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Thread: Phils World??

  1. #1
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    Phils World??

    Looking to take another MTB outta state trip, and want to know about Phils World. We just did Gooseberry Mesa earlier this year, and now we wanna ride somewhere else.

    What can you guys tell me about it?? Worth the drive?? Should we go somewhere else??

    Also, what is the weather like in the winter?? We're going to Sunriver/Bend next month, and would be looking at maybe October, or November if the weather isn't too bad.
    I need a cool saying to put here.

  2. #2
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    I am not sure if I would drive to it to ride but sure would if passing thru.
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    Phil's World is an absolute blast. It's about 30 miles total of pump track style riding with some Moab-ish slab rocks when the trail gets close to the edge of the mesa. It's high desert, October should be primo. November may be doable too, just keep an eye of the Cortez weather. It is nothing like Gooseberry. All the trails are one-way, but you don't have to ride the entire system as there are cut-through connectors. RIb Cage is a notable favorite section for many riders and can be done as a short loop for multiple quick laps. Depending on how much time you have, you may want to also check out nearby Boggy Draw, Sand Canyon (aka Canyon of the Ancients) or shoot over to Durango for a multitude of options. There's also a great trail system just north of Aztec, NM called Alien Run that's worth a visit. Everything is on Trailforks.

    Here's a sampling from a few years ago: Fandango Durango!!
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    What schillingsworth said^^^. Not really a destination per say but totally worth the stop. It can get slimy after a lot of rain which usually isn't a problem in Oct. Nov can be iffy but it get's ridden year round. 6000' elevation so not quite as warm as say Moab or Sedona.

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    Sure, you can make Durango home base and there's a bunch of riding there too. Early October is probably safer than November but worst case Moab is like 2 hours away and will be guaranteed to be a chaotic shit show.
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  6. #6
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    So, we'd be better off to go somewhere else, and use Phils as a side trip?

    Moab would be no fun, as my GF isn't much of a tech rider. She's still on the hard tail she used to race MBAA last year. Gooseberry Mesa was about as techy as she'd ride again.

    I know nothing of Durango, and Trailforks doesn't really do more than just show the trails, and their color.
    I need a cool saying to put here.

  7. #7
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    There's info on the trail system here: https://www.trails2000.org/

    Durango is really about the high country riding which is fantastic but the low elevation stuff is great too. Telegraph trails and Horse Gulch will be great in October into early Nov. The high country stuff gets shut down by late Sept but can stay open longer if it's a dry fall. The other rides Schillingsworth mentioned in the region are also worthy with a bit of driving. Boggy Draw is great intermediate xc-ish trail network. Tons of hikers at Sand Canyon but it's pretty unique with the ruins and worth a stop.

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    Grab the beverage of your choice and use the search feature. There are plenty of ride reports in those areas to keep you busy for a while
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevhogaz View Post
    So, we'd be better off to go somewhere else, and use Phils as a side trip?
    We've done Cortez and Phil's as a destination a couple of times. We were also able to include Boggy Draw and Canyon of the Ancients. Fun riding.

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    You can check out all the YouTube videos and find trails that would suit both of you.
    I did a 10 day trip around those parts and YT was helpful to see what you're getting into
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbflg View Post
    We've done Cortez and Phil's as a destination a couple of times. We were also able to include Boggy Draw and Canyon of the Ancients. Fun riding.
    While I don't do Phil's as a destination, like dbflg has alluded to, there are other options out that way. I go to Durango every year and will be back in late October. There are plenty of options to ride in Durango and then I do day trips out to Phil's and Boggy Draw. PHIL'S IS THE THE BEST DESIGNED TRAIL SYSTEM I'VE EVER RIDDEN!! 100% singletrack, no hikers, no horses, all directional and very well signed. What more could one possible ask for. The system is laid out like your open hand with the main trail circling the palm of your hand each finger is a 3-5 mile loop that goes goes and comes right back to the main trail. The way it's laid out, you can do every loop and still not miss any of the main trail for the most part. It's a great design. In my opinion, only the Stinky Springs loop gets really techy so your girlfriend might want to skip that section. If you get to the Ledges Loop and you're tired, skip that one. I enjoy it but it's longer and you work a bit.

    Boggy Draw & Italian Canyon are up in the forest above Dolores. It's like riding in the pine forests of Prescott but higher up and with stellar views in a few locations. Low intermediate in difficulty but a high fun factor. Your girlfriend should love this area. Free dry camping if you're into that.

    An area on the west side of Durango that's fun, only crowded on weekends and not too techy is the Dry Fork / Hoffhein's / Junction Creek area. It all runs together and is Dry Fork on one end and Junction Creek on the other via a section of the Colorado Trail. It's all intermediate. I usually go out 25th St in town until it turns into CR204 and dead ends into a parking lot. I ride out Junction Creek, down Hoffhein's, back up Dry Fork and across to Junction Creek for a DH ride back to the car. Maybe 15 miles or so. It has a few challenges but nothing crazy and very easy access to town.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevhogaz View Post
    So, we'd be better off to go somewhere else, and use Phils as a side trip?

    Moab would be no fun, as my GF isn't much of a tech rider. She's still on the hard tail she used to race MBAA last year. Gooseberry Mesa was about as techy as she'd ride again.

    I know nothing of Durango, and Trailforks doesn't really do more than just show the trails, and their color.
    FWIW, Moab has plenty of non-technical trails. Most of the trails off of 313, with the exception of the far eastern end of Mag 7, are pretty tame, low-risk trails.

    If youíre out there in October or November, you shouldnít have too much trouble finding a campsite and relatively little in the way of crowds.


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  13. #13
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    Looks like we're back to going, again!! Thanks for all the info, I really appreciate it!! Late October would work best, if we can swing it financially.

    We've got a travel trailer, so we'd probably stay in either Cortez, or Durango, and try to hit both of those places to ride.
    I need a cool saying to put here.

  14. #14
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    I know nothing of Durango
    One summer, I spent a month riding in Durango, and then I drove to Cortez, and I spent a month riding Phil's World and Bogey Draw on alternate days, and I explored all the trails. I don't think Phil's World is that great, and I thought the trail Rib Cage was pretty lame. It didn't have much flow for me, and I couldn't get air on it, so I thought it was a poorly designed trail--or maybe I just wasn't a good enough rider to appreciate the trail.

    I preferred the Bogey Draw system. It's at a higher elevation than Phil's, so it was cooler, and it was more scenic. I camped in that area, and I got showers at the rec center in Cortez.

    As for Durango, it's pretty intimidating. High elevation, lots of 5+ hour rides, and it's easy to get lost and get in serious trouble, and every trail starts with a brutal climb. There's very little tech in Durango, but if you seek it out you can find it, e.g. Snake Charmer, Raiders Ridge (I got caught in a lighting storm on Raiders Ridge, and I feel lucky to be alive!) My favorite loop was starting at the Dry Fork trailhead and climbing up to High Point on the Colorado Trail, then turning around and descending the Colorado Trail to Hoffheins. Hoffheins had some little drops and some short rougher sections, which I enjoyed.

    I got up into the Durango High Country once. I had planned on doing a no-possibility-of-getting-lost out and back ride, but I met some locals as we leap frogged each other up the climb, and they invited me to follow them on a loop, then they offered to shuttle me back up to my car after the descent dumped us out on the highway. I still had some legs, so I declined and I climbed back up the highway to my car. A memorable ride for me.

    There are many breweries in Durango, which can be accessed from the various trails, and the public library in Durango is spectacular. It has balconies with deck chairs that look out over the sparkling Animas River, and I'll never forget sitting in a deck chair and gazing up at the azure blue skies and watching brilliant white clouds form in the afternoons.

    On the drive between Durango and Ouray during the first snowfall:
    Phils World??-_dsc3861.jpg

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    If you have the time, check out the slick rock in Kayenta, it's worth the visit...

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    If you like a punishing but very rewarding ride do dutch creek in durango..by far the most brutal but rewarding ride. I have a video of it on my utube...animas mountain near town was boring for the most part but had its fun sections.
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    Quote Originally Posted by clockwork View Post
    If you like a punishing but very rewarding ride do dutch creek in durango..by far the most brutal but rewarding ride. I have a video of it on my utube...animas mountain near town was boring for the most part but had its fun sections.
    Agreed on Jones>Pinkerton>Dutch but it's closed for the foreseeable future following the 416 and Burro fires. The entire Hermosa system is closed.

  18. #18
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    Ok, we're not going over to Durango, this trip. Maybe next time we'll do more that direction.

    For riding at Phil's, how much is Single Speed friendly?? I ride 32x19 here in the valley, full rigid bike.
    I need a cool saying to put here.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevhogaz View Post
    For riding at Phil's, how much is Single Speed friendly?? I ride 32x19 here in the valley, full rigid bike.
    Pretty much all of it.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevhogaz View Post
    Ok, we're not going over to Durango, this trip. Maybe next time we'll do more that direction.

    For riding at Phil's, how much is Single Speed friendly?? I ride 32x19 here in the valley, full rigid bike.
    As Schilling said, all of it. Iíve done the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde race there solo SS a couple times. 32x19 will be fine for one lap. HOWEVER...the Stinking Springs loop is the most techy, and has a ton of ledgy riding, both up and down, over square-edged rocks, and it will beat you up on a rigid, but should be no big deal for one time through...


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    As Schilling said, all of it. Iíve done the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde race there solo SS a couple times. 32x19 will be fine for one lap. HOWEVER...the Stinking Springs loop is the most techy, and has a ton of ledgy riding, both up and down, over square-edged rocks, and it will beat you up on a rigid, but should be no big deal for one time through...


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    Ok, I'll take both bikes, then. I never get to ride the SS out of town, since we always go where there's a bunch of tech, or climbing. I'll give it a try up in Cortez!!
    I need a cool saying to put here.

  22. #22
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    There's also a trail system right on the edge of Cortez called the Geer Memorial Open Space Trails. Information here.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post
    There's also a trail system right on the edge of Cortez called the Geer Memorial Open Space Trails. Information here.
    Sweet!! I'll try to get over there, and check that out!!
    I need a cool saying to put here.

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