climb. For first ride drive to upper lot off Buffalo Park rd and do Evergreen Mountain, great easy loop. Also the Meadow View loop at Elk Meadow will fill the bill as a great starter. If you're feeling it, Lair of the Bear as out and back(13 mi) is a bit more riding, but super cruisy and great to hit. Also a bit lower elevation. BTW, did Monarch Crest yesterday, it is epic and a great way to end your trip. Sounds like a great trip, have fun.
    Awesome. Nice hint. Any expert advise for Monarch Crest? Been waiting to ride this trail for the last 4 years. Did Crested Butte last time since the climb scared us heh...

  8. #8
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    There really ought to be a sticky for questions like this.

  9. #9
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmisko View Post
    Thanks guys, these are great suggestions! We're certainly going to look into them.



    Awesome. Nice hint. Any expert advise for Monarch Crest? Been waiting to ride this trail for the last 4 years. Did Crested Butte last time since the climb scared us heh...
    Crest: Start early. There is more climbing than you thing, especially if you take the Rainbow trail at the end. Pay close attention to your map - you can end up where you didn't think you would. There are several options on getting down My favorite is Starvation Creek.

  10. #10
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    Probably on the Crest by now, but a few tips: 8am shuttle vs 10, more time before the rain starts. Bring a good rain jacket, not a wimpy bike jacket. Bring food, you'll be out 6 hrs. Get the map at the shuttle place, but only Marshall pass is confusing. There will be others on the trail, check with them for the junctions. Do the whole thing, don't get tempted to bail unless you get hurt or mechanicals( oh yes 2 tubes, chain link, tools, something will break) Bring a beer or two, some good spots to stop and enjoy. Go do it!

  11. #11
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    Hey all,

    Thanks again for the suggestions. We did some biking in Evergreen and Breckenridge (Peaks Trail) to get used to the air before Monarch. All the dirt was great and unique from each other

    We did the classic Monarch Crest route (Monarch Pass to Rainbow Trail). We started early by using the 8:00 AM shuttle. A couple of suggestions to others...

    • I thought 90 oz of water would be enough cause I drink a lot less than others. Bring more or a water purifier. Next time I plan to purify or bring 120+ oz
    • Some great views, as expected. However it is always "you have to be there" moments because pictures will never fully explain the beauty. Take in those views
    • Expect to climb more than you think! All the reviews said it would be a lot of work. Although, a lot of them make it sound like you have two major climbs. I felt like a lot more than that even though the graph shows mainly downhill
    • If you have a decent FS rig, take it. I only have HTs and it did great but man I was certainly feeling it during/after some of the downhills. I plan to have a nice FS rig next time
    • Expect Rainbow Trail to be "your second wind". It is a blast but I wish I had a little more steam to concur it. Tons of up and downs with a number of fairly steep climbs. Eat and drink tons coming down Monarch Pass or at least at Marshall Pass
    • Final... Enjoy the ride and it was totally worth it! Quite EPIC

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