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  1. #51
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalroot View Post
    There are not a lot of reasons to live in Cortez other than mountain biking that I can think of.
    I can think of lots besides biking but mainly because it's located on the edge of arguably the most awesome mountain range in Colorado and to the west is canyon country. It's a gateway to 4-season fun but the town is pretty rough. Not as bad as Farmington perhaps. There are a couple of environmental groups there and Osprey Packs HQ is located there. And lots of liquor stores.

    As for PHil's World it's fun, fast, and flowy. A singlespeed 29r's delight. But hardly a destination riding area. The reason to come to sw CO is to ride the high alpine stuff. Colorado trail, etc but some of the riding closer to Cortez is pretty tasty too. Stoner Mesa, Calico Ridge, Johnny Bull offer a backcountry riding experience in the mountains not found in too many places.

    That said, I try and stop at Phils on all my trips to CO from AZ It's really a testament to the locals like philstrailgnome who had the vision and the wherewithal to make something fantastic out of an ordinary looking and even unattractive mesa covered in pinyon and juniper.
    "Fart in a paper bag, after eating the #17 plate from filibertos. STRAVA!" M77Ranger.

  2. #52
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    A couple more rides I did....

    Hermosa Creek Out and Back from the lower trail head: You could do as much as you want but I did 21mi and 4600ft elevation gain: This is a great ride for 4.25 miles. Fast, flowy, not too technical (maybe too easy for some advanced riders), tech level of 2-3, and a lot of fun. At 4.25 miles, you hit a very technical down hill (tech level 4-5) for ~500ft then a section for about 4 miles that is quite technical (level 4-5) and often unrideable while ascending. Then the next couple miles are good. The return trip, mostly descending except the 500ft climb mentioned earlier, is great on all sections and I see why people ride it as a shuttle. The views are not that great. Some exposure. It did not seem like 4600ft of elevation gain to me - it seemed like less.

    Overend and Twin Buttes: A lot of fun, fast, flowy, very few roots, rocks. Only technical in its sometimes steep grades and switchbacks. Overall tech level of 3. Fantastic option to ride to from your hotel.

    Up Pass Creek, north on Engineer, west on CT, east on White Creek, south on Engineer, East on Coal Creek, south on 550 to Coal Bank Pass: ~22mi, 4300ft elevation gain: Sometimes, I think that I am smarter than the advice I get. Usually I find out this is not true, and this is one of those times. From the info I could gather, it seemed to me like I would make the investment on the climb up Pass Creek and the rest would be high country gravy. Indeed it was beautiful with mind-blowing views. The trail however was hell. Ascending Engineer above Pass Creek is either terribly rutted and unrideable or over grown and unridable or too steep and unridable or too technical and unridable. The CT was nice here and the highlight of the ride. White Creek had mind-blowing views but was very exposed and sometimes loose and without much flow d/t some excessive rockiness or grades. Descending Engineer was good at times but the ruts were a pain i the rump. The initial ascent up Coal Creek was hiked d/t ruts. The following descent was fun at times but again, often too technical for my taste in a lot of spots. The total ride was about 24 miles with 4600ft of elevation gain. A lot of that gain was hike-a-bike. Unless you are a committed masochist or using your bike to get to the views faster than hiking. Do yourself a favor and to an out and back from Molas for wonderful single track and equally great views. Also, it sounds like ascending Pass Creek and descending Engineer would be great but I haven't ridden it. I would have done this hitchhiked (or even ridden up 550) before doing the above ride, had I had my head on straight.

  3. #53
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    Pass creek to the EMT descent was an awesome, short ride. As a reference for other people not acclimatized(I live in Golden), I rode this last week and it took me right around 1 hour as a shuttle. Molas and EMT the next day took around 2:45 to get back to the highway, shuttled as well. I'm in good shape but nothing crazy. Both of these trails are very rideable even with the altitude slowing down the climbing, both have amazing views. As a side note, my gloves and shoes/socks were completely soaked on the CT within the first couple of miles due to the plants that stick out into the trail being soaked from all the rain.
    Last edited by omoore61; 08-19-2014 at 04:23 PM.

  4. #54
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    4600 ft elevation GAIN on Hermosa sounds a bit excessive.

    Sounds like a strange route through the high country, maybe not though. Pass trail to (down) engineer is a great, quick-ish ride if you're trying to squeeze something in. For a longer route, Molas to Cascade is an awesome route too, but involves a shuttle or luck with the thumb.

    The best ride/experience I've had up there was: Pass Trail > Engineer to Colorado Trail > over Rolling Pass to White Creek, To Engine creek (NOT Engineer) to Cascade and out to the road. Involves a shuttle, and the better part of day if you ride leisurely. White Creek to Cascade can be hair-raising for some, but can be hiked down too. Coming down off of Rolling pass was one of the coolest trails I've been on up there. Not techy or steep or necessarily fast, but just a dream of little singletrack....
    Airborne Flight Crew

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  5. #55
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    up to Bolam Pass from Hermosa to Blackhawk and down isn't even 4600' of elevation gain.

    Rode E. Fork > Bolam> Blackhawk > Salt from the Dolores/Rico side yesterday with philstrailgnome and that was ~30 miles with 4900' of elevation gain for 6,300 of descending. Not sure what it is, but mileage seems off with my garmin. Maybe it's that the HAB doesn't compute for distance, just the elevation keeps adding up.
    "Fart in a paper bag, after eating the #17 plate from filibertos. STRAVA!" M77Ranger.

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