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  1. #1
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    Advice for Durango ride(s)

    A buddy and I are road tripping up to Durango from Phoenix next weekend and will have about 2 days to check out the area trails. We're planning on riding Phil's World on the way up, early Friday perhaps, then getting to DGO in the afternoon.

    I've been checking out trails2000 and it seems the high country stuff is still under snow. So, I guess my question would be, if you had a solid 1 1/2 days to ride your brains out in DGO, what shouldn't be missed? We wouldn't mind an overnight ride either as we were originally going to bikepack the Dirty Century route. I know we'd both like to sample as much of the CTR as conditions allow, would that be enough in current conditions? I've heard of the Hermosa Creek trail & Twin Buttes area, but not much else by name anyway. I just know the riding is good up there!!

    Our ride window is looking like this: Friday afternoon, all Sat, Sun until early afternoon.

    We're both mostly XC type riders, like to climb, enjoy the tech and spending all day+ on our bikes. If you're familiar with the AZ Endurance Series, those are the kind of rides we dig.

    Btw, the forum sticky is great for trail info, it can be a little overwhelming when actually deciding on where to ride for a first visit. It reminds me of when people travel to AZ to ride, tons of beta to sift through.

    Thanks for any route suggestions & any tips this desert dweller may be overlooking.
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  2. #2
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    Reputation: ameybrook's Avatar
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    Big day: from town ride out Junction Creek road and hit Dalla Mountain Park on your way out to the Colorado Trail. Ride up the CT to high point, and then descent down Dry Fork. Hit Twin Buttes on the way back into town. This will be a couple hours of ride time.

    1/2 day: Horse Gulch. Telegraph over to Grandview and everything you can ride over there.


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  3. #3
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    Other suggestions, Test Tracks, Skyline and Raiders Ridge, Log Chutes, Haflin Creek, Jones/Dutch, Mikes and Chads trails (in the Horse Gulch trail system ameybrook mentioned). There are probably some that are open and I forgot.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions. Am I interpreting this correctly, down Dry Fork then via CO 208 to Twin Buttes?? Or is there a connector trail that I'm missing?

    I'll try & load some routes on my GPS, but I'm sure we'll pick up a paper map too.
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
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  5. #5
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    Dissenting arguments for a lot of those (just cause it's one of those days). Purely for out of towner use looking to maximize the fun/time quotient:

    Test Tracks: You will be searching for a map every 30 secs and will still be lost.

    Chads: Sadly, this is going back to nature. Was one of the best enduro DHs in town for many years, but it has been neglected. Not on the maps either. Pass on Mikes.

    Log Chutes: Lametown

    Haflin: 2 hours of paved and dirt roads for 20 mins of [awesome] singletrack

    Jones/Dutch: If you can stomach the misery that is Pinkerton, then the Dutch descent is the best in the Hermosa drainage.


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



  6. #6
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    Reputation: ameybrook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. Am I interpreting this correctly, down Dry Fork then via CO 208 to Twin Buttes?? Or is there a connector trail that I'm missing?
    At the bottom of CR 208 (lightner creek road) where in intersects with Hwy 160, there will be a small pullout to your left. There will be a fence that you can unlatch and get through. This wont be marked other than a "No Parking" sign. Go through here and take this trail to access Twin Buttes


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



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameybrook View Post
    Purely for out of towner use looking to maximize the fun/time quotient:
    ssshhhhhhhhhh...

    What are you doing giving accurate info to tourists?

    "Hermosa Creek is awesome. Ride that. A lot. With Everyone Else."

    Bummer about Chad's. It was just a little too long for a lunch loop.

    According to moto friends, J/D is 99% cleared. Dry - Dusty, even.
    Yeah - Test Tracks is not for the unguided initiate with limited time.

    The route suggested as "Big Day" would be a big day. An awesome big day.

  8. #8
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    Hermosa Creek is all downhill too, so there's that.


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



  9. #9
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    Trust me, it feels a bit weird asking for local trails to ride. I typically do a ton of research, scouring over maps, making tracks (if a really long day), etc. But something about this area just has me in a route finding funk if you will. Plus, not knowing the terrain of the individual trails & snow levels makes it a tad more difficult. If you're ever in AZ I'll gladly return the favor or just like Hermosa Creek, you can ride Hangover in Sedona.

    We'll more than likely go for the 'Big Day' ride on Sat & see how it goes.
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
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  10. #10
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    Later in the season (Aug-September) - The Dirty Century route is pretty amazing too. Unless you are uber-fit, a 2-day version of that would be a blast. If you are a slacker (like me) with a support vehicle, there's a very available spot in the middle to meet you with gear.

    The Lat40 maps are pretty good, but they have a whole lot of trails that are designed for goats... who seem to be the only people that use them.

    The Singletrack map (Durango Trails) is probably the most accurate.

  11. #11
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    Reputation: ameybrook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    We'll more than likely go for the 'Big Day' ride on Sat & see how it goes.
    FYI about this ride, it could be made a lot shorter by skipping certain segments. Dalla Mountain Park on the way out can be avoided by simply taking Jct Creek Road. Skipping out on High Point, Twin Buttes, etc. Lots of options. PM if you want more details


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  12. #12
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    The riding buddy chiming in: Thanks for the info. I was able to get quite a few gpx off the web for the area, and I think we have lots of good options to go with. We'll be in late Thursday night, so we'll have all day Friday, Saturday and maybe even early Sunday before we head out to Phil's World on the way back to Phoenix. Saturday will probably be the CT day - head up from Junction Creek until we see snow or can't breathe anymore (we live at a measly 1200ft) then cruise back down to town, maybe hitting Twin Buttes on the way back to town by way of Dry Fork, depending on how much juice we have left. Friday, I'm not too sure. I'd like to hit Jones/Dutch, just to witness the HAB factor, then roll through Dalla on the way back to town. That could leave the Telegraph/Horse Gulch stuff for Sunday morning. Either that or bail on Jones/Dutch and combine Dalla and Telegraph/Horse Gulch stuff for Friday. I'm getting the drift on Hermosa, even though that's what you always hear about....Not worth the time to make a shuttle - must maximize ride time! Maybe worth it if we do and ONB on Hermosa then tack on Jones/Dutch for the suffering's sake? I'm really looking forward to be on the bike all day - just throw some burritos in the seat pack and roll! Thanks again!
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  13. #13
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    Jones/Dutch was in great shape on Sunday, no misery with the hikes; the creek crossings were manageable.
    If you don't mind a little hard work, this is a great ride.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dag Nabbit View Post
    Yeah... good luck with that...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by forkboy View Post
    Yeah... good luck with that...
    I figure it's best to paint with broad strokes. If it doesn't work, beer.
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  16. #16
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    Jones/Dutch is a pretty nice ride. Hermosa Cr campground is right at the bottom, so you can camp there (free) and ride from camp if it is open. There are a couple options to extend the ride if you want - either way on Pinkerton-Flag: south of Jones and north of Dutch, and you could also ride north on Hermosa Cr from the bottom of Dutch. Otherwise it isn't a very long ride. The HABs are trivial compared to what you do in AZ. Dutch is the most ridden descent on that side but if you want a longer ride you could continue up P-F to Little Elk or Elbert Cr. Only 300ft or so higher than top of Dutch so if Dutch is rideable these might be too. They are more raw and less ridden, could be a little harder to follow. Too bad the high country will not be open, that is where I spent most of my time - you would love that stuff.

  17. #17
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    Good info Evan, I recall your ride reports from there were amazing. We had an absolute blast this past weekend, thanks for all who gave us route suggestions & trail condition beta. Like Dag mentioned we painted with a broad stroke, leaving plenty of wiggle room & rides for next time.

    We sampled a good chunk of Horse Gulch, Telegraph trails & made a jaunt to Raider Ridge after Ska Brewery the first day. The second day, was another late morning start to the CT from Junction Creek. Rode up to High Point the did the Hoffeins/Dry Fork Loop (CW) on the way down. On our way back to the desert we hit Phil's World in the morning, then Sand Canyon in the afternoon.

    We'll be back for more, sooner rather than later.

    Again, more than happy to return the favor in AZ if anyone travels south for some riding.
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
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  18. #18
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    I finally put together a ride report from our 3 days in Durango/Cortez, we had a blast!!

    Tons of pics....

    Fandango Durango!!
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  19. #19
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    Nice ride report, plenty of new rides available once you visit again.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  20. #20
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    Great info! Thanks to all those who chimed in and reported.

    Dan

  21. #21
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    I put my pics together finally too. Thanks for the input everyone. We had a great time in Durango and Cortez. So much left to do!

    Telegraph Trails

    Colorado Trail

    Phil's World

    Canyon of the Ancients
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

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