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  1. #1
    Sin
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    DH In Tucson

    Is there good FR and DH in Tucson area?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sin
    Is there good FR and DH in Tucson area?
    FR? Not sure. What is Free Ride?

    DH? Not sure. I know that there certainly are plenty of "Hills" to go "Down", but these are
    not DH courses. These are trails. Sweet, beautiful, mother-of-God TRAILS! There is no ski-
    lift. OK, there's a ski-lift on top of Mt Lemmon, but I don't think it has ever catered to DH
    riders. Nope. You buy your downhill blasts by paying with uphill grinds. A price I gladly pay!

    But "All Mountain"? Welcome to Tucson! All Mountain all the time!
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    i wanna go...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
    FR? Not sure. What is Free Ride?

    DH? Not sure. I know that there certainly are plenty of "Hills" to go "Down", but these are
    not DH courses. These are trails. Sweet, beautiful, mother-of-God TRAILS! There is no ski-
    lift. OK, there's a ski-lift on top of Mt Lemmon, but I don't think it has ever catered to DH
    riders. Nope. You buy your downhill blasts by paying with uphill grinds. A price I gladly pay!

    But "All Mountain"? Welcome to Tucson! All Mountain all the time!
    Any hints on where to go all mountain?

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    Sin
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    Im intrested in big hit stuff....I have an all mountain bike well not really LOL its a Specialized Demo9 38t front sprocket weighs about 47lbs, but hell I peadled it up hills, but I rather push it. Just wondering. I live in CO but my wife might be getting a job transfer and was wondering what the DH/FR scene was like out there. I see there are plenty of mountains just wondering if there are trails that are more advanced more tech jumps/drops/ stuff like that. Are there any BMX tracks? How about Dirt jumps? I used to ride XC but got burnt out on it. And if I ride xc its all rigid.
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    There is no such "Scene" in Tucson...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sin
    Im intrested in big hit stuff....I have an all mountain bike well not really LOL its a Specialized Demo9 38t front sprocket weighs about 47lbs, but hell I peadled it up hills, but I rather push it. Just wondering what the DH/FR scene was like out there.
    If that is what you are into, I suspect you will find Tucson a big disappointment.

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    THere is no real scene but there are some really good DH Trails in the area Sandomingo, Green MT, and Milagrosa are all prettymuch shuttle only and take a couple hours and there is Prison Camp for about a 10 to 20 min run from top to bottom and probly only takes ten minutes to drive from the end of it to the beggining or you could ride back to the top so you could do multiple runs in one day on it

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn
    If that is what you are into, I suspect you will find Tucson a big disappointment.

    John W.
    Don't you guys do some shuttling down there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ya_Hozna
    Don't you guys do some shuttling down there?
    On Mt. Lemmon, starting at MilePost #19 there is the Green Mountain Trailhead, at MP#7.5 Is the Prison Camp Road/Molino Basin Trailhead, and below MP #6 is the AZ Trail segment that leads up and over to West Springs and hooks up with the La Milagrosa Trail, leading to the bottom of the mountain.

    To ride any and all of these we occasionally shuttle bikes up for "downhill/one-way" only riding, but if you start at Green Mountain you are talking about 5-6 hours of riding all the way to the bottom, and so much of it includes short and medium climbs that most everybody rides 5-6inch travel "heavy trail bikes".

    I am a DH racer, as are many of my friends, and none of us has ever taken our DH rigs up there to ride those trails. There is simply too much pedaling, and not enough big technical stuff to require a bike like that.

    Other than those trails I have mentioned on Mt. Lemmon, I am unaware of anywhere that shuttling is common in the Tucson area, and know of nowhere to ride a DH bike.

    South Mountain in Phoenix on the other hand takes exactly the same amount of time for me to reach from NW Tucson as the trailheads on Mt. Lemmon, and as you know, the northside trails there are a blast on a DH rig.

    If the OP is looking to "go big", Tucson just isn't the place...

    John W.
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    Quote Originally Posted by huckcrashandcry
    THere is no real scene but there are some really good DH Trails in the area Sandomingo, Green MT, and Milagrosa are all prettymuch shuttle only and take a couple hours and there is Prison Camp for about a 10 to 20 min run from top to bottom and probly only takes ten minutes to drive from the end of it to the beggining or you could ride back to the top so you could do multiple runs in one day on it
    Yep, huckcrashandcry named those trails off pretty good. As a matter of fact, hitten up prison camp to La Milagrosa all the way down to the intersection of the main street this weekend 6/3 or 6/4 if anyone is interested. Milagrosa is a nice DH trail but with a little to much of XC riding for a bighit bike, so a 5*5 or 6*6 is good. I use a RM switch SL and it works great. If anyone wants to come along just PM me, later

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn
    On Mt. Lemmon, starting at MilePost #19 there is the Green Mountain Trailhead, at MP#7.5 Is the Prison Camp Road/Molino Basin Trailhead, and below MP #6 is the AZ Trail segment that leads up and over to West Springs and hooks up with the La Milagrosa Trail, leading to the bottom of the mountain.

    To ride any and all of these we occasionally shuttle bikes up for "downhill/one-way" only riding, but if you start at Green Mountain you are talking about 5-6 hours of riding all the way to the bottom, and so much of it includes short and medium climbs that most everybody rides 5-6inch travel "heavy trail bikes".

    I am a DH racer, as are many of my friends, and none of us has ever taken our DH rigs up there to ride those trails. There is simply too much pedaling, and not enough big technical stuff to require a bike like that.

    Other than those trails I have mentioned on Mt. Lemmon, I am unaware of anywhere that shuttling is common in the Tucson area, and know of nowhere to ride a DH bike.

    South Mountain in Phoenix on the other hand takes exactly the same amount of time for me to reach from NW Tucson as the trailheads on Mt. Lemmon, and as you know, the northside trails there are a blast on a DH rig.

    If the OP is looking to "go big", Tucson just isn't the place...

    John W.
    Man, I have to come down there for that 5-6 hour ride. That sounds nice! Is that a "not during the summer" kinda ride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ya_Hozna
    Man, I have to come down there for that 5-6 hour ride. That sounds nice! Is that a "not during the summer" kinda ride?
    You will probably get differing opinions about that.

    The problem is that the Green Mountain Trailhead is at about 7,200 feet, so it is wonderfully comfortable, even in the summer, and even after 2 to 3 hours when you arrive at the Prison Camp road, you are still well above 6,000 feet, so it isn't bad. But by the time you are out on the La Milagrosa ridgeline, and down into the ravine toward the end of the ride, you are down to just above 3,000 feet and the terrain is open and totally exposed, so it is as hot as Phoenix by the time you do the last third of the ride.

    There are two places (the Prison Camp and Molino Basin Campground) where you can leave a food/water cache on your drive up, so you can resupply halfway through the whole ordeal, but I personally have always done this ride in the fall or spring, and probably would not find it very attractive to do during the summer, though obviously some guys who are a lot tougher than I am may give it a go this weekend.

    A large group of my Phoenix buds come down here and do this ride at least once, usually twice a year and think it is well worth the travel and effort.

    I shattered my collarbone racing at Angel Fire recently and am off the bike for the near future, but come October let me know if you are interested! We'll get a group together...
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn
    You will probably get differing opinions about that.

    The problem is that the Green Mountain Trailhead is at about 7,200 feet, so it is wonderfully comfortable, even in the summer, and even after 2 to 3 hours when you arrive at the Prison Camp road, you are still well above 6,000 feet, so it isn't bad. But by the time you are out on the La Milagrosa ridgeline, and down into the ravine toward the end of the ride, you are down to just above 3,000 feet and the terrain is open and totally exposed, so it is as hot as Phoenix by the time you do the last third of the ride.

    There are two places (the Prison Camp and Molino Basin Campground) where you can leave a food/water cache on your drive up, so you can resupply halfway through the whole ordeal, but I personally have always done this ride in the fall or spring, and probably would not find it very attractive to do during the summer, though obviously some guys who are a lot tougher than I am may give it a go this weekend.

    A large group of my Phoenix buds come down here and do this ride at least once, usually twice a year and think it is well worth the travel and effort.

    I shattered my collarbone racing at Angel Fire recently and am off the bike for the near future, but come October let me know if you are interested! We'll get a group together...
    I'm on the list, so I'll know when the rest of the group plans the ride. I just did Flag with the group for the first time, so I have to continue broadening my riding horizons! Hope the shoulder heals well!

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    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn
    You will probably get differing opinions about that.
    naw.
    you pretty much hit the nail on the head.
    heal up.
    boy, this seems forever ago.

  16. #16
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    Targeted advertisements! It's so funny -- there are ads on the side for Papa John's pizza!! Damn, I'm getting hungry already!

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    Quote Originally Posted by YuriB
    naw.
    you pretty much hit the nail on the head.
    heal up.
    boy, this seems forever ago.
    Thanks for the link Yuri, that ride was a CLASSIC! And it does seem like years ago.

    One thing that hasn't changed is the drastic consequence of a moments inattention or bad judgement. The surgeon that looked at my left shoulder XRAY said, "This was a high velocity impact wasn't it?" I responded something about how that was the point of DH racing, and he said, "you EXPLODED the middle segment of your collarbone!"

    It was an unpleasant word to hear associated with a bone fracture, but in the end he still thinks it will all be good in the standard six to eight weeks.

    It was killing me to read the thread on Sunrise opening this weekend and wish so badly I could have been there...but, oh well!

    Thanks for the well wishes.

    John W.
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    I forgot one trail that could be shuttled, Soldiers Trail is a pretty fun one, it starts somewhere around the prison camp trailhead and says that no bikes are allowd but you probably won't get cought

  19. #19
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by huckcrashandcry
    I forgot one trail that could be shuttled, Soldiers Trail is a pretty fun one, it starts somewhere around the prison camp trailhead and says that no bikes are allowd but you probably won't get cought
    I'd say there's a better chance of getting cought [sic] on that trail than any other wilderness trail in the Tucson area. Quite simply, the FS knows it is a common one for people to poach and they do have someone that gives tickets.

    They are helping us connect Butterfly->Green Mtn->Bug Springs->Prison Camp->Grosa in "good faith" hoping it will deter poaches like this. Not sure it'll work, but I'm all for the new trails.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by huckcrashandcry
    I forgot one trail that could be shuttled, Soldiers Trail is a pretty fun one, it starts somewhere around the prison camp trailhead and says that no bikes are allowd but you probably won't get cought
    Given that there are enough nice quality trails on the same mountain that ARE open to MTB, I think it is pretty irresponsible to post a suggestion that somebody poach one of the trails that is off limits to MTB.

    As Scott points out, a little cooperation with the FS goes a long way toward benefiting all of us. Why screw it up?

    John W.
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    Dang it...

    I have yet to find Bug Springs.

    We'll be in TUC again this Oct. We'll be doing the mini-epic again as well.

    Can someone please post the mile-markers for the start and end of Bug Springs? Or maybe
    use GoogleEarth and post the actual GPS coordinates of the trail head and tail?

    Thanks in advance.

    BTW - just got back from a sweet CA mtb vacation. I have some helmetcam vids on the web.
    Want links?
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  22. #22
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    Elusive Bug Spring Trail.....

    This should help finding the upper trail head location:
    http://www.singletrack.us/gallery/di...album=59&pos=0
    The section of trail from Bear Canyon picnic area up to the first saddle is not well defined and will require bushwhacking and dragging you bike your bike up to the saddle (Pt 4 to Pt 5 on map). Once you get to the saddle look for a faint trail that drops into the drainage and then follow the drainage to point 6 and look form the trail climbing out. There will be a few bike portages along the way. They have been working on the lower sections of Bug Spring from the lower trail head where there is a parking area. Here are the coordinate for the points 4 and 5 on the map.

    Point 4: 3222.343, 11041.488
    Point 5: 3222.173, 11041.457

    I plan on geting back down there this fall to ride the old Bug Spring trail before if gets rerouted. Combineing Green Mountain, Bug Spring and La Milagrosa in one ride makes for an all day epic adventure! Good Times

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
    I have yet to find Bug Springs.

    We'll be in TUC again this Oct. We'll be doing the mini-epic again as well.

    Can someone please post the mile-markers for the start and end of Bug Springs? Or maybe
    use GoogleEarth and post the actual GPS coordinates of the trail head and tail?

    Thanks in advance.

    BTW - just got back from a sweet CA mtb vacation. I have some helmetcam vids on the web.
    Want links?

  23. #23
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    Thanks!
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    Resurrecting an old thread for the same reason as the original poster - and yes I found this via the 'visitor/newbie' thread at the top of the forum. My wife is considering a job in Tucson next year, and just wanting to know if there has been any development of DH/FR type trails in the area?

    Seems there is a split in the original responses between xc purists and a few souls who may have a few nice shuttles in the area. I love xc trail rides but I have to live somewhere I can consistently ride my big bike as well. I've checked azfreeride.com as well, and nothing there about Tucson either. Thanks for any help...

  25. #25
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    As far as I know, there still isn't any/much DH stuff in Tucson.
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  26. #26
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    Plenty of technical stuff in the OP

    Quote Originally Posted by Summit
    Resurrecting an old thread for the same reason as the original poster - and yes I found this via the 'visitor/newbie' thread at the top of the forum. My wife is considering a job in Tucson next year, and just wanting to know if there has been any development of DH/FR type trails in the area?

    Seems there is a split in the original responses between xc purists and a few souls who may have a few nice shuttles in the area. I love xc trail rides but I have to live somewhere I can consistently ride my big bike as well. I've checked azfreeride.com as well, and nothing there about Tucson either. Thanks for any help...
    Just nothing dedicated to DH shuttling or slope style riding. There are great technical "all mountain" trails that we ride 40lb plus FR/heavy duty trail bikes like Uzzi's and Switches but nothing to keep the likes of an M-3 in use. Keep in mind you can also get by quite well on these same trails with a lighter bike, as most folks do, but there are more than a few big bikes in use down in Tucson.

    All the core trails involve some degree of climbing, so a climbable light DH/FR/heavy duty trailbike works best. There is also SoMo in up in PHX (1 hour), which has a heavy DH scene. There is other DH riding within 4-6 hours driving.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit
    Resurrecting an old thread for the same reason as the original poster - and yes I found this via the 'visitor/newbie' thread at the top of the forum. My wife is considering a job in Tucson next year, and just wanting to know if there has been any development of DH/FR type trails in the area?

    Seems there is a split in the original responses between xc purists and a few souls who may have a few nice shuttles in the area. I love xc trail rides but I have to live somewhere I can consistently ride my big bike as well. I've checked azfreeride.com as well, and nothing there about Tucson either. Thanks for any help...
    Nope, no changes at all. FYI, the shuttles only remove your ride up the Catalina Hwy. You still gotta go up and down on the trails.
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    if you find the right people you'll find the right trails.

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    WHAT THE HELL? No downhilling in Tucson? There are some big arse mountains.. The freeriders need to get busy!! We have smaller mountains here and we have a dh area here in hell paso tx.. I was wanting to go over there to shuttle and do some street.. I cant believe there is NO shuttle runs off of mt. lemmon..

  30. #30
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    We just don't have the demographic for it and the national parks wouldn't let anyone build such a course around here. As everyone said before, the only small downhill stuff requires pedaling. Milagrosa is supposed to be very technical but I don't think you'd find huge air or big drops out there. Tucson is great for XC and road biking.

    For DH, you'd have to hit Phx. I could be wrong, but last I heard, they're building a lot out at Sunrise, Whistler style.
    John

  31. #31
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    Geography and bounderies...........

    Quote Originally Posted by mountaingoat111
    WHAT THE HELL? No downhilling in Tucson? There are some big arse mountains.. The freeriders need to get busy!! We have smaller mountains here and we have a dh area here in hell paso tx.. I was wanting to go over there to shuttle and do some street.. I cant believe there is NO shuttle runs off of mt. lemmon..

    .....are the prime reason for the OP's lack of dedicated DH shuttles. This same thing also makes shuttling off of MT. Lemmon a logistical challenge if riding anything more than Molino/Milagrosa (for most MTB'ers).

    Now with that said, if your willing to pedal up hill a bit and do some logistical groundwork, there are plentiful super gnarly techincal DH trails and FR routes/areas available.

    I recommend you look into Green MT/Bugs Spring/Molino Basin/Milagrosa or Aspen Draw/Red Ridge/CDO East/Charolau Gap/Cherry Tank/High 50 routes. Those would offer a full days riding and excellent big bike riding, but you will have to pedal a bit to link the trails into shuttleable routes. The pay off is sick.

    There is some DJ'ing at Scorpion out Reddington Pass way and some great FR/TB to be had out Golder Ranch way as well as the local urban scene.

    Bring it.

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    Sunrise it is.. I will try to hit it up this year.. thank you.. peace

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunDog
    Just nothing dedicated to DH shuttling or slope style riding. There are great technical "all mountain" trails that we ride 40lb plus FR/heavy duty trail bikes like Uzzi's and Switches but nothing to keep the likes of an M-3 in use. Keep in mind you can also get by quite well on these same trails with a lighter bike, as most folks do, but there are more than a few big bikes in use down in Tucson.

    All the core trails involve some degree of climbing, so a climbable light DH/FR/heavy duty trailbike works best. There is also SoMo in up in PHX (1 hour), which has a heavy DH scene. There is other DH riding within 4-6 hours driving.
    Hey thanks for the legit response SunDog and ruckus, I appreciate it. I don't mind pedaling a big bike at all to get to the goods...great to hear it. My big bikes always have 2 rings on em.

    I too am shocked that with the size mountains yall have down there, there's not a HUGE DH scene. Is Mt. Lemmon a wilderness area or something?

  34. #34
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    Aspen draw anyone?

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned Aspen Draw.... While I admit it is short(10 mins top to bottom) it is a fun dh trail that can be done on a hard tail(if you want?) but is super fun on a dh monster. Just head up the road past the ski valley till you get to an opening and you will see a lot on the left. Park, go past the gate until you get to the ski lift. At the ski lift you will see a utility building, the trailhead is between the lift and the building. Just follow the trail for some dh fun. It is technical enough to get your blood pumping with some water bars, switchbacks, one rocky tech section and lots of loamy soil. Take a truck and shuttle it all day and then grab some brats and a beer at the iron door. It is totally worth it. I think it is understated that most of the trails mentioned in this thread while fun and fast in some sections, are NOT dh trails and entail A LOT of climbing. Climbing that my 200 pound ass cannot climb on a dh rig. It's hard enough on my enduro!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountaingoat111
    WHAT THE HELL? No downhilling in Tucson? There are some big arse mountains.. The freeriders need to get busy!! We have smaller mountains here and we have a dh area here in hell paso tx.. I was wanting to go over there to shuttle and do some street.. I cant believe there is NO shuttle runs off of mt. lemmon..

    Agreed! Sounds like people need to start building. When was the last time the ski lift was open? Maybe they could make more money catering to bikers.
    If you're looking for shuttles, check out the Candy Mtn thread. or check out the South Mtn shuttle threads on Sat and Sun.

  36. #36
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    Scorpion Trail

    On Redington Pass at the first site where locos shoot their guns goes down the hill from there. Only met a teenager just after he rode it so don't know much about it.
    agmtb

  37. #37
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    The bottom of Aspen Draw has been washed out... there are 2-3 washed out sections that you have to dismount and walk (at the bottom of Aspen, past the turn off to the ski lift). IMHO, it is way to short for shuttling, although I have seen a few people shuttling it while I have been going up, but then again this is coming from the dumbarse that climbs up trails on Lemmon.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by azepicriderandrunner
    The bottom of Aspen Draw has been washed out... there are 2-3 washed out sections that you have to dismount and walk (at the bottom of Aspen, past the turn off to the ski lift). IMHO, it is way to short for shuttling, although I have seen a few people shuttling it while I have been going up, but then again this is coming from the dumbarse that climbs up trails on Lemmon.
    C they could make Aspen Draw a little more Dh oriented if they puts some jumps over those wash outs so I see that as a good thing.

  39. #39
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    Not so...

    While it is true that it was washed out. Forest service came in and filled it all in. Top to bottom fun without dismounting. Check it out!!

    Quote Originally Posted by azepicriderandrunner
    The bottom of Aspen Draw has been washed out... there are 2-3 washed out sections that you have to dismount and walk (at the bottom of Aspen, past the turn off to the ski lift). IMHO, it is way to short for shuttling, although I have seen a few people shuttling it while I have been going up, but then again this is coming from the dumbarse that climbs up trails on Lemmon.

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    Aspen draw is sweet, but it also has tons of hikers. Try to go on weekdays if you can, otherwise be super careful on the fast sections. If you see any dumb-asses cutting switch-backs, give them a nice ass-whooping for me.

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