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  1. #1
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    Most over-rated MTB trail you've ridden....?

    Is there a famous trail or destination that you looked forward to riding and then when it was all over, you just weren't impressed?

    That to me would be the McKenzie River Trail (MRT) in Oregon. Many people rate this as the best trail in the entire state. I enjoyed the techier top sections and the Blue Pool is awesome but the entire lower half was just a pedally, repetitive snore-frat for me. I was thinking to myself "does this ever end" the last few miles.

    Bonus question: What's a trail you love that gets no press because it's surrounded by other more famous trails? For me, that's the Boy Scout Trails in Hurricane, Utah. With Gooseberry Mesa, the JEM Trail and a plethora of other popular trails in the immediate area, the Boy Scout Trails get overlooked. Even locals on MTBR tell me I'm crazy when I recommend the trail to others on the Utah forum.
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  2. #2
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    I'll catch flak for this, but Mr. Toads Wild Ride in South Lake Tahoe.

    Nothing particularly spectacular about it. Just a standard XC trail in a cool setting. If people are used to riding flow trails on 150mm bikes, I guess they might think it's technical. The double black diamond rating is a joke.
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  3. #3
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    When I read the post title, I immediately thought of the JEM trail. It's a nice enough trail, but IMBA clearly had too many "epic" designations laying around.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    When I read the post title, I immediately thought of the JEM trail. It's a nice enough trail, but IMBA clearly had too many "epic" designations laying around.
    It's a fun trail, feels like a roller coaster. But, nothing particularly unique about it. Good trail for those looking to get away from snow.

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  5. #5
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    401 trail, Crested Butte. Yes, its pretty. From a riding standpoint, its OK, but nothing special.
    I would advise not taking my advice.

  6. #6
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    Anything at Downieville.
    So many trails... so little time...

  7. #7
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    Kingdom Trails VT. standard trails in a cool setting.

    Meh. my local stuff is 3x the ride
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  8. #8
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    first note, overated doesn't mean the trail isn't fun, just overated, not the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    noble canyon.

    other notables: skyline trail (flat snoozer)
    snow summit(2.5 trails)

  9. #9
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    I second the McKenzie River trail as over-rated and Hermosa Creek in Durango comes a close second.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    I second the McKenzie River trail as over-rated and Hermosa Creek in Durango comes a close second.
    A perfect example of how we all have such varied tastes. I do like Hermosa overall but I have a buddy who has ridden all over the world and Hermosa Creek is one of his all time favorite rides. Go figure. I go to Durango ever year but haven't ridden HC since 2012.
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  11. #11
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    The Red cross-country at Innerleithen. They've managed to build a trail that feels like seventy-percent climbing, twenty-percent flat and of the remaining down-hill only five-percent is great.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    A perfect example of how we all have such varied tastes. I do like Hermosa overall but I have a buddy who has ridden all over the world and Hermosa Creek is one of his all time favorite rides. Go figure. I go to Durango ever year but haven't ridden HC since 2012.
    Well, in truth that was my impression the last time I rode the entire length in 1995. With regards to Durango mtn biking that's all you heard about in the early days prior to social media etc. Generally we just passed on through on our way to Crested Butte but gave Hermosa a try since it was Ned Overend's favorite ride blah blah. I've since ridden Jones-Pinkerton-Dutch with a return on Hermosa and my opinion hasn't changed.

    Another one that is way over-hyped is Fisher Creek (Fisher to Williams) near Stanley, Idaho. While it's good for sure there are arguably much better trails in the area.

  13. #13
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    I'll second the MRT comment. We did that last year and while our rental, shuttle, etc as all great, the trail was boring as hell other than a few views. We rode up (accidentally) some random trail in the Cascade Lakes area that was vastly more fun!

    I also thought Gooseberry was weird. Maybe I just prefer more speed than up and down poking.

    Hidden gems in our area are pretty much Otero Canyon near ABQ and White Mesa.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dft View Post
    first note, overated doesn't mean the trail isn't fun, just overated, not the greatest thing since sliced bread.
    I agree with most of the trails mentioned in this thread. Also agree with DFTs comment - yeah these trails are still fun and I'll ride them occasionally, but it's mind blowing how much hype they get when there are other rides nearby that are better. These definitely aren't the trails that I have a burning desire to ride if I am in the area, once every few years is enough. Fortunately most other riders fixate on these, leaving the better trails empty.


    A few I'll add:

    Cannell. Happy ending, but most of the rest is 'meh' with some shitty climbs thrown in.

    Fisher-Williams in Stanley

    Bangtail Divide

    San Juan Trail. Seriously... people will drive an hour to shuttle this trail?

    Hole in the Ground

    Wasatch Crest. Wasn't that enthralled with Monarch Crest either.

    Bend, in general. I've yet to see a TR or even photo that made me think I have to go there.


    Previously I would have thrown Toads and 401 in that mix too. But I rode Toads last weekend and 401 last fall for the first time in years, and both were a lot better than I'd remembered. Toads has a lot more exposed rock, way chunkier and way more fun than last time I rode it. Combine it with a good stretch of TRT and you've got a very worthy ride. 401 seemed a lot longer too. Still too short of a ride for my liking but if you do a second ride on top, it would make for a good day (403 still on my overrated list). At Downieville at least you can mix and match segments to change things up. As for the Bonus question - what's nearby that is overlooked? Gotta be Mt Elwell! As for MRT...if you think the first part is that awesome and the last part that boring, why ride the whole thing?

  15. #15
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    Honestly, if the view doesn't take my breath away or I ride through it without feeling like I'm going to crash at some point, I'm disappointed. I like trails that are nearly beyond my ability.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by watermonkey View Post
    401 trail, Crested Butte. Yes, its pretty. From a riding standpoint, its OK, but nothing special.
    Yes, 1000%. Unbelievable scenery but a boring smooth decent through knee high weeds .... almost the entire way down.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    The Red cross-country at Innerleithen. They've managed to build a trail that feels like seventy-percent climbing, twenty-percent flat and of the remaining down-hill only five-percent is great.
    Ha, that's how I feel at Patapsco most if the time. I always comment "this must be more fun going the opposite direction "


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  18. #18
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    Hmm. I love MRT, but its been almost twenty years since I lived near it and rode it all the time. I can only imagine what 10s of thousands of bikes have done to it.

    Skyline was mentioned. That was my everyday afterwork trail. I absolutely love it.

    Cannel? I ride it whenever Im in town and the snowpack allows. I love it.

    I ride the same boring trails in Sedona, along with anything new, because Im in love.

    I could go on forever. Lol.
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  19. #19
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    I second Goosberry. Major let down.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    A few I'll add:

    Cannell. Happy ending, but most of the rest is 'meh' with some shitty climbs thrown in.

    San Juan Trail. Seriously... people will drive an hour to shuttle this trail?

    Wasatch Crest. Wasn't that enthralled with Monarch Crest either.

    Bend, in general. I've yet to see a TR or even photo that made me think I have to go there.

    As for the Bonus question - what's nearby that is overlooked? Gotta be Mt Elwell! As for MRT...if you think the first part is that awesome and the last part that boring, why ride the whole thing?
    I love Cannell and actually like the top more than the bottom. Definitely guilty of making that drive up to San Juan because I have friends who can't/won't commit more than 3-4 hours to ride. Wasatch Crest and Monarch Crest are on my "to do" list. I've been to Bend and agree with your perceived opinion of tree area.

    As far as Mt Elwell, I may give it another run in the future. As for MRT and riding the whole thing, I've only ridden it once and had no idea the lower half was the way it was until I rode it. Secondly, I rode it on a tour and had to hook with our shuttle van which was at the lower TH.
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  21. #21
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    I already seconded 401 trail. Let me add Kingdom Trails and anything around Snow Summit as boring and waaaay overrated.

    A trail that you never hear anything about that is insanely awesome is Ellicottville, NY (outside Buffalo). No scenery, just non stop, very technical (but all ridable) singletrack that goes and goes. There are 3 other local riding areas that are all quality and would make for a killer weekend.

  22. #22
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    Allegrippis/Raystown, if I never went back I'd be OK with it. It was fun the first time, by the 3rd time I was over it. I know they have Dirtfest there and all but I ride to get away from people so I'll never go to that...


    Moon lake is probably my favorite trails and often overlooked. A bit of everything all wrapped up in one, very few people typically and not sanitized.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider76 View Post
    Allegrippis/Raystown, if I never went back I'd be OK with it. It was fun the first time, by the 3rd time I was over it. I know they have Dirtfest there and all but I ride to get away from people so I'll never go to that...


    Moon lake is probably my favorite trails and often overlooked. A bit of everything all wrapped up in one, very few people typically and not sanitized.
    Never been there, but I've heard it's quite singletrack flowy stuff.

    I like rocky stuff! I want to use my suspension, not wish I had a hardtail.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    Kingdom Trails VT. standard trails in a cool setting.

    Meh. my local stuff is 3x the ride
    I thought I was the only one who thought they were over rated. Nice, but not that nice.


    Like the last few posts, lets balance this out with something positive - what's the most under rated trail?


    Most _under_ rated:

    Neilson Trail. Shannahan, Quebec. I had more fun on that than Porcupine and Hymasa/Ahab, which were pretty darn awesome.

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    It's not world famous but as much as people ride it and talk about it locally I was way underwhelmed by Blankets Creek near Roswell, Georgia.

    Nothing but rocks and roots with no rhythm. Maybe cause it's close to a major suburban area and people can ride there from their house?

  26. #26
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    I rode this aeons ago but Poison Spider Mesa trail (this used to be hyped up but people caught on). The only reason to do it is to ride Portal Trail down-- but the solution to that is to just go up Portal to the scary exposure and turn around and bomb down.

    Around my neck of the woods is the Bangtail Divide trail. It's long, and has some genuinely fun sections, but the middle is flat and boring and there is zero technicality on the entire 23 miles of singletrack. And no matter which direction you ride it, the descents at either end are loaded with hairpin switchbacks.

    For the bonus question-- I'd have to say the whole North Shore area is underrated/overlooked because people now just make a beeline for Whistler if they're coming up from the States.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoonrobot View Post
    It's not world famous but as much as people ride it and talk about it locally I was way underwhelmed by Blankets Creek near Roswell, Georgia.

    Nothing but rocks and roots with no rhythm. Maybe cause it's close to a major suburban area and people can ride there from their house?
    Wait a minute, this sounds like a real gem!
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  28. #28
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    Ashland - the standard shuttle route
    Elwell
    Fruita 18 Rd. trails

    Lots of stuff underrated, but the fun part is figuring it out on your own.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiveo View Post
    I second Goosberry. Major let down.
    Third.

    It's impossible to ride there without getting caught behind a group (or five) taking turns taking pictures of each other riding off an 18" drop. I'm not enough of a dick to blow past a group of people waiting in line, and I hate waiting in lines on a ****ing mountain bike ride.

    When I'm down in Zion-land, I ride JEM or the Green Valley stuff. Zen is a great loop, and there are plenty of other trails that can tickle any fancy.
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  30. #30
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    Agree with evdog and Cookie Monster about Bangtail Divide. It's a nice enough day on a bike, but definitely overrated.

    Most of the trails that have left me thinking "holy sh!t, when are we doing that again?!?" aren't widely known.

  31. #31
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    Not sure it gets a lot of hype, but I thought the Jimmy Keen section of the Whole Enchilada was terrible.

  32. #32
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    Sadly have to agree as far as riding goes, but overall experience and views, it lives up to the hype, will ride it every time I get to CB, guaranteed, it's a good first trail at altitude.

    Doctors Park - Don't think anyone under rates this trail, it's absolutely fantastic, but don't quite get the rating for it, didn't seem overly technical to me, but then again neither did a lot of the black rated trails in the area, or at least not compared to what I picture a black/double black trail to be Maybe I've actually improved a lot over the years and don't know my ability, but those are my thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by watermonkey View Post
    401 trail, Crested Butte. Yes, its pretty. From a riding standpoint, its OK, but nothing special.
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    The Monarch Crest in Salida.

    Maybe I'll get shamed for saying it but I just didn't LOVE LOVE LOVE it like everyone said I would. Everyone played it up to be this insanely amazing trail that was all downhill. It wasn't. Don't get me wrong, it's a really great ride, but I liked the Whole Enchilada in Moab way better.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    Kingdom Trails VT. standard trails in a cool setting.

    Meh. my local stuff is 3x the ride
    Agree 100%. Also, I would say that this is true for most all trails. I will get lots of flak for this but since I moved to the south, I have had the opportunity to ride in places like Pisgah and Dupont. Both are wonderful places but honestly, most of the routine stuff I rode in PA was very similar if not more fun. Those two places are destination places because mountain biking is limited in the entire area (for the most part). Also, most things that make the IMBA list I have found to be over-rated.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtssogood View Post
    Fruita 18 Rd. trails
    this one

  36. #36
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    I don't rate trails, I just ride, viva la difference.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    I thought I was the only one who thought they were over rated. Nice, but not that nice.
    Yup. I think they get over-hyped because they're just about the only large batch of smooth trails in the northeast. Great for riding with kids and beginners, or for those looking for a break from the standard NE tech and wanting to go somewhere they can crank out tons of miles without much in the way of challenge.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by FuntivityColton View Post
    The Monarch Crest in Salida.

    Maybe I'll get shamed for saying it but I just didn't LOVE LOVE LOVE it like everyone said I would. Everyone played it up to be this insanely amazing trail that was all downhill. It wasn't. Don't get me wrong, it's a really great ride, but I liked the Whole Enchilada in Moab way better.
    You drove all the way to Moab for the Whole Enchikada? I can get that down the street at my local taco shop.

    And by the way I think you are all a bunch of nit picky whiners. Who cares how hyped up a trail is and what you've heard it should be. Enjoy the ride for what it is and not for what others have hyped up and created the anticipation in your imagination of what it should be.
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    I thought the Flume Trail in Tahoe was a big disappointment except for the scenery. It's probably better as a hiking trail.

  40. #40
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    I can't think of any trails I've ridden that seem overrated, but I understand what the OP is getting at.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I don't rate trails, I just ride, viva la difference.
    Ever burn a few vacation days, pack two kids, wife, two dogs, bikes, camping gear, etc... to travel to ride the "great" trails you've been hearing about. Only to find you could have had a better riding experience in your back yard.


    Its reality and part of the cost benefit analysis when planning a trip.

    And yes, there are such things as lousy mtb trails.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider76 View Post
    Allegrippis/Raystown, f everything all wrapped up in one, .
    I was going to say the same thing, although I was limited to some of the easier loops because I was with my son. They were fine and all, but the hype didn't match the experience. We actually enjoyed the new skills sections much more than the trail system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    Kingdom Trails VT. standard trails in a cool setting.

    Meh. my local stuff is 3x the ride
    That's a destination ride in these parts, and many friends head over there. Maybe some of these trail system hype ups have more to do with the size and organization of the trails than the terrain itself.
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  44. #44
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    IME, all of the trails that get the most hype, at least on the internet/nationally are never the best riding in an area, just that they are representative of the style of riding found there and tend to be accessible to a wide range of abilities. Also, some of their "awesomeness" is based on their place in history.

    In the 80's when I first rode Hermosa Creek, it was an epic anomaly, since in those days before purpose built single track, you were usually on mining roads or hiking trails you could barely ride on bikes that were flat out terrible by todays standards. To be able to cruise mostly downhill on a bunch of singletrack was rare. These days though, we have both trails that are more techy fun and bikes that are far more capable. Same with 401, same with Porky, same with monarch crest, same with probably many on the list.

    I still like riding 401, I just add in 403 to make it a bit more fun.

  45. #45
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    Re: Bend

    I don't think any of the trails there are out-of-this-world awesome. But, they have an absolute boat load of singletrack that is accessible from town. I'm struggling to think of any town that would compare in terms of pure trail mileage that you can ride from your front door.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Re: Bend

    I don't think any of the trails there are out-of-this-world awesome. But, they have an absolute boat load of singletrack that is accessible from town. I'm struggling to think of any town that would compare in terms of pure trail mileage that you can ride from your front door.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Well, in truth that was my impression the last time I rode the entire length in 1995. With regards to Durango mtn biking that's all you heard about in the early days prior to social media etc. Generally we just passed on through on our way to Crested Butte but gave Hermosa a try since it was Ned Overend's favorite ride blah blah. I've since ridden Jones-Pinkerton-Dutch with a return on Hermosa and my opinion hasn't changed.

    Another one that is way over-hyped is Fisher Creek (Fisher to Williams) near Stanley, Idaho. While it's good for sure there are arguably much better trails in the area.
    I have ridden Hermosa twice. Once on loop from Jones-Pinkerton-Big Lick and the second day 3 of bikepack from Silverton. Nice trail, but the Colorado trail from Molas to hotel draw is amazing. Tough hard miles and so much more amazing. The descent down Engineer is great too. Hermosa is fine, but not the best of the stuff even right there.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Re: Bend

    I don't think any of the trails there are out-of-this-world awesome. But, they have an absolute boat load of singletrack that is accessible from town. I'm struggling to think of any town that would compare in terms of pure trail mileage that you can ride from your front door.
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  49. #49
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    #1 for me would be the Whole Enchilada. The climb up is gorgeous and it's super cool to experience all the riparion zones but the riding flat out sucks until upper porcupine...& I guess rippin the double track is fun too. When hazard was first open it was fun but the Lasal portion through hazard was never built to handle that many wheels & it shows. Why the heck don't the powers that be reroute that stuff & make it worthy of it's reputation? Interacting with the local ranchers up there is always a trip too.

    I think McKenzie is pretty awesome myself. Finish at Paradise and ovoid the arduous crap out to the end lot. I think once you ride Mckenzie 12-15 times or more the trail becomes a different experience. You know where to push and where to hang back, a million and one trail features to pop off of, & super fun lines through the tech. Bring your swim trunks & jump off the blue pool wall...that will make your balls shrivel like never before. The main issue there now is hiker traffic imo.

    I think most people that visit Bend are rarely getting on good trail with good dirt. That's just the nature of Oregon. It takes a while to find the goods & even longer to know when to hit them. Bend as a town....you can have it.
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    I wouldn't say Kingdom Trails is overrated, but perhaps it is over-hyped. Ten years ago there was not much like it in New England, but now you can find very similar stuff in a lot of different places. That, and the KT system has really gotten degraded with all the traffic over the years. Trails like Sidewinder and Tody's Tour really show a lot of wear.

    I also thought Noble Canyon was awesome but I rode it on a 1990's era hardtail that I borrowed from a friend during my visit which definitely added some extra challenge.

    Personally I think Harold Parker in MA is overrated but some people around here think it's the bees knees. I think it rides like a no-flow non-stop rock garden. FOMBA in New Hampshire is the same way. But to each his own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by honkonbobo View Post
    Sedona, AZ
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    Per MTBProject, Brevard has about half the mileage that Bend does. Flagstaff has another 50% more than Bend.

    If you're talking "Greater Asheville Area", and want to include Black Mountain and the like, that's a bit more, but still most of 50 miles between those two points.

    Sedona has even less.
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    This reads like a bunch of trail snobbery, to be honest.

    It's true that there are lousy mtb trails, but IMO, it takes quite a lot to reach that status. It almost has to be intentionally bad. I've ridden very few trails I'd count as lousy. I also like variety. Sure, I love a gnarly chunderfest. I'd better. Pisgah is my backyard now. But I also like flowy trails. And sometimes a ride is less about the trail itself and more about where you are. Stunning scenery, for one.

    I think a lot of what makes trails "overrated" is that they become popular from people where a lot is new and different from their local trails, and they gush about their experience. Convenient for visitors is also a big help. I remember my first mtb trip outside my local area. My local area at the time was southwestern Ohio. In college, I did a spring break trip to Western NC and rode Tsali. The place was amazing to me then. On my first visit, it was so much different than the trails I was used to riding, and primarily because of the place and the scenery.

    I went to Sedona for the first time this spring. I had a ton of fun. Again, the trails were new and different to me, and the scenery was new to me. Those factors mostly trumped the trails themselves, though I wasn't there long enough to really hit enough of the trails there. I'd totally go back, though.

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    ^ Would agree on Kingdom, but as a mountain biker I'm glad it's there. Would also say the trails & area/East Burke have changed a LOT over the years. Again from an mtb perspective it's a good trajectory. To bad Waterbury didn't get some of that love. When The Alchemist was there that was one of my favorite destinations. Then again Stowe is ruined imo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    Personally I think Harold Parker in MA is overrated but some people around here think it's the bees knees. I think it rides like a no-flow non-stop rock garden.
    'Flow' is where you make it. I really like HP (and rock gardens in general).
    Like you said, to each his own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Per MTBProject, Brevard has about half the mileage that Bend does. Flagstaff has another 50% more than Bend.

    If you're talking "Greater Asheville Area", and want to include Black Mountain and the like, that's a bit more, but still most of 50 miles between those two points.

    Sedona has even less.
    MTBProject actually isn't all that good of a resource for Pisgah and DuPont. There's quite a bit of stuff it doesn't show, or it shows incorrectly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Re: Bend

    I don't think any of the trails there are out-of-this-world awesome. But, they have an absolute boat load of singletrack that is accessible from town. I'm struggling to think of any town that would compare in terms of pure trail mileage that you can ride from your front door.
    I have friends in the Phoenix area that we do 100 mile rides all on single track right from their house. And we don't even cover all the miles we could. Heck even I can do 70+ miles of trails from my house with 0.5 mile so pavement to get there. Prescott Az has about that many looping the city you can ride from anywhere in town.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    .
    Sedona has even less.
    I did a 55 mile loop around sedona from town and cover may 25% of the trail miles in the area.
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    slickrock at Moab.... Moab has MUCH better to offer..

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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    I wouldn't say Kingdom Trails is overrated, but perhaps it is over-hyped. Ten years ago there was not much like it in New England, but now you can find very similar stuff in a lot of different places. That, and the KT system has really gotten degraded with all the traffic over the years. Trails like Sidewinder and Tody's Tour really show a lot of wear.

    I also thought Noble Canyon was awesome but I rode it on a 1990's era hardtail that I borrowed from a friend during my visit which definitely added some extra challenge.

    Personally I think Harold Parker in MA is overrated but some people around here think it's the bees knees. I think it rides like a no-flow non-stop rock garden. FOMBA in New Hampshire is the same way. But to each his own.
    Not a HP fan? Did someone say it was smooth and flowy? Overrated by who? Personal bias here. Long time trail worker and rider of HP. Yes it has rocks, lots of them, some enjoy the challenge, others well, whatever. Flow is where you find it. Plenty of nice singletrack in there. The ponds between the campground and the police barracks? Checked out lock and load? Guess you won't be eating any of my chili at the wicked ride there 10/29? Thinking about chedder cheese corn bread for a side with a honey butter flowing over it......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    This reads like a bunch of trail snobbery, to be honest.
    Or, exactly the opposite.
    I would advise not taking my advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    This reads like a bunch of trail snobbery, to be honest.

    It's true that there are lousy mtb trails, but IMO, it takes quite a lot to reach that status. It almost has to be intentionally bad. I've ridden very few trails I'd count as lousy. I also like variety. Sure, I love a gnarly chunderfest. I'd better. Pisgah is my backyard now. But I also like flowy trails. And sometimes a ride is less about the trail itself and more about where you are. Stunning scenery, for one.

    I think a lot of what makes trails "overrated" is that they become popular from people where a lot is new and different from their local trails, and they gush about their experience. Convenient for visitors is also a big help. I remember my first mtb trip outside my local area. My local area at the time was southwestern Ohio. In college, I did a spring break trip to Western NC and rode Tsali. The place was amazing to me then. On my first visit, it was so much different than the trails I was used to riding, and primarily because of the place and the scenery.

    I went to Sedona for the first time this spring. I had a ton of fun. Again, the trails were new and different to me, and the scenery was new to me. Those factors mostly trumped the trails themselves, though I wasn't there long enough to really hit enough of the trails there. I'd totally go back, though.
    I am a trail snob, what of it....

    I agree. Perspective from your home trails, friends, scenery, camping, town vibe, weather & so on are all part of the mtb experience for me. 1 place I've been a million times and never dissapoints is Moab. Is the riding that great there?

    Bend has more trail mileage than anywhere in the states that I can think of, but then again I have those maps open often. You can ride clear over to Waldo, Timpanogas & onto Oakridge on trail for another 400 + (?) GOOD mtb miles. That's not to include Sisters/Peterson Ridge, Umpqua and all the desert side stuff. It would take years to cover it all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Ever burn a few vacation days, pack two kids, wife, two dogs, bikes, camping gear, etc... to travel to ride the "great" trails you've been hearing about. Only to find you could have had a better riding experience in your back yard.


    Its reality and part of the cost benefit analysis when planning a trip.

    And yes, there are such things as lousy mtb trails.
    Get what you are saying. Haven't found much bad stuff in New England. I build great stuff( with the help of a few thousand friends) everywhere. Truth? Done Allegrips once, KT lots of times along with millstone. Other than that? No major travel for bike stuff. Pedal to so much good stuff from my house in MA, North of Boston. Drive 30 - 60 minutes for other great stuff too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    Kingdom Trails VT. standard trails in a cool setting.

    Meh. my local stuff is 3x the ride
    Not standard for MA. But it's got flow, bro ( JK) We do have great stuff. But for me KT is about the climbing, views, the Tiki bar and friends. All together in one place. Ridden from the top of upper moose?

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by RajunCajun44 View Post
    slickrock at Moab.... Moab has MUCH better to offer..
    Yes, but it's such a unique ride I give it a pass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoonrobot View Post
    It's not world famous but as much as people ride it and talk about it locally I was way underwhelmed by Blankets Creek near Roswell, Georgia.

    Nothing but rocks and roots with no rhythm. Maybe cause it's close to a major suburban area and people can ride there from their house?
    Sounds like you rode South Loop. It is an old hand cut trail with lots of roots and rocks and flat turns, no berms. It has a rhythm, it's just mostly a slower tempo. Harder to keep momentum on, I'm always reminded of that when I ride my SS on it; not a flow trail at all. Next time ride Van Michael, smooth and flowy. Dwelling is kind of in-between those two, doesn't have the smoothness of VM nor the elevation changes but has plenty of roots and some rocks like SL but the curves aren't as flat.

    I love the variety at Blanket's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Yes, but it's such a unique ride I give it a pass.
    100%.
    Night riding it on a clear stary night. Nothing out there like it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Not a HP fan? Did someone say it was smooth and flowy? Overrated by who?
    I really need to give it another go, as it's been years since my last ride there. I did ride lock and load back when it was first built. I give the place two thumbs up for trail work and maintenance. You guys do a great job with that for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    100%.
    Night riding it on a clear stary night. Nothing out there like it.
    I'm not one to have a bucket list but I may start one with that at the top. I've only ridden it in the day which I thought was a unique perspective to the sport. I can just imagine a desert night ride on that gem of a trail.
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    I guess it's all relative to what you have available, or how far you travel to destination rides. In my immediate area, we have very little technical challenge, not much flow, and zero scenery... somehow I still manage to find the fun. I would probably be gushing about how awesome/beautiful the trails are that you classify as meh...

    Hell, I still remember when finding anything resembling a bike trail was like finding gold around here.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Re: Bend

    I don't think any of the trails there are out-of-this-world awesome. But, they have an absolute boat load of singletrack that is accessible from town. I'm struggling to think of any town that would compare in terms of pure trail mileage that you can ride from your front door.
    I hated Bend. The trails that Cog Wild took me on weren't technical at all, and just a lot of sand. If I want sand, I could have stayed home and ridden Ft Ord. I had more fun in Tahoe than Bend.

    For me, these were way overrated and not worth the trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Sounds like you rode South Loop. It is an old hand cut trail with lots of roots and rocks and flat turns, no berms. It has a rhythm, it's just mostly a slower tempo. Harder to keep momentum on, I'm always reminded of that when I ride my SS on it; not a flow trail at all. Next time ride Van Michael, smooth and flowy. Dwelling is kind of in-between those two, doesn't have the smoothness of VM nor the elevation changes but has plenty of roots and some rocks like SL but the curves aren't as flat.

    I love the variety at Blanket's.
    I agree. Blankets to me is a ton of fun. I was there prolly about 10 years ago, and it was really fun and technical. Then again I'm a fan of roots

  72. #72
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    I've never liked Bend either. It seems to me its more of the lifestyle that appeals to many. Bend is OK as an easy day between other destinations but I wouldn't make it a priority. Give Mt St Helens a try, now we're talking!
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    Not sure it gets a lot of hype, but I thought the Jimmy Keen section of the Whole Enchilada was terrible.
    Second that. Rode that once. Never again.

    For that matter, I think the Hazzard Country segment of the TWE is one of the worst trails I've ridden. It was just one deep mega rut from top to bottom.

    I'll also second the 18 Road trails in Fruita.

    And I'll add the segments of the Mah Da Hey train in ND (can't remember which ones I road).

    The common theme of each of these trails is that they are all pretty much cow pastures.

    Oh, and I almost forgot. I really don't the first half of the Mag7 trails in Moab. There are a few good bits, but mostly it just seems overly rough without enough technical challenge to make it worthwhile. And by rough, I don't mean chunky or technical (i.e. good), the rough "slickrock" makes it feels more like riding mile after mile of washboard and braking bumps.

    Could be just that both times I've ridden it, it's been like day 6 of a road trip doing two rides a day and I'm just knackered, but from here on out, I'd shuttle a vehicle up Gemini Bridges road and do the climb up to Blue Dot and out Portal.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    I've never liked Bend either. It seems to me its more of the lifestyle that appeals to many. Bend is OK as an easy day between other destinations but I wouldn't make it a priority. Give Mt St Helens a try, now we're talking!
    Looping Ape Canyon/Plains of Abraham with Smith Creek! Not over-rated.

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    Its always nice to ride new single tracks, and I have yet to regret any new trails, but I agree the MRT was the biggest let down of any new trail I have ridden.

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    You know what they say about opinions. Everyone has one. One persons opinion of a trail may seriously conflict with another persons opinion of the same trail. Sometimes a trail is not hyped up over its technical features but what someone felt the day they rode it. Some enjoy a ride that gave them the sense of being one with nature. Ones epic doesn't make another's epic. Just saying, everyone's out for a different experience and listening to others comparisons of a particular trail may hinder your experience having preconceived anticipation of what's ahead of you. If you went and rode a popular trail without reading others opinions first, you may just come out of it with a whole new perspective and respect for the trail. I respect all trails and try to take every ride as if it was my last ride on that trail. Who knows what the future holds for our sport, that trail you put down may not exist for our use In the not so distant future.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RajunCajun44 View Post
    slickrock at Moab.... Moab has MUCH better to offer..
    I agree, it's only worth doing it once if you're talking about riding it purely as an XC loop following the painted lines.

    But, if that's all you are doing, then well....you're doing it wrong. That place is just one huge playground. Just keep the painted lines remotely in site, and don't ride yourself off a cliff, and with a little imagination you can find all kinds of cool lines and features to play on.

    No need to color between the lines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    Second that. Rode that once. Never again.

    For that matter, I think the Hazzard Country segment of the TWE is one of the worst trails I've ridden. It was just one deep mega rut from top to bottom.

    I'll also second the 18 Road trails in Fruita.

    And I'll add the segments of the Mah Da Hey train in ND (can't remember which ones I road).

    The common theme of each of these trails is that they are all pretty much cow pastures.

    Oh, and I almost forgot. I really don't the first half of the Mag7 trails in Moab. There are a few good bits, but mostly it just seems overly rough without enough technical challenge to make it worthwhile. And by rough, I don't mean chunky or technical (i.e. good), the rough "slickrock" makes it feels more like riding mile after mile of washboard and braking bumps.

    Could be just that both times I've ridden it, it's been like day 6 of a road trip doing two rides a day and I'm just knackered, but from here on out, I'd shuttle a vehicle up Gemini Bridges road and do the climb up to Blue Dot and out Portal.
    Next time you're in Moab, head south of town a bit, into the Abajos.

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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Next time you're in Moab, head south of town a bit, into the Abajos.

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7019201
    This^^^. The downhill on Robertsons is pretty amazing. Or, head over to Aspen or Shay and then all the way out to Newspaper Rock for a 5000' descent. Much more of a backcountry ride than TWE and without the jackhammer jeep road on porcupine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thepusher View Post
    Ha, that's how I feel at Patapsco most if the time. I always comment "this must be more fun going the opposite direction"
    Possibly, but the climb on the Innerleithen Red is pretty boring. Most of it is not at all technical, it's just path and forest track. The real kick in the nuts is when you've killed yourself climbing and find yourself running back down forest track!

    There are some really cool parts of the trail but you have to slog so far to get to them that it's not worth the effort. Innerleithen is famous for the four down-hill tracks, not the cross-country. I'll need to try those and see if they change my mind about the place.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    This^^^. The downhill on Robertsons is pretty amazing. Or, head over to Aspen or Shay and then all the way out to Newspaper Rock for a 5000' descent. Much more of a backcountry ride than TWE and without the jackhammer jeep road on porcupine.
    Wait what? That sounds amazing

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    San Juan Trail. I just don't like it in general. Have lots of friends that enjoy climbing it or shuttling it, I just don't enjoy it at all, personal preference. Every time I ride it, I just end up being bored. Add that in with it's a pain in the butt on Ortega usually, getting stuck behind some box truck or old lady driving 12mph or people trying to pass you on blind corners doing 80, no thanks. I'm at the point where I just pass whenever that ride is offered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stripes View Post
    I hated Bend. The trails that Cog Wild took me on weren't technical at all, and just a lot of sand. If I want sand, I could have stayed home and ridden Ft Ord. I had more fun in Tahoe than Bend.

    For me, these were way overrated and not worth the trip.
    Do you know what trails they were? There is so much out there. Most of the good stuff takes a lot of effort to get to. Lots of cool stuff up high in/around Mt Bachelor.

    Tricky thing about Bend is you gotta wait a bit for some of the higher elevation stuff to warm up and thaw, but by that time the lower stuff can get kinda dry and sandy. I like it best in the Fall and Spring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kazlx View Post
    San Juan Trail. I just don't like it in general. Have lots of friends that enjoy climbing it or shuttling it, I just don't enjoy it at all, personal preference. Every time I ride it, I just end up being bored. Add that in with it's a pain in the butt on Ortega usually, getting stuck behind some box truck or old lady driving 12mph or people trying to pass you on blind corners doing 80, no thanks. I'm at the point where I just pass whenever that ride is offered.
    So you don't like the 2089 switchbacks on the way up?
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    When I read the post title, I immediately thought of the JEM trail. It's a nice enough trail, but IMBA clearly had too many "epic" designations laying around.
    The only problem with JEM is that without a stiff tail wind it's just too much work to keep up a fun fast pace. If it were on a 6-7 percent grade instead of a 2-3 percent and had a few more jumps/features (which I hear are being added) it would fly.

    I enjoy it, but, yeah, overrated.

    I also agree with the McKenzie River trail. Beautiful setting but the lower parts are fairly flat and repetitive without much to keep your interest.

    The Flume trail in Tahoe also gets a vote for overrated. Flat, sandy in spots and short. But those views almost make up for it. Spectacular.

    I'm not a huge fan of Mid-Mountain trail in Park City either.
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    So it would seem every trail that's ever been raved about is now concidered over rated. Perhaps some of us have bigger egos than we've let on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    As for MRT and riding the whole thing, I've only ridden it once and had no idea the lower half was the way it was until I rode it. Secondly, I rode it on a tour and had to hook with our shuttle van which was at the lower TH.
    I'll have to check out the upper half sometime. We did the lower half as an out and back from the bottom (so double the repetitiveness, ugh) due to snow up high. Like others have said, it's still a beautiful, fun trail and I'll do it again sometime, just overhyped.
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  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Next time you're in Moab, head south of town a bit, into the Abajos.

    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7019201

    Yes. The Abajos are Very underrated. Not sure why more folks don't ride over there. We did a big ride there this past weekend that was a bunch more work than a TWE shuttle but every bit as satisfying. Started at North Creek Pass and ended up a Newspaper Rock doing Robertson Pasture, Aspen Flats, Red Ledges to Shay Mountain. 26 miles, over 6000 total descending, and 3700' climbing. Much more raw and untrammeled than TWE. (Maybe I answered my own question there).

    Speaking of the Burro to town (TWE) ride, every time I start to think that it's overrated I ride it again and am always blown away at how good it is. So much elevation change. So many climate zones and trail styles all packed into a 28 mile 8000' foot descent. The only part I don't always care for is some of the Porc Jeep road but even that is a rippin' hoot if there's a bit of a tailwind, some moisture in the dirt and you have the right bike, suspension set up, and wheels for the job.

    I've also been somewhat meh about the Hazard County section of TWE in the past but this past weekend it had rained the night before, I had a mild tail wind and I was ahead of all the shuttle drop off folks so had the trail to myself and it RIPPED. I had a blast. All those ruts are berms when the trail is turning (which it is pretty much always), the dirt was perfect tacky, and packed down smooth from a summer's worth of shuttles. So even overrated can surprise sometimes.

    The other gems in the La Sals that don't get much attention/love are Moonlight to Schuman's and the back side trails through the State Forest lands; NW trail to SW trail to Burro Friends to La Sal pass then down Terrace trail to Hell's Canyon. Not for the faint of heart but an awesome ride.
    Last edited by KRob; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:04 PM.
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  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    So it would seem every trail that's ever been raved about is now concidered over rated. Perhaps some of us have bigger egos than we've let on.
    I dunno. I moved to CO a year ago and I still find the riding here fantastic. Looking forward to checking out more trails when it cools down.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Flagstaff.
    Pfft, Prescott. Hundreds of miles of trails, accessible from town. Some good, but all except the Dells are multi-use. Riding the circle trail last year was cool, but the Badger Mountain and Sundog sections were disappointing, because they make no effort at all to have any cool tech or bike trail features. Have worked on a few trails there, but everything always had to be strict multi-use with no features/tech. Gets kinda boring after a while.
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  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    This reads like a bunch of trail snobbery, to be honest.
    I disagree for the most part in that we aren't saying "X" trail sucked but just that based on the trails *reputation*, we expected it to be more fun, exciting, badass, etc... Look at The Whole Enchilada for example. It's rated #1 on MTB Project and it's *reputation* is pretty solid yet several people find not lacking overall. When I reviewed it on MTB Project, I only gave it 4 stars and complained about the miles of blown out, washboard fire road. I had people sending me hate mail via private messages and accusing me of lying about even riding the trail.
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  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    I disagree for the most part in that we aren't saying "X" trail sucked but just that based on the trails *reputation*, we expected it to be more fun, exciting, badass, etc... Look at The Whole Enchilada for example. It's rated #1 on MTB Project and it's *reputation* is pretty solid yet several people find not lacking overall. When I reviewed it on MTB Project, I only gave it 4 stars and complained about the miles of blown out, washboard fire road. I had people sending me hate mail via private messages and accusing me of lying about even riding the trail.
    Yeah. If you dare tell people their Holy Grail is good, but not spectacular, some of them freak out.

    I'm surprised someone from the NorCal forum didn't give me shit over saying Mr. Toad's wasn't the bee's knees.

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  93. #93
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    I don't know if overrated is the best definition, but there are several rides on my list that were more fun to ride 20-30 years ago than they are now, due to the hype. The hype drove crowds to them and deteriorated the experience. Additionally, more capable bikes have made the trails ride differently and changed what many riders desire in a trail experience. Monarch Crest and UPS/LPS/Porc are on that list for me. Still fun to ride, but no longer required riding on an annual or more frequent basis.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by stripes View Post
    I agree. Blankets to me is a ton of fun. I was there prolly about 10 years ago, and it was really fun and technical. Then again I'm a fan of roots
    I ride both Blankets and Sope Creek quite a bit. I like Sope Creek better because it flows better than Blankets (excluding VMT).

  95. #95
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    Another factor may be the photos that are fed to us showing exotic locations more exotic than they are. For example, in a recent issue of BIKE, could be the photo annual, theres a photo of some riders ripping a trail at Skogafoss, Iceland. Missing from the photo are the tour buses in the parking lot and a metal staircase just out of sight on the right accessing the trailhead at the top of the waterfall. These guys just clipped in. Great trail, but...
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  96. #96
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    Slickrock is only good the first time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    I don't know if overrated is the best definition, but there are several rides on my list that were more fun to ride 20-30 years ago than they are now, due to the hype. The hype drove crowds to them and deteriorated the experience. Additionally, more capable bikes have made the trails ride differently and changed what many riders desire in a trail experience. Monarch Crest and UPS/LPS/Porc are on that list for me. Still fun to ride, but no longer required riding on an annual or more frequent basis.
    Agree with the premise 100% but it's two sides of the same coin. New bikes are amazing as is some new mtb built specific trail. I still love "old school" trails and live for big backcountry days. Variety is good and it's never been a better time to be a mountain biker.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho View Post
    Slickrock is only good the first time...
    Naw. As mentioned above the lines are endless. There are lines not far off the paint at all that take some nards to ride. I'll be there in 2 weeks, have ridden it countless times, and can't wait to get back on it.

    Slickrock, the most classic mtb trail of all time?
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  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Naw. As mentioned above the lines are endless. There are lines not far off the paint at all that take some nards to ride. I'll be there in 2 weeks, have ridden it countless times, and can't wait to get back on it.

    Slickrock, the most classic mtb trail of all time?
    There are other trails in Moab (or GJ or Fruita for that matter) that have better alternate lines than Slickrock (Bartlett Wash for example). Of course, it all depends on what you look for in a trail that makes it interesting...

  100. #100
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    hmmmm...sounding like the mtbr trail review hot tub time machine could use an upgrade or re-think with all these people traveling distances only to be let down.....so much trail data, how does this happen, weather? season?

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