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  1. #1
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    durango trail recommendation - one trail only

    Brethren, come to my aid. I have the bitter sweet opportunity to ride one day for up to three hours in early august in Durango. I'll be riding a fs 29er. I prefer intermediate tech and intermediate exertion trails. Fast and flowy is good. I am willing to endure climbs especially for prolonged gradual descents. I will consider shuttle rides if the drive time is under 20 minutes. A thousand thanks.

  2. #2
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    You can't ride a 29'er in Durango. Completely inappropriate platform...

  3. #3
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    Molas Pass to Cascade.


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



  4. #4
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    Up to three hours he said. Molas to Cascate, the shuttle and getting it will take more time then that IMO. Engine Creek took me 3 hours pedaling the other day, and engineer mtn trail takes 3.5-4 hrs for me. I'm not a racer, but I don't feel I am going slow, and we passed a lot of groups.

    My 1st vote is for <3 hours is Pass Creek to Engineer Mtn Trail. Maybe even twice. Drop bike at top, park at bottom, hitchhike up the road. Round trip with hitchhike shuttle <2hrs. With another buddy and no fumbling, could easily get two laps out of it, and its fun the second time around because you remember the trail, and can fly. It is a fast and flowy trail down.

    Second vote is park at Elbert Creek (or take the chairlift up purg if you don't feel like climbing), up that to Dutch Creek to Hermosa. Leave the drop car at the gas station, and much quicker shuttle to go get your start car. Elbert Creek may take some time to climb, but I expect that ride is in the 3 hr range.

    I forgot how long black hawk pass takes, but I remember in the 4 hour range if you climb the road too. With shuttle (remove 9 miles of road), you might be in the 3 hour range, and if you can swing that time, I'd put it above the other two.

  5. #5
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    Up to 3 hours is nothing, that's not much more than an after-work ride. All of the high country rides will take a minimum of 45 minutes drive time from Durango. So my take, is just ride Horse Gulch trails. Plenty to keep you busy for 3 hours, and it starts right from town. If it looks like it's gonna be a hot day, start in the morning and be done midday. If it's not blazing hot, ride any time of the day.

  6. #6
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    three hours including drive time? anything high-country is out.
    If that's the case, Town to High point is my favorite three hour ride. From my house it's two hours up to Highpoint and an hour back down. Or to make it a little shorter you could do CO-hof-dry-co and loop it up.

    three hours riding? I think you could do Molas-Cascade in almost three hours. Or at least Molas-Coal Creek (same deal with coming over Jura but ride out Coal Creek or Pass Creek).

    Also, I think you could do Pass-Engineer-Engine Ck in 3 hours?

    I think Pass Ck-Engineer would be a great recommendation. Certainly less than a 3 hour ride, but if you're not from this area you're going to need at least 30 minutes to take in the views and another 30 minutes to be enraged with jealousy at those who get to ride up there every week.

    I'd push whoever is giving you the three-hour limit to stretch it to a 5-hour limit. She won't be mad forever.

    3 hours in town? I'd ride Twin Buttes from town and come through the Test Tracks on your way back. Or do a big gulch loop including some stuff on the backside of T-graph (yellow brick-sidewinder-skull rock-big canyon).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lacticacidbath View Post
    three hours riding? I think you could do Molas-Cascade in almost three hours.
    always funny about asking people about rides, and how long they take. We don't know the OP's speed at all. I will be the first to admit that I'm slow among the people I ride with, but I do ride and am not completely (just mostly) fat and out of shape, and the one time I did this ride it took me about 6-7 hours. Granted I was under no time constraints and could have done it faster, but there is no way I could have come even remotely close to 3 hours. 25 miles above 11000' is going to be a tough 3 hours for a lot of people. So it's really hard for us to say what is best for the OP, though I totally agree that he should just find more time than 3 hours.

    Given that we don't know speeds, your suggestion of the CT to Highpoint may be a good one, because he could just turn around when he hit a certain time, rather than be forced to press on because he's on a loop.

  8. #8
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    I just wrote a review of my rides in Durango last week. I don't live there but have been a bike tourist six times now and (this is purely my opinion) I don't care much at all about the high country routes. There is so much lower altitude, heavily wooded, beautiful alpine singletrack right around the city, that's what I would do any day.
    Three hours is plenty of time to do most of the city rides.
    My first suggestion would be lacticacidbath's Junction Creek CO trail ride: Either ride or drive to the Junction Creek trailhead, take the feeder trail up to Gudy's Rest, then the Hofheinz connector, climb up Dry Fork, then right again to descend back to Gudy's via the CO trail. Depending on your speed/fitness on the climbs that should take 1.5-3 hours easily. You'll have two long climbs, but three nice long semi-technical descents all bathed in the shadows of towering trees.
    My Horse Gulch and Twin Buttes rides as described in my review can also be done in that time frame. Hermosa Creek too, only if you start from the bottom and do an out and back.
    One of these days I'll probably do an extended high country ride, but only after I get tired of my favorites, which when you do them only once a year or so never get old.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbscott View Post
    I don't care much at all about the high country routes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbscott View Post
    I don't care much at all about the high country routes. There is so much lower altitude, heavily wooded, beautiful alpine singletrack right around the city, that's what I would do any day.

    One of these days I'll probably do an extended high country ride, but only after I get tired of my favorites, which when you do them only once a year or so never get old.
    Think of it this way. You've lived in the woods since you were born, raised by evil vegans. When you turn 18, the vegans finally let you leave for one day a year (they have an evil spell over you that forces you to return the very next day) so you strike out and make it to civilization, and someone prepares you a steak. The steak, some basic sirloin cut grilled nicely, is the best thing you've ever eaten. The very thought of it makes your mouth drool. So every year, you head back for that very same steak, because it is so delicious and you can't imagine anything better. Some of the people you meet say "hey, I know that steak you are eating is very good, but if you like steak, you should really try a ribeye or a t-bone, they really are much better." Yet you can't imagine it, and refuse to listen to their blasphemous words, because you have found the most delicious piece of meat ever. And to you it is.

    But that doesn't mean you shouldn't sink your teeth into a damn ribeye one of these years.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbscott View Post
    I don't live there but have been a bike tourist six times now and (this is purely my opinion) I don't care much at all about the high country routes.
    WTF is wrong with you? fail. don't listen to this guy

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagwhan View Post
    I'm slow among the people I ride with, but I do ride and am not completely (just mostly) fat and out of shape, and the one time I did this ride it took me about 6-7 hours.

    the dude was asking for recommendations. I didn't say "anyone can finish that ride in 3 hours". In fact, in my head, that's a ~4 hour ride. But it's a cool ride



    jeebus I amsometimesmildlyannoyedwithpeopleon emtybeer.

    edited a bit cuz I sounded like a dick. but it came off wrong.
    Last edited by lacticacidbath; 08-08-2013 at 08:29 PM.

  13. #13
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    Have a beer, I think yours is empty and the lactic acid is going to your head. Relax. I didn't criticize you, I merely said that trying to evaluate how long a ride is going to take for a stranger, when we know nothing about the person, is tough. I'm not actually fat, and I guarantee you that I could do the ride faster than a whole heck of a lot of people (you used it as an example of a 3 hour ride but now say it's a 4 hour ride, I said it took me 6-7 but could have done it faster if I needed to, we're not as far apart as it seems). Regardless, 20+ miles at 11,000' and above is damn hard for a lot of people. Not so hard for others. :shrug:

    I don't think my time estimation is any more valid than yours, but I'm not sure why it's any less valid. I'm slower than you, you're faster than me, yay? My only point was that if I asked for a 3 hour ride recommendation and tried this ride, I'd be very late for whatever I had planned. And if you asked for an epic long ride and got this one recommended and tried it, you'd enjoy the ride but be disappointed because it wasn't epic enough. Jesus, you rode Molas to Durango in a day; you think that means your ride time experiences are valid for a huge number of riders? Some people are super fast, some are fast, some are medium, some are slow, some are super slow, and some are snails. If you don't know which one the rider is and which one you are, ride time advice is a silly exercise.

    BTW, not sure why you hate MTBR so much, but maybe you should try being less of a dick here, you're a much nicer guy on TGR.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lacticacidbath View Post

    jeebus I hate emtybeer.
    And yet you're here... posting in this most important thread.

  15. #15
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    You all have nothing on my speed.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lacticacidbath View Post
    WTF is wrong with you? fail. don't listen to this guy
    Nice guy. I'm out of here. My background is XC and sorry if it offends you that I like to ride singletrack instead of high altitude jeeproads.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbscott View Post
    Nice guy. I'm out of here. My background is XC and sorry if it offends you that I like to ride singletrack instead of high altitude jeeproads.
    I'm sorry... what?

    Why would you bother riding jeep roads in the high country?

  18. #18
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    Why do you think the high altitude stuff isn't singletrack?



    Nice jeep road


    this "trail" is so wide as to not be any fun

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbscott View Post
    Nice guy. I'm out of here. My background is XC and sorry if it offends you that I like to ride singletrack instead of high altitude jeeproads.
    I think you're doing it wrong...

  20. #20
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    durango trail recommendation - one trail only

    Not sure WTF is w/ the weirdness here but the Colorado trail to high point is a good call. I say drive to lighter creek park at the dry fork trail ride towards Denver, stop when you want and head back down. Great ride no matter how far you get and great downhill return. I wouldn't drop past high point unless you've extended your time ceiling.

    Barring that the test tracks (mountain park) is my fave route but you can do it a few times in that time. You'd be better off doing a few 1+ rides to include the horse gulch complex.
    Good luck.
    G

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    Firstly, I apologize for my dickish behavior above. meh. we all have bad days? bagwhan, sorry. I suppose I was trying to make the same point....everyone rides at different speeds, so I was just mentioning a (Really really extra special good) option. I think that M-C is kinda shortish and not an "all day" thing. but whatever. my bad.

    secondly: this
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbscott View Post
    Nice guy. I'm out of here. My background is XC and sorry if it offends you that I like to ride singletrack instead of high altitude jeeproads.
    is awesome.

    thirdly: I think that just doing an out-and back on Molas or CT from junction creek would be sensible. that way he can time his ride easily by turning around whenever.

    I love the Testracks and the Gulch, believe me I ride in-town alot. but a visitor? coming to mtb paradise? he should go see the CT goods or some high alpine brain-melters. just my opinion.

  22. #22
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    Test Trax for a first timer without a guide would yield nothing but frustration. Stopping every 30 seconds to figure out where you are or where you were headed. Trails would be ridden "wrong." I came across a dude riding up star wars this spring because someone told him it was an awesome trail. Can't blame the guy.


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lacticacidbath View Post
    Firstly, I apologize for my dickish behavior above. meh. we all have bad days? bagwhan, sorry. I suppose I was trying to make the same point....everyone rides at different speeds, so I was just mentioning a (Really really extra special good) option. I think that M-C is kinda shortish and not an "all day" thing. but whatever. my bad.

    secondly: this

    is awesome.

    thirdly: I think that just doing an out-and back on Molas or CT from junction creek would be sensible. that way he can time his ride easily by turning around whenever.

    I love the Testracks and the Gulch, believe me I ride in-town alot. but a visitor? coming to mtb paradise? he should go see the CT goods or some high alpine brain-melters. just my opinion.
    Thanks for the apology. And I totally and completely agree that a summer visitor to Dgo should be riding in the high country, not the gulch. But if he's limited to 3 hours total, that leaves the CT from town as the only option. And maybe it's because I've ridden that a bunch, but I find that I prefer the variety of riding in Horse Gulch. Still, for one ride, with a strict time limit, you're probably right, the CT from town as far as you can go is likely the best option. And if he can squeeze in some drive time in, the CT high country is not to be missed. Molas-Cascade is probably my favorite ride ever (even if I was ridiculously slow ) and Kennebec to town may be my second favorite ride ever (though the shuttle rules that one out).

  24. #24
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    I think the Colorado Trail up to Gudys then Do the Hoffheim loop counterclockwise. We love that ride and its about three hours and the trail head is in Durango, we're from PA and that's always the first Durango ride we do....tons of options there but for 3 hours of your time, in my opinion it gives you a quick sampler of Durango. Long switch ack climb up to Gudys....continued gradual climb of to CT split then Hoff back down towards Gudys is Fast, Flowy, and if it don't bring a huge smile to your face...then I don't know what will;p

    P.S. nothing wrong with a FS 29er on that trail either, I'll bet it will rail in the swoops on Hoff
    Climbing Builds Character

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagwhan View Post
    Why do you think the high altitude stuff isn't singletrack?



    Nice jeep road


    this "trail" is so wide as to not be any fun

    What trail is this and where is it? I must ride it. I need to ride it. I have to ride it!

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