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  1. #26
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    The Colorado Trail south from Molas Pass


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



  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiva View Post
    What trail is this and where is it? I must ride it. I need to ride it. I have to ride it!
    Mind your OWN BUSINESS!


  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameybrook View Post
    The Colorado Trail south from Molas Pass
    Thanks. Next summer when I'm up there I'm going to ride it.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiva View Post
    What trail is this and where is it? I must ride it. I need to ride it. I have to ride it!
    Yes, yes you do. Ameybrook is correct, although I can't recall if all three pics are from the CT (they're all from the same ride, and the first one is definitely the CT). The ride is from Molas Pass to Cascade Creek. The descent from the stunning vistas of the tundra below Engineer Mt down to Cascade Creek and teh highway is just a mind-blowing topper to an incredible ride.

  5. #30
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    According to Bicycling, Horse Gulch is one of the Top Ten MTB rides in Colorado...

    You can ride all the famous trails.

    Like:

    Water bar
    Lower Water Bar
    Upper Water Bar
    Upper Upper Water Bar

    That classic "Ya Know, Where the rock used to be"

    And, now featuring "Who the Eff put all these logs in the trail??"

  6. #31
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    A long over due follow up...

    I very much appreciate everybody's opinions. We all could have done with out the insults and disrespect this tread devolved into, but, some great info came out nonetheless.

    I actually never got to riding that day last year, but to exercise my demons, I have come back to Durango and will be staying for 6 weeks. I have done two rides so far. The trails at Dalla (because I am staying right by there) and CT to Dry Creek to Hoffheins to CT lollipop. I have to say, the latter ride was perfect. 3hrs including riding to the trailhead from Durango, fast and flowy, mildly technical single track, great workout, excellent scenery. Perfect. This was one of the more enjoyable rides I've ever done.

    I'd love to see more of the CT, particularly a shuttle like you guys have suggested. I'll see if I can make it happen. I'll certainly hit the Gulch, Animas, and the other rides in town while I'm here. Ideally, I'll make it out to Hermosa Creek if time and reality permit.

    Thanks again for the suggestions, fellas.

  7. #32
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    Hey, I'm in Durango too, and I was reading this thread a few days ago for some tips. My favorite ride so far has been: starting at the Dry Fork Trailhead, climb up the Dry Fork Trail to the CT, and then climb up the CT to 'High Point'(when the CT starts descending steeply that's High Point), then turn around and descend back down the CT past the Dry Fork Trail intersection to Hoffheins Connector, to Dry Fork Trail, to Dry Fork Traihead.

    1) Climbing for an hour in Durango is like climbing for 2 hours elsewhere. The first time I did the loop, I was so knackered at the Dry Fork Trail/CT intersection, I gave up the idea of riding to High Point. Today, I decided to press on to High Point. The trail gets steeper for awhile after the Dry Fork Trail/CT intersection before mellowing out. I had to stop several times at the side of the trail, bent over, panting trying to catch my breath. I burned all my matches riding up there, and on the descent I was so knackered, I couldn't pump over rocks, which made the descent a bit dangerous. The descent from the CT to Hoffheins Connector to Dry Fork Trail is awesome! It consists of rolling, ripping, banked curves with some mild tech sections thrown in. No drops over 8 inches and a log jump of about 15 inches on the side of the trail if you're game.

    The first time I was out there, it took me an hour to climb to the Dry Fork/CT intersection, and then 20 minutes to descend all the way back to the Dry Fork Trail Head. Going all the way up to High Point took 3 1/2 hours. I'm sure locals do it in under 1 3/4 hours.

    2) In Durango, you *want* to ride moto trails and you want to avoid mtb only trails. I was riding the Lower Hermosa Creek Trail my first day while trying to do a loop(without a map), and I couldn't find the turn off because the mtb only trail is barely a scratch in the dirt. A girl I met on the trail told me I was lucky I didn't find the turnoff because she had to spend the night out there when trying to do the same loop. An out and back ride up the Lower Hermosa Creek Trail(motos allowed) seemed like a fine introduction to Durango riding to me:

    durango trail recommendation - one trail only-durango_forest.jpg

    3) The vegetation on the side of the trail is thick and tall and at times you are riding *single* track through a narrow slot of green with ferns and grasses slapping your arms and legs. You cannot see where you are in those sections because the forest is so thick, so I can see how it could be easy to get lost.

    4) The forest is absolutely beautiful here. Wild flowers, aspen groves, the scent of fresh cut pine. I wish I was in good enough shape to ride in the high country, but 3 hours is about all I've got.

    5) Horse Gulch ain't so great. It's easy to get lost because the vegetation is so thick and there are unmarked trails branching off the trail you are on. Lots of signs out there though, so if you keep riding you should run into a sign, which along with a map should get you unlost. That's not to say that I won't ride out there again, but it does not offer the same beauty as the other trails I've ridden.
    Last edited by happyriding; 08-10-2014 at 05:36 PM.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    5) Horse Gulch ain't so great. It's easy to get lost because the vegetation is so thick .
    Yeah, real jungle out there...







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



  9. #34
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    Hermosa Creek (by itself) is one of the most overblown/overrated trails out there. Sure, it's a pretty ride, but it pales in comparison to the ANY of the mountain/high country rides, as you're stuck in a trench the entire ride. Maybe you were trying to hook up with Pinkerton/Flag trails? Dunno...

    The Pass trail is a relatively quick, and mindblowingly beautiful ride (compared to Hermosa) that gets you UP where the views are insane. However, it is HIGH, so being acclimated helps. Even if not, its still doable for a relatively in shape person, just would take a little longer. As noted, it's a quicker ride, so you don't have that commitment that the other high country adventures demand. You should look in to for next time, if there is one.

    As for Horse Gulch. Not my favorite place to ride, but it's local favorite, and have to admit it's signed pretty well. Try Skyline to Raiders to Snake Charmer next time, you'll be pleasantly surprised I bet.
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  10. #35
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    Maybe you were trying to hook up with Pinkerton/Flag trails? Dunno...
    The map at the trail head showed a trail called South Fork Hermosa Trail, which is designated mtb only and branches left off the Hermosa Creek Trail. It was the smallest loop on the map.

    Hermosa Creek (by itself) is one of the most overblown/overrated trails out there.
    I didn't know it was rated. Previously, I was riding in 100 degree heat in Fruita, so riding under a forest canopy with shade and creeks crossing the trail seemed like paradise to me.

    The Pass trail...You should look in to for next time
    Heck, I'll look into it for this time. I'll see if I feel any stronger over the next couple of days. I'm going to try and mix in some Heed with my water to see if that helps keep my energy up.

    Try Skyline to Raiders to Snake Charmer next time, you'll be pleasantly surprised I bet.
    Okay, thanks for the tips. Some guys I met on the trail told me to ride down the Anasazi Trail for some tech, but I didn't think it offered much challenge.

    Yeah, real jungle out there...
    Well, maybe I took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in Brazil.
    Last edited by happyriding; 07-22-2014 at 10:19 AM.

  11. #36
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    Sorry you got some bum info on Anasazi. Somehow, it's become a lot smoother over the last few years - not sure I'd ever refer to it as techy though. Steep at first, tech? Not so much.

    If you go Skyline up to Raider Ridge, you might find some more challenging terrain there. Its worth the chance

    Hermosa never thrilled me personally; but won't deny that its a pretty ride if nothing else. Hope you can make the Pass trail ride happen. It will still be a tough climb, but nowhere near as grueling as the other high country stuff. But you still get the views and cool trail (it's necessarily tech though, just nice mountain single track, maybe a bit rutted in spots?).

    I dunno, great rides all over there - hope you find something fun
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  12. #37
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    What exactly do you mean by the Pass Trail? I found "Engineer Mountain via Pass Creek Trail" here:

    Durango, CO: Engineer Mountain via Pass Creek Trail | Hiking in Colorado

    but that's only 6 miles with +- 1900 feet of elevation change.

  13. #38
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    Yep. Pass Trail = Pass Creek Trail. That distance is total round trip. Base to summit at the intersection of Eng Mtn Trail is about 3 miles.


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  14. #39
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    Yep... "only" 1900 feet above 10K that should be a breeze. Its one of the fastest, "easiest" high country-access rides with such a view... here: Spokejunkies:Mountain Biking the World and Beyond
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  15. #40
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    Over the past year or so, I've visited Durango for work a few times and have had the chance to ride 3 of the common rides:

    - Horse Gulch - close to town, fun, a bit hot in the summer.

    - Colo Trail - Hoffheins - Great riding, close to town, great workout

    - Pass Creek to Engineer Mtn Trail - this is my ONE RIDE answer. If you can make the drive from town and get in this ride, I'd do it. The views are out of this world. The actual workout and riding might be a bit better at Colo Trail, but there's nothing like the view from Engineer Mountain. The only problems are: Shuttle "required" (but I parked below, rode up the road), weather (ride in the am to avoid afternoon storms), a bit far from town.

    Pics from today's ride:






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  16. #41
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    I did an out and back from Molas Pass heading west/south and it was one of the rides of my life. Considering both views and the quality of the single track, I would put it up there with Gooseberry Mesa, Sedona, and CT east of Breckenridge, maybe trumping all three. If there was a gun to my head and I had to thing of a criticism of this ride, it would be that I had to keep getting off my bike to take pictures. I plan to try Pass Creek up to EMT turn right (north) and possibly a lollipop with the CT and White Creek. I am not too into the shuttle idea just for simplicity and time restrictions. I don't' mind out and backs either. I figure that the ride is that much sweeter if you have to work for it. Thanks for all the input on ride suggestions. After all the venom and vitriol died down, this has turned into a great thread.

  17. #42
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    Hitching back to your car is easy in Durango. Last Monday I did Molas, to White Creek, which connects to the junction of engineer/engine creek. I have done both but prefer going out engine to cascade. I waited like 5-10 minutes and someone picked me up. Took me like 6 hours. Plenty of stopping to catch my breath, get more water, ect.

    Having ridden a lot in Hurricaine, Sedona, and many other places, each trail gives you a different experience. Hard to compare, all good in their own right.

  18. #43
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    Is hitch hiking legal in CO?

    What do people recommend, riding up/down pass creek or up/down coal creek if I was to start and and end my ride at coal bank pass?

  19. #44
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    Just so it's stated in this thread, if you're going to do Pass Creek as a loop from your car, the ride requires the climb up Hwy 550. There will be constant traffic on a very busy state highway with RVs, Campers, Trucks, and everything else. PRs on road bikes are in the 28 min range from bottom to top, so on an MTB, plan on 45 mins to an hour of steady climbing on 6-8% grades.

    Just sayin'.


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  20. #45
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    Ahhh, Pass Creek Trail. How much easier can it be to get to the goods?

    Not many places can hold a candle to the high alpine riding outside of Durango.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails durango trail recommendation - one trail only-engineer.jpg  

    "Fart in a paper bag, after eating the #17 plate from filibertos. STRAVA!" M77Ranger.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameybrook View Post
    Just so it's stated in this thread, if you're going to do Pass Creek as a loop from your car, the ride requires the climb up Hwy 550. There will be constant traffic on a very busy state highway with RVs, Campers, Trucks, and everything else. PRs on road bikes are in the 28 min range from bottom to top, so on an MTB, plan on 45 mins to an hour of steady climbing on 6-8% grades.

    Just sayin'.
    I did it at 8:30 am on a Sunday for this very purpose. Didn't get buzzed by any trucks, and everyone gave a wide berth. But... lots of Texans pulling ATVs in this area, and I dare say.... they aren't quite as bike "aware" than most Coloradans.

    Wear a bright jersey and do it early in the morning.

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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiva View Post
    What trail is this and where is it? I must ride it. I need to ride it. I have to ride it!
    Looks like the CT heading toward Durango from Molas. But this thread is super old I just noticed.
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  23. #48
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    Darned computers! I just was finishing writing my opus comparing Phil's World to the CT from Molas and I erased it all. Why doesn't Chrome have an undo function?

    Basically, Phil's deserves mention here as a wonderful example of sublime mountain bike trail building. It is a hedonistic pleasure where as the CT is spiritual ecstasy. Phil's trails are perfectly built, flowy, fast, w/ enough tech to keep it interesting but not so much to break flow, that is a must ride in the area. The views are no better than what you see from the drive there, but that is not why one rides Phil's.

    If you are a mountain man that is looking to have as much fun as possible while peddling (not a gravity destination) a mountain bike and are not seeking the high-country novelty - go to Phil's. Overend is a decent alternative if you can't get out of town.

    If you are a flat-lander or want the a spiritual ecstasy of 30-mile views at the peak of the continental US while still desirous of single track that is as good as it gets without being built for mountain bikers alone, go to the CT from Molas.

    I guess this turned into something of an opus after all.

    Next ride: High country via Pass Creek, Telegraph, or Horse Gulch. I'll report back.

  24. #49
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    One other thought. In reading about Phil's World, I learned that John Tomac lives in Cortez. There are not a lot of reasons to live in Cortez other than mountain biking that I can think of. For my mountain biking generation (I like to call us, the Next-Best-Thing-to-Speederbike-Racing-on-Endor Mountain Bike Generation) it says a lot to me about this corner of CO when Ned Overend lives in Durango and John Tomac lives in Cortez.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalroot View Post
    One other thought. In reading about Phil's World, I learned that John Tomac lives in Cortez. There are not a lot of reasons to live in Cortez other than mountain biking that I can think of. For my mountain biking generation (I like to call us, the Next-Best-Thing-to-Speederbike-Racing-on-Endor Mountain Bike Generation) it says a lot to me about this corner of CO when Ned Overend lives in Durango and John Tomac lives in Cortez.
    And Travis Brown and Tom Danielson and Bob Roll and the Wells boys and Miles and Willow and Shonney V and the best college bicycling program in the country ... and I am sure there are many I have forgotten. And there is a great crop of young riders right now, in part thanks to the Devo program.
    This is not an easy place to be an average mountain biker.
    Craig, Durango CO
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