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  1. #1
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    West Mag, The Dots and Betasso

    Three trail systems I've never been on, until yesterday. No pics but I do have some questions. I drove up to Ned specifically to ride The Dots but wanted to check out West Mag. I finally blundered onto the trailhead just off 119 across from Magnolia Rd. Of course, the only guy with a bike in the parking lot had never been there before and couldn't answer my question which was...is this the best place to start riding to see what West Mag has to offer?

    I answered my question by riding up the sandy and horsepoop strewn, rooty trail for about a half mile and said "this can't be what West Mag is all about." I turned around, went back to the TH then started down Magnolia Rd. to it's eventual dead end, but turned around after 1.5 miles saying "gee, I didn't come up here to ride dirt roads". Anyway, I know West Mag is a destination ride for a whole bunch of folks. What trailhead should I start on to see the real West Mag?

    Then I went down to The Dots. I did that lollipop then headed out on what was called on the Latitude 40 map as Blue Dot. That was what I went up there for, a great trail. But I was short on time and it was just a little spooky riding with so many junctions and not really any signage. I couldn't afford to get lost so I turned around on that one too. How do you all ride that area?

    Then I hit Betasso on the way back. I can see how you could ride up from Boulder, up that steep connector to The Canyon Trail. I just parked in one of the lots and did the loop. Clockwise (!!!) the signs said. Were you ever able to ride counter? That was a fun loop, wish it was right outside my front door. Did two loops, was real thankful it was only in the high 70s then headed home.

    Three new rides in one morning. It was kinda like being on vacation.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  2. #2
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    betasso was counterclockwise a month or so ago. i guess they switch it up once in awhile.

    its hard to get lost in dots. if you're ever in doubt...just keep heading east/south and it'll eventually bring you back to magnolia rd. most of the junctions just go back to the 'main' trail anyways (via a quick loop or by simply being a parallel trail to the other one). the one somewhat confusing spot is where all that logging is....all you do there is head north a bit to find a fire road, and the trail cuts to your right off that after a hundred feet or so - its pretty obvious.

    as far as west mag...the part you rode up is probably my least favorite of the whole area. too sandy and just not that great.
    you can start on the trailhead that's right at peak to peak...that's not a problem. i like to go down the dirt road (south/west) about 1/4 to 1/2 mile (before you get to the middle parking lot) and drop into the trail on the left. then its easy to follow and its great riding.
    Last edited by nomit; 08-06-2008 at 08:37 PM.

  3. #3
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    West Mag. I normally start in Ned (from the bus stop) and head up the road towards Eldora. Just before the high school there is a break in the fence on the left wher you can access those trails. I normally ride around those and come out where you started and make my way down the Dots the generally parallel Magnolia Road for several miles until they spit you out onto Magnolia Road, where I ride back down to the Republic.

    Dots. There are several cross trails, etc., and, especially with the logging they've been doing recently, it's confusing. I've never really seen a good, up-to-date map. Maybe try to meet up with someone to show you a route back down to Boulder. I'll probably ride it the weekend after this coming weekend. I have to move on Saturday.

    Bettasso.. I'm more of an xc guy and the Betasso connector is normally so chewed up, especially at the bottom that I prefer to do the road climb up and ride the connector down after a few laps in the direction they make you go. I actually prefer the mandatory direction. There were several near head-on collisions before they did that.
    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

  4. #4
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    Some people prefer to park at the Nederland high school (when school is not in session) and start on sugar mag. Try that next time.
    For the Dots I like to start at the Easternmost trailhead, just east of where 97e joins Magnolia road. From there either just ride the Dots, or add in some west mag for a longer ride.
    Betasso alternates direction monthly.

  5. #5
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    it's best to have someone show you the hobbits/west mag or grab a trail map and stay on the outer most loop. If you can get past the horse poop west mag is very nice. kinda flat-ish but real flowy in places.

    the dots are great fun, as long as you stay going roughly east-west on the top of the ridge you won't get lost. Bring a map tp maximize your exploration.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    it's best to have someone show you the hobbits/west mag or grab a trail map and stay on the outer most loop. If you can get past the horse poop west mag is very nice. kinda flat-ish but real flowy in places.

    the dots are great fun, as long as you stay going roughly east-west on the top of the ridge you won't get lost. Bring a map tp maximize your exploration.
    About the horse poo... why can't we, at the JCOS meeting, suggest equestrians pack a shovel so at least they can clear off the trail when their animals decide to unload. Hey, if hikers and bikers are asked to be polite and play fair w/ each other, shouldn't the horses observe some trail courtesy as well and not leave crap all over?

  7. #7
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    worst part about west mag is there a trail ride outfit that leads tourists on the same route all day everyday and there's more poop than you shake a roadie at. I wish they would walk the trails once in a while with a broom. Unfortunately this is also the start of the mtb trail.

  8. #8
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    Speaking of horse poop

    Talk about who has the most impact on a trail! I wonder if horses get together in their corral before the big group ride and bet who can poop the most. It's like they save it up from last night's dinner so they can drop it on the trail, where it belongs.

    Maybe someone can invent some sort of scoop that hangs down off the back of the horse to shunt the poop off to the side of the trail. Inventive trail courtesy at its finest.

    When I drove out of there I did see that horse rental place and figured they were the culprit. Do the rides just go up that trail I was on or do they go all over West Mag? I like horses as a species but don't like to encounter them on the trail. 1500 lbs of skittishness vs. xcguy is never odds I like.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  9. #9
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    I guess from your thread, you weren't up there around 6:00 pm when the area got pummeled by hail. OMG, that was a bad one.

  10. #10
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    other than last night's extended dourpour, the trails have been nice and tacky in the evenings from mid day rain.

  11. #11
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    the horses are only on the trails closer to 119.

  12. #12
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    I was in Ned around 9 am. to 11 am then Betasso around noon.

    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    I guess from your thread, you weren't up there around 6:00 pm when the area got pummeled by hail. OMG, that was a bad one.
    I've been in bad hailstorms out on the trails and it really sucks. It looked real dark, almost black from my house looking up west around 6pm but we just got some light rain here in Westminster.

    Speaking of getting caught in a storm, remember this thread from Pluto Pilot getting caught up on Argentine Pass?

    Caught in a big storm near Argentine Pass
    Last edited by xcguy; 08-06-2008 at 08:23 AM.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    it's best to have someone show you the hobbits/west mag or grab a trail map and stay on the outer most loop. If you can get past the horse poop west mag is very nice. kinda flat-ish but real flowy in places.

    the dots are great fun, as long as you stay going roughly east-west on the top of the ridge you won't get lost. Bring a map tp maximize your exploration.
    I rode West Mag on Saturday for the first time, and if I hadn't asked a couple of other riders where the trails were, I'd have been really disappointed (and even more lost). I think part of the problem is that the trail markers don't have #'s, whereas some do. Still fun, though.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y
    About the horse poo... why can't we, at the JCOS meeting, suggest equestrians pack a shovel so at least they can clear off the trail when their animals decide to unload. Hey, if hikers and bikers are asked to be polite and play fair w/ each other, shouldn't the horses observe some trail courtesy as well and not leave crap all over?
    Nope, the equestrians don't want to sanitize the trails.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark
    I rode West Mag on Saturday for the first time, and if I hadn't asked a couple of other riders where the trails were, I'd have been really disappointed (and even more lost). I think part of the problem is that the trail markers don't have #'s, whereas some do. Still fun, though.
    If you were familiar with the history of west mag; who and how all those trails got put in, you would understand. IMO, the most management we want up there is the efforts by the F.S. to keep motorized vehicles off of the singletrack. I admit I'm selfish; I would rather not have those packs of 30 plus riders finding all of the goods.
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