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  1. #1
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    Your Top Five Colorado Rides

    What are your Top Five Colorado rides away from Denver? I have ridden Kenosha to Georgia and two longish trails in the Crested Butte area (401 and I forget the other). I have spent several days in the Fraser and Breckenridge areas as well.

    I think Monarch Crest would probably count as one though I have only driven past that area; not actually ridden that trail. I hear good things about Vail-Minturn and Keystone Gulch too.

    I would like to do some long and scenic rides this year and since I have not lived here very long, I'd like to see what you all consider your top five rides. Of course, it would be great to meet up with a few others as well and have good company during the ride and a couple of cold ones (beer; not dead bodies) after.

  2. #2
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    Smile

    it's hard to narrow it down, but this thread might help w/ your quest...

    EDIT:
    one ride that definitely left a smile on my face was the monarch/greene day at RMH06.
    also really enjoy the CT around breck.
    Last edited by gotdirt; 03-02-2008 at 03:39 PM.
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    .And following our will and wind . . .
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    and may just go where no one's been.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, gotdirt. That was a good thread and I just read it again. It sort of went off track after a few posts though. I'll look back through the FR forum history a bit more.

    I also have to train pretty hard to get into better shape than I was last year so I can feel strong past 4-5 hours. I think I started petering out significantly as I approached the 4-hour mark last year.

  4. #4
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    I haven't ridden everything in CO, but out of the ones I have ridden my top three would be (in no particular order):
    CO trail - Kenosha to Breck
    Monarch Crest
    Marys, Horsetheif, etc

  5. #5
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    crested butte- all that stuff is best in colorado. much better stuff out there than 401... long rides, technical sections and ribbon smooth sections. real singletrack.

  6. #6
    Mojo0115
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    These are some that I do most years. Are they the best? I am not sure as I am still looking, but I find myself keeping coming back to them.

    - Reno, Flag, Bear, Deadmans at Crested Butte
    - Searle Pass at Copper Mountain
    - Kenosha, Georgia Pass, Jefferson Creek
    - Soughdough trail system from Camp Dick
    - Monarch Crest

  7. #7
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    fun thread..

    I have been riding colorado for 19 years now... started with about 8 years in the Gunnison valley and the last 10 or so in the front range.. at first i hated the front range riding, but after spending a good amount of time figuring it out.. i love the variety..

    my top 5.. (this is gonna be hard).. no particular order

    #1 Our famous South St Vrain shuttle (don't let the shuttle fool you..it ends up being a beast).. we start at brainard.. climb up to the top of SSV.. ride that whole thing to the boy scout camp.. climb way up the jeep road..and bomb the other long downhill on the north side of the river that ends up at camp dick.. love that ride..

    #2 Our famous Ribbon Shuttle (once again, don't let the shuttle fool you)..
    basically Ribbon, hike a bike, eagles tail or wing/holy cross etc..

    #3 Greens and Fooses on monarch..

    #4 Big giant Horsetooth loop

    #5 Big giant Hartmans loop

    honorable mentions.. or just depends on the day.. reno/flag/bear and doctor park..

    those are mine for now..
    BBZ

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  8. #8
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    I have ridden is that Reno/Flag/Bear/Deadman combo (that was the second day at CB). CB was great but I'm going when it's a bit cooler this time. I have not riddin any of the ones you guys are mentioning so this is great. I have so many to check off one by one.

    I have heard that the St. Vrain one is a bear but I'll be ready to live through it in a couple of months. My IT Band doesn't bother me anymore on techy trails. I definitely have to do that one. I like riding around the FR so that isn't the issue. I want to check out some of these other trails that people seem to love so much. It's a great way to explore Colorado.

  9. #9
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    I love all these suggestions....may I add Dr. Park? Truly awesome. Also Hermosa Creek is fairly stellar as well.

  10. #10
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    I always like to hear what folks' favorites are. Here's a few I've really enjoyed (in no particular order)

    **Camp Dick/Sourdough area - pretty much anything N of Brainard Lake Rd. There's some huge loops you can do in there, and the riding is really rocky, slow speed and technical.

    **Mary's Loop/Kokopelli Area at Fruita. Again, good variety and lots of trails to make for a superb day. Killer views, great singletrack, and prime conditions really early in the season.

    **CO trail from Copper to Searle Pass (and the pass beyond, forget the name). This is pretty much a climb to the top type of out and back, but it's got all kinds of variety and climbs thru different eco zones. The return descent is fantastic.

    **Crested Butte. It's hard to pinpoint any one trail, but I'm partial to the stuff around the Cement Creek drainage (like the Deadman's/etc loop). There's potential for HUGE loops and the scenery is top shelf post card.

    **Winter Park/ Fraser Valley. This is on the list probably because I've ridden there so much in the last 10 years that it feels like home. Great singletrack on the mountain and in the valley. Good camping, too.
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  11. #11
    Which way? Uphill.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbjedi1
    I love all these suggestions....may I add Dr. Park? Truly awesome. Also Hermosa Creek is fairly stellar as well.
    I second Hermosa Creek, absolutely a great ride, but bring the chain lube, there's a lot of water crossings.
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  12. #12
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    Anything with sweet singletrack. Colorado has yet to dissapoint. Utah is a close second.

  13. #13
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    In no particular order:

    Buffalo Creek Loop
    Kenosha to Breckenridge (Colorado Trail)
    Winter Park-King of the Rockies Course
    Prime Cut/Kessel Run
    Indian Creek Loop

    Honorable mention outside Colorado goes to:
    Porcupine Rim-Moab, UT
    South Boundary Trail-Taos, NM
    Penmachno-North Wales, UK
    Glentress Black Route-7 Stanes, Scotland
    Train 'til you puke. Cheat to win. Party like a rockstar. We miss you, Jan!

  14. #14
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    On of my fav's that isn't well known is off of Seedhouse road in North Routt county. Coulton creek to Scotts run, up to Diamond park. Down the Wyoming trail and over to the Burn Ridge trail. It's around 25 mi loop and a great pedal. No big or long climbs, all but 2 miles pure colorado singletrack.

  15. #15
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    I love this thread already. I'll go further out to ride as many as I can this year. I'll try to make it to Utah as well around Oct but that will have to be a group thing since I have never been there.

  16. #16
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    Great Thread

    Hey Flyer,

    You're gonna have a busy year if'n you try all these mentioned. I particularly agree with Monarch Crest, Kenosha Pass, and Crested Butte (Reno/Flag/Dead Man's, Dr. Park)

    Here's a few more to wet your whistle...

    - Fruita - Moore Fun, Edge Loop
    - Co. Springs - Jones Park, Deadman's Trail/Rampart, Elk Park
    - Vail - Commando Run, Cougar Ridge
    - Copper - Copper Triangle AKA Off-road Triple Bypass (be fit for this one)
    - Eagle - EVERYTHING

    I can give you more details on these or others. Enjoy,

    E

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    <snip>
    **CO trail from Copper to Searle Pass (and the pass beyond, forget the name). This is pretty much a climb to the top type of out and back, but it's got all kinds of variety and climbs thru different eco zones. The return descent is fantastic.
    Do yourself a favor next time & ride to Kokomo Pass then descend to Camp Hale over by Tennessee Pass. That descent is KILLER good. Then a bit of Jeep road up Ptarmagin Pass, then Wilder Gulch descent back to the bike path.

  18. #18
    zrm
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    Impossible question to answer. The ride I'm on at that moment is the best ride.

  19. #19
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    I havent hit them all so heres a very short list

    -Sourdough / camp dick
    -Keystone lift bike access
    -Winter park / frasier
    -Colrado trail
    -Hall ranch for the local pick
    "its not how slack your head angle is, its how you ride the bike"

  20. #20
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    I'm sure there is tons of stuff I haven't ridden, but my favorite trails are the local front range stuff close to Denver.

    Why? Everything else seems flat and slow in comparison to the extended fast, chunky descents we have here. Crowds & heat can be a problem though.

    YMMV.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  21. #21
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    1) Buffalo Creek
    2) Indian Creek variation that includes some Douglas Ctny open space trails
    3) Agate Creek
    4) CO Trail from Keystone to Breck
    5) Two Elk or Doctor's Park

  22. #22
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    Order varies depending on which trail I've ridden most recently:
    * Monarch Crest (w/the semi-secrete route)
    * 401
    * Chutes and Ladders
    * Wise Mountain
    * Hermosa Creek

    And, I'm not unfond of any of the JeffCo trails or Buffalo Creek, but they seem "too common" to consider top five in a state like Colorado. If say, White Ranch was in a state like, oh let's say New Jersey- it would be a IMBA Epic Ride.

  23. #23
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    One that deserves mention and that is close to Denver is Mountain Lion in Golden Gate. Techinical and never crowded.

  24. #24
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    +1 for crest trail. also really like the chutes for a quickie.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairylegs
    Order varies depending on which trail I've ridden most recently:
    * Monarch Crest (w/the semi-secrete route)
    * 401
    * Chutes and Ladders
    * Wise Mountain
    * Hermosa Creek

    And, I'm not unfond of any of the JeffCo trails or Buffalo Creek, but they seem "too common" to consider top five in a state like Colorado. If say, White Ranch was in a state like, oh let's say New Jersey- it would be a IMBA Epic Ride.
    I'd say that the Crest and 401 are more common in the mountain bike lexicon than Buff Creek.

  26. #26
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    sweet jesus,

    white ranch for the local favorite, if you hate it, good i hope you do
    kessel prime cut is short and sweet
    hermosa creek was amazing greenery with great qualtiy trail
    i was guided on a trail out near Delta that we called the "ragged ride" which i am dying to go do again, point to point shuttle but not a dh shuttle
    aaaaaand
    ribbon/lunch loops

  27. #27
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    Monarch Crest
    401 in CB
    Buffalo Creek
    CT near Tiger Road w/Blair Witch
    Centennial Cone

  28. #28
    "Its All Good"
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    A great thread, helps me plan a trip to Co... yeah baby
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  29. #29
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    Thanks for all this info. I am just ready to start with some of these that I have not yet ridden. Another few weeks and the FR should be clearing up.

  30. #30
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    Agreed, Flyer, great thread, thanks for starting it.

    I already had the Monarch Crest Trail on my list for this summer, along with 401 for the long range plan (don't know if it'll happen with this year's snow in the southern mts), but hadn't even heard of Hermosa Creek. So where is it? What kind of riding is it (technical/singletrack/climbs/flowy)? What time of year is it open/when is it the best?

    Thanks for the dish! Tawk amongst yourselves...
    Train 'til you puke. Cheat to win. Party like a rockstar. We miss you, Jan!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockymtnway
    <snip> along with 401 for the long range plan (don't know if it'll happen with this year's snow in the southern mts)
    401 will be open - mid July at the absolute latest. Even with a monster snowpack it'll melt. It's mostly west, southwest, and south aspects on it...

  32. #32
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    I loved CB last year (my first time) but I will ill-prepared (having recently moved to CO) and we did not hit the really good stuff, I'm sure. Still, it was absolutely fantastic time with good friends I met thru mtbr, excellent riding, and amazing views.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockymtnway
    Agreed, Flyer, great thread, thanks for starting it.

    I already had the Monarch Crest Trail on my list for this summer, along with 401 for the long range plan (don't know if it'll happen with this year's snow in the southern mts), but hadn't even heard of Hermosa Creek. So where is it? What kind of riding is it (technical/singletrack/climbs/flowy)? What time of year is it open/when is it the best?

    Thanks for the dish! Tawk amongst yourselves...
    Hermosa Creek is down in Durango. I did it last year as part of an adventure race, so I don't know how it's normally ridden.

    I started at the Durango Mountain Resort, went up and over, met up with Hermosa Creek trail enjoyed that for a long while (some decent exposure in some areas too) and then did a pretty heinous climb out. I think the climb out is not a necessity for the trail, and it's probably not as heinous as I remember it, 16 hours into a race. It was a singletrack ride with a downhill trend and a lot of stream crossings. I did it mid-june and it was dry then (except for the stream crossings), great fun. It wasn't very technical, though it was singletrack and wasn't rock-free. The longest water crossing I remembered was about 30-40m long (mid-calf at its deepest) and really rocky so I had to walk my bike through it, can't be fussy about wet feet.

    ...Ok a little more info on it, 21 miles of singletrack, usually done as a shuttle, but can be looped with other trails for a long day. Check the reviews to see the loop possibilities.
    http://trails.mtbr.com/cat/united-st...0_5843crx.aspx
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  34. #34
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    Favorite Colrado Rides

    1.Colo trail KEystons/Breck area and its variations; Summit County
    2.Mary's/Horsethief Bench; Fruita
    3.Baker's Tank trail all the way down to town; Breck
    4.3 Sister's Trail; Evergreen
    5.Joe's Ridge; Fruita

    Cross Country Goodness

  35. #35
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    Good stuff!.

    Good food for thought...

    Gotta get out on some of that Crested Butte stuff!
    Last edited by daveM; 03-12-2008 at 04:26 AM.
    MY dog can lick YOUR dog!

  36. #36
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    Mine

    Co Trail from waterton cayon to Breck

    Loma exit... anything thats within 30 miles of that exit is truly epic( love the KTR bits in CO)

    Paradox Trail~ Some of the most crazy route finding and just unsed trail ever Bedrock CO is a hell of a town to start your ride at

    Monark crest~ its just a must do if you mt. bike

    Fish creek- In steamboat
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  37. #37
    contains quinine
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot

    Monark crest~ its just a must do if you mt. bike
    Or ride a cross bike?

    Just saying... I'll have to dig for some pictures downstairs..

    edit: Done got dug
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Debaser; 03-11-2008 at 09:26 PM.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  38. #38
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    Great thread. Hard to narrow down, but....

    1. Durango - CT from Celebration Lake to White Creek>Engine Creek>Cascade Creek
    2. Durango - CT from Celebration Lake over Blackhawk Pass>West Cross Creek
    3. Durango - CT, Molas Pass to Cascade
    4. Durango - CT, Kennebec Pass to Junction Creek
    5. Durango - CT>Corral Draw>Hermosa Creek

    Sorry, had to wave the hometown flag.

  39. #39
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    I'm still pretty new to colo and tend to stay local when the conditions are good but here are some highlights so far:

    westmag to rollinsville area
    SSv/sourdough
    Hall Ranch
    local stuff over to/around gross res/walker ranch
    pueblo

    need to break out a little. Living between the west mag/dots and walker has me pretty spoiled for local rides. So much on the list of must do's.
    Last edited by nOOby; 03-12-2008 at 08:15 AM.

  40. #40
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    I loved CB last year (my first time) but I will ill-prepared (having recently moved to CO) and we did not hit the really good stuff, I'm sure. Still, it was absolutely fantastic time with good friends I met thru mtbr, excellent riding, and amazing views.


    Agreed!

    It was a blast....I gotta get me down to CO again.... but this year looks difficult

    Good times!
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmadrigal/1260342788/" title="trail 401: singletrack by cmadrigal, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1007/1260342788_52964cca96_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="trail 401: singletrack" /></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmadrigal/1260336422/" title="mount crested butte by cmadrigal, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1143/1260336422_07fec797a0_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="mount crested butte" /></a>

  41. #41
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    Did somebody say Crested Butte?

    Lots of epic trail there, 401 is one of them. Reno/Flag/Bear, 403, the list is pretty long. Here's just a general shot of CB from Upper Lower Loop, a real easy trail for when your knee might be killing you (me).
    Last edited by xcguy; 06-20-2012 at 05:11 AM.
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

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