Az riders - Tips on Weeklong riding trip - St George or Durango- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Az riders - Tips on Weeklong riding trip - St George or Durango - PARK CITY

    Hey all,
    I am thinking about a week long riding trip based out of St George UT or Durango. Depends on Timeshare availability. Season would probably fall for St George and Summer for Durango.

    Which area is better for a week's worth of riding. Another option would be Park City too, but that is a longer drive and I really don't like the Park City vibe. Too "expensive Ski town"

    Moab is great riding, but no timeshares there so it won't work.
    Last edited by JoePAz; 03-09-2016 at 12:41 PM.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  2. #2
    Hey, a Bright Shiny Thing
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    JoePAz,

    Don't give up on Park City....although I haven't been there in summer for a 15 years or so, it's a great summer town with the huge benefit of never having to drive to trailheads. I'm fairly certain you could ride for a week there and have a blast. That said, I get the snooty ski town type vibe, but it may be worth overlooking for the awesome riding. Durango is an awesome town as well, don't know much about St George, but hurricane and gooseberry are all close. Sounds like a good dilemma to have though.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Moab is great riding, but no timeshares there so it won't work.

    bummer

  4. #4
    Ahhh the pain....
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    Joe, so on our whirlwind road trip of the west last fall, I'd have to say my favorite place for riding was Park City. But, that was NOT my favorite place for nightlife and drinking! Durango was sure cool, but due to weather, I didn't get to really experience all the trails I would have like to.
    End of the day though, Park City was my favorite...so many XC trails.

  5. #5
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    What kind of riding do you like? Durango and St. George are totally different. The high country riding in Durango is some of the finest in the west. But then again, the mesa rides in St. George/Hurricane are pretty good too and certainly rival anything in Moab. You will end up driving to most of the trailheads with either location. If Park City is still in the mix, like Azfishman said, you can ride to pretty much everything.

  6. #6
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    For riding... I like a little of everything. I am mostly an XC and moderate tech rider. Like long adventure rides or even short. Local favorite trails BCT, AZT, PMP, South Mtn, Prescott, Elden, Sedona, Ect.
    I am not DH rider, but I do have a 7" FR bike for "playing around" and my 26" HT for proper rides and I might bring both if the trails suit. I like climbs be them smooth or techy.

    I don't mind driving to trail heads from a central "base" location and figure 4-7 hrs per day of riding day and about 5 days riding in a 7 day week. I just want enough trails to not get bored.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  7. #7
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    Personally, I would go to the Durango high country for long, adventure/backcountry type rides on the CO trail. Hermosa Tours does shuttles and the skies the limit. Kennebec Pass back to town. Molas to Engineer. Blackhawk Pass. Jone-Pinkerton-Dutch. Just fantastic but the high country will not be rideable until late June or even July.

    St. George is good too but Gooseberry, Guacamole or L. Creek are 3 or 4 hour type rides to me. Maybe mix it up and do some of the new stuff off JEM in the afternoon. Closer to St. George are Zen, Barrel Roll-Poppy, Church Rocks, etc. All good stuff again the shorter ride type variety. Plenty to keep you busy though for 5 days of riding.

    If you need some stoke have a look at what Evdog does when he goes to SW CO.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/colorado-west...vy-827757.html
    http://forums.mtbr.com/passion/trip-...vy-822267.html
    http://forums.mtbr.com/colorado-west...vy-991868.html

  8. #8
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    I love both St George and Durango. For me choosing between the two comes down to time of year and how much time I have. Weeklong trips are reserved for destinations I can't get to in a long weekend. Each of these are probably similar driving distances for you. If Mar-Apr-May or Oct-Nov are times that are available, do St. George; if July to early Oct, go to Durango. I prefer camping because it gives me flexibility to change plans abruptly if weather is not favorable (and it's free!). Just be aware you can get storms though either area that can shut down some of the trails. From what I heard, Durango was soggy well into summer with frequent storms.

    September is my favorite time for Durango since the aspens are turning and the weather is more stable. Plenty of rides can be looped, and as mentioned Hermosa can get you on a few great rides with their shuttle service. Or time your trip when I am back there again For me Durango is all about longer backcountry high elevation rides. The town trails are fun and have a bit of tech, but the high elevation stuff is just too good to waste vacation days on anything else. Big climbs, big descents, amazing scenery, and cool town. There are weeks worth of riding in the area.

    St George / Gooseberry is more similar to Moab in that it has a lot of slickrock type riding and a lot more opportunity for technical riding. It is one of those places where 10-15 miles will feel like 20-25 miles of normal riding. Zion is right there which is a bonus for a day off the bike to go hiking. Don't expect huge elevation gain or loss, but the riding is really fun. I'd probably get sick of the place after a few days as the restaurants aren't as good, especially in Hurricane. You would have plenty to do for a week here too.

  9. #9
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    have you checked airbnb in moab?
    there are some pretty cool rooms for rent for less than $90/night.

  10. #10
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    I can echo what others have said about riding in St. George and Durango. And if that is all you are planning in doing, use the information others have provided to make your decision.
    OTOH, if you want to go out on the town, have a few beers and/or a good meal, I believe Durango and S.t George/Hurricane are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  11. #11
    Black and Sticky
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    Never been to St. George so can't help you there. But you may want to consider Cortez as a substitute to Durango. It's cheaper to stay there with more of a small town vibe and much less touristy and MUCH less crowded compared to Durango. May not be any timeshares, but worth a look.

    For past 5 summers I have met friends in Durango to ride for 5 or so days. Been on all the trails around there (Hermosa, etc.). They're all great. But in 2015 hotels had gotten so expensive in Durango that we decided to try Cortez. Although you can drive over to the Durango trails from Cortez, there is plenty of great riding closer to Cortez. Ten or 15 miles north, on the north side of Dolores there are many miles of high country trails that are Hermosa-like. Canyon of the Ancients is fun and historical. Phil's World is famous as being the "center of the mountain biking universe". It's just outside Cortez, think FINS x 100.

    Have fun, no matter what!

    Bob
    "Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission." - Neil Kendall

  12. #12
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    No offense to Cortez but it is a border town and pretty rough around the edges. It does, however, have a great bike shop and a brewery. And more importantly, it will be cooking hot in the summer and so will Phil's World. The trails outside Dolores like Boggy Draw will be a bit cooler. On the other hand, if the OP thinks he might like to hit Telluride for a day then it's sort of equidistant between Durango and Telluride. Lots of great rides there as well.

    Not sure what Hermosa-like means but the actual Hermosa Trail is the most over-rated trail on the planet. It sucks. Well maybe not that bad but it would be a last choice to me and I would only ride it to either climb out after dropping down from the CO trail on Corral Draw or as part of a loop with Jones-Pinkerton-Dutch.

    Anyhow, that's just my salty opinion. The OP is doing a time share so probably not subject to the same high hotel rates found in Durango. I did VRBO once and it was amazingly cheap for a sweet house for a week at the bottom of Junction Creek Road, where the CO trail terminates.

  13. #13
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    Cortez area does have some great trails.
    By "Hermosa-like", I'd guess Bear Creak. And yes, Hermosa is very overrated, maybe nearly as much as Monarch Crest. And you've gotta be a little more adventuresome to hit Jones-Dutch. There is less hike-a-bike than 5 years ago, but it is still there in spades.

    While I don't think anyone should travel to Durango and not focus on the high country, there are many rides you can do right from in town. That is not true from downtown Cortez.
    But I still like Cortez and the Kokopelli Bike shop.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  14. #14
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    I have some good ideas now. So I need to check on Timeshare availability and that may determine my actual location.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Not sure what Hermosa-like means but the actual Hermosa Trail is the most over-rated trail on the planet. It sucks. Well maybe not that bad but it would be a last choice to me and I would only ride it to either climb out after dropping down from the CO trail on Corral Draw or as part of a loop with Jones-Pinkerton-Dutch.
    Fully agree! Double track that turns into ATV trail that turns into Moto trail. A few miles are fun but mostly it is low quality trail with no views. I rode it to get back to camp from the CO trail on one of my trips. My riding partner was a local and decided she would rather climb back up to get her car than "descend" Hermosa and then retrieve shuttle. After riding it I couldn't blame her.

    Quote Originally Posted by cbrossman View Post
    Cortez area does have some great trails.
    By "Hermosa-like", I'd guess Bear Creak. And yes, Hermosa is very overrated, maybe nearly as much as Monarch Crest. And you've gotta be a little more adventuresome to hit Jones-Dutch. There is less hike-a-bike than 5 years ago, but it is still there in spades.

    While I don't think anyone should travel to Durango and not focus on the high country, there are many rides you can do right from in town. That is not true from downtown Cortez.
    But I still like Cortez and the Kokopelli Bike shop.
    Agree with everything except that Bear Cr is "Hermosa Like". Unlike Hermosa, Bear is a trail I would ride again either up or down. It is a way better trail in either direction, much more scenic, no shuttle/moto traffic, and takes you to a cool alpine bowl. Like Rockman said, for me Hermosa is only for connecting to other better trails. Dunno if I would call Jones-Dutch an adventuresome ride but that's up to personal opinion. Going further to Little Elk is an adventure. I'd do that ride any day over just Hermosa.

  16. #16
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    Not trying to sway you in either direction but did want to throw in a couple points. FWIW, I go ride in St George/Hurricane 2-3 times per year for 3-4 days at a time and have relatives n Durango so we go there every Summer for a week. I also own a timeshare in Park City (but always go in the Winter).

    While the food in Hurricane isn't anything exciting, I've found GREAT food in St George. As a matter of fact, I was there a few weeks ago and ate at the Pasta Factory when I had the best lasagna I've ever had in my 50+ years!! St George due to it's size has more options and variety than Durango for food.

    I love the riding and scenery in Durango. The town is great and there are plenty of options of "other" things to do when you aren't riding as well. The altitude gets to me up there. Some days just a little and some days it beats me down. Unless your timeshare is at Purgatory/Durango Mountain Resort, you'll be driving a decent distance every day if you want to ride up in the high country areas. But if you are up there at the resort, it's a drive back into town.

    I love the actual riding/mountain biking in Park City but agree with you 100% about the town itself. It may have been a cheesy, touristy mining town in the past but they've went for the uppity, glam, chic route and it's lost the charm it had before. There used to be some great shops downtown and now other than t-shirt shops, everything is hip & trendy for the ultra materialistic crown. Downtown Durango still has a good mix of shops and I spend hours down there walking the town every year. It never gets old.

  17. #17
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    So my 2 cents:
    I've never ridden in Durango, heard great things about it.
    St George, ridden there many times.
    From St George there is all of the above mentioned rides and if you don't mind driving 80 miles or so there is Brian Head- take you FR rig and do a couple of shuttles, Dark Hollow and Bunker Creek, fun stuff for sure. There is also Thunder Mountain near Bryce Canyon, probably 2 hour drive from St George. This site Southern Utah High Plateau Trails has some good info on the rides I mentioned as well as many others. St George and the surrounding area has a lot to offer if you want to take a break from riding. As for the Pasta Factory I have to agree with K2, try the Pizza Factory also.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    Agree with everything except that Bear Cr is "Hermosa Like".

    I guess I meant riding next to a creek most of the ride, nothing more.
    And adventuresome is the wrong word. More like one of the tougher rides in the area considering it is only 17 miles.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  19. #19
    Black and Sticky
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    "Hermosa like" to a person from Phoenix or at least me means that you are riding on forested trails rather than low desert single track. Hermosa may be over rated to some and it isnt my fav either. But it is an iconic trail in that part of CO. I liked the riding in and out of sunlight, climbing, jumping over roots, and interesting people I met. Talked to a guy on a big KTM, couldnt believe he had made some of the tight spots! Yes that area of CO trail probably has better scenery. And yes Boggy Creek is the area north of Dolores that I was referring to. Miles and miles of xc there and great burgers at The Depot in Dolores. Also true that you can ride from trails right in Durango. But I would say those are not the best Durango has to offer either. Yes Cortez is lower than Durango and a little hotter, but I put in 30+ miles on a June afternoon at Phil's and was perfectly comfortable. Also did the same ride at night and it was spectacular. Interestingly, a few of the locals thought I was nuts for riding at night. Kokopelli bike shop is one of the best. A fun bunch of 29+ afficionados. I rode one of their shop rides up by McPhee reservoir.

    I like Durango and will for sure go back. It has MUCH better night life than Cortez. But I'm an old guy now and night life isnt my thing any more. I can ride farther, faster, and climb higher when I'm not hung over! Let me put it this way, Durango has a lot to offer and is an obvious mtb destination. But if you want to get away from the crowds, ride some out of the way fun trails, and enjoy a small town atmosphere, give Cortez a try. No I dont work for Cortez chamber of commerce...

    Bob
    "Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission." - Neil Kendall

  20. #20
    one sick puppy
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    One of our fellow MTBRers has a house in Durango that he rents out that looked pretty nice from the pictures. Looked like you could access some riding from there. I don't know how many peeps you're coming with? When we were there we just had 3 of us so we were in a motel. Could prolly do search if you're interested and tell the guy I want a commision if you were to take it.
    Saddle up, Effendi. We ride.

  21. #21
    one sick puppy
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    Ha, just moved over to Colorado western slope and the rental is there.
    Saddle up, Effendi. We ride.

  22. #22
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    Well I got my timeshare. One week in mid September in Park City at placed call the Lift Lodge - 2 bedroom condo. Seems to right in town and riding distance from a host of trails per trailforks.

    Plan will be to bring the HT and 7" FR bike. Mostly do XC rides on the HT, but I will probably do at least one day of lift assisted riding on the "big bike". I also saw they have an endurance race in Sundance 9/10 (8hrs of Sundance). That is my first night in Park City so I am thinking about going up early doing that race on Saturday and then driving Park City after the race. Anyway no info on that race, but I have posed the question to Utah forum.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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