Need Help Planning Colorado Biking Trip in November- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Need Help Planning Colorado Biking Trip in November

    I really need help from anyone that has biked in Colorado or lives there.

    I'm planning on spending Wednesday, November 24 through Saturday, November 27 in Colorado (Denver-ish area). I need some help deciding what trails to hit on those three days. Keep in mind that it will almost be December, so try to steer me towards the warmer areas.

    I'm planning on going to the Denver/Fort Collins/Boulder area because I have a friend who lives in Fort Collins. I'd like to say on the east side of Colorado, as I'm driving from St. Louis, MO and want to keep my travel as short as possible. Anywhere within a few hours of that area is fine with me. I plan on getting a hotel each night, so I don't care where it is as long as I don't waste a day driving to get there.

    I'd like to find three trails (or group of trails) that I can ride on each of the three days. I'd like to get a 'full days worht of riding,' which to me means enough so that I probably have to take breaks on the trails, but easy/short enough that I'm not dead for the next day's ride (less than 6 hours at a medium pace). Technically, I'm okay, but nothing 'scary,' no big drops, no marathon climbs, etc. Just typical XC/mountain biking riding, preferably on some of the scenic trails.

    I'd really appreciate if people could give me a handful of candidate choices and a little description of each (and roughly where it's located). Also, let me know what the weather will be like in those areas.

    Thanks,

    Chris
    Last edited by Creelove; 11-03-2004 at 02:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creelove
    I really need help from anyone that has biked in Colorado or lives there.

    I'm planning on spending Wednesday, November 24 through Saturday, November 27 in Colorado (Denver-ish area). I need some help deciding what trails to hit on those three days. Keep in mind that it will almost be December, so try to steer me towards the warmer areas.

    I'm planning on going to the Denver/Fort Collins/Boulder area because I have a friend who lives in Fort Collins. I'd like to say on the east side of Colorado, as I'm driving from St. Louis, MO and want to keep my travel as short as possible. Anywhere within a few hours of that area is fine with me. I plan on getting a hotel each night, so I don't care where it is as long as I don't waste a day driving to get there.

    I'd like to find three trails (or group of trails) that I can ride on each of the three days. I'd like to get a 'full days worht of riding,' which to me means enough so that I probably have to take breaks on the trails, but easy/short enough that I'm not dead for the next day's ride (less than 6 hours at a medium pace). Technically, I'm okay, but nothing 'scary,' no big drops, no marathon climbs, etc. Just typical XC/mountain biking riding, preferably on some of the scenic trails.

    I'd really appreciate if people could give me a handful of candidate choices and a little description of each (and roughly where it's located). Also, let me know what the weather will be like in those areas.

    Thanks,

    Chris
    You might cross post this to the Colorado Front Range board.

    That being said, the weather could anything from snowy and cold to sunny and warm. It's a good chance you'll see sun, though, at least some of the time you're here. I live in the Ft.Collins area. Some of the best trails for what you're looking for reside in the Horsetooth Mountain Park/Lory State Park/Maxwell trail systems. They can be linked if you're ambitious enough, but it makes for quite the epic ride at 5000'-7000'. In Lyons, mabye try Hall Ranch and Heil Ranch back to back, to add some length. For a short loop, Devil's Backbone in Loveland.

    Best bet, see if you can hook up with some locals if you're going to Horsetooth because it can get confusing. You don't want to continue climbing up when you're ready to come down and it's a big park to be lost in. I'm sure they'll be some local rides around Turkey Day...

    Chad

  3. #3
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    I already posted a thread on the Colorado Front board that links to this thread. I figured some people who don't live in Colorado, but have biked there, could give some good input.

    So the Horsetooth Mountain Park/Lory State Park/Maxwell trail systems you talked about. Is that a one day thing or a three day thing? I guess I'm kind of looking to hit three different areas/trails on each of those days. Could you recommend a particular trail from here that would be a good one day ride?

    And thanks for bringing up another point some people forget to mention. Some trails are very confusing to those who haven't ridden them. I do not want to get lost, so the less confusing for the first timer, the better.

  4. #4

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    if you are feeling adventurous, take one day and do what i did. i got up at the crack of dawn, hauled ass to fruita and spent the day there, then drove back. it was a lot of driving, but worth it. white ranch was pretty fun, and seemed like a decent amount of trail, and it wasn't too far out from denver. i haven't ridden the lory state park area, but wanted to. Devil's Backbone was fun and relatively scenic. hell, i haven't ridden a trail out west that i didn't like, well except for moore fun (i did it backwards).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creelove
    I already posted a thread on the Colorado Front board that links to this thread. I figured some people who don't live in Colorado, but have biked there, could give some good input.

    So the Horsetooth Mountain Park/Lory State Park/Maxwell trail systems you talked about. Is that a one day thing or a three day thing? I guess I'm kind of looking to hit three different areas/trails on each of those days. Could you recommend a particular trail from here that would be a good one day ride?

    And thanks for bringing up another point some people forget to mention. Some trails are very confusing to those who haven't ridden them. I do not want to get lost, so the less confusing for the first timer, the better.
    Personally, I think one of the best "taste-test" rides would be to start in Lory State Park, ride the relatively smooth, undulating trail out to the service road of Horsetooth - climb the service road and return into Lory down Mill Creek (right hand loop). I've seen this route in several trail guides and it's a bit of up/down/fast/technical all rolled into one 13 mile ride. It takes a couple of hours to finish. Anything else in Horsetooth, I'd pack a lunch and a map...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creelove
    I'm planning on going to the Denver/Fort Collins/Boulder area because I have a friend who lives in Fort Collins. I'd like to say on the east side of Colorado, as I'm driving from St. Louis, MO and want to keep my travel as short as possible. Anywhere within a few hours of that area is fine with me. I plan on getting a hotel each night, so I don't care where it is as long as I don't waste a day driving to get there.

    I'd like to find three trails (or group of trails) that I can ride on each of the three days. I'd like to get a 'full days worht of riding,' which to me means enough so that I probably have to take breaks on the trails, but easy/short enough that I'm not dead for the next day's ride (less than 6 hours at a medium pace). Technically, I'm okay, but nothing 'scary,' no big drops, no marathon climbs, etc. Just typical XC/mountain biking riding, preferably on some of the scenic trails.
    Lots of awesome XC around Golden. I live in downtown Denver, and within 20-30 minutes I can be at 6 or 7 trails. Compared to St Louis trails (Chubb, Castlewood, Berryman) all the trails here have plenty of sustained climbing. But, what you ride up, you also get to ride down

    Apex is probably my favorite trail around Golden. It has a good mix of climbing, decending, technical and smooth.

    If you could only hit one trail around here, I'd recommend going to Hall Ranch in Lyons. Its about 15 miles north of Boulder. It starts out rolling, then goes into a climb strewn with lots of rock gardens. The climb isn't too long (but its tough), then you get into sweet smooth singletrack that climbs up to a georgeous meadow. The top is a loop so you can do it multiple times if you wish. Its about 8 miles if you do the top loop only once.

    Check out http://www.trailcentral.com . Lots of great front range trail info.

    Also, here's some pics I've taken of some trails around here:
    http://www.pixelninja.net/pics/hall-ranch
    http://www.pixelninja.net/pics/white-ranch
    http://www.pixelninja.net/pics/dakota-ridge
    http://www.pixelninja.net/pics/golden-gate
    http://www.pixelninja.net/pics/apex
    http://www.pixelninja.net/pics/mt-falcon
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  7. #7
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    What is "backwards" on Moore Fun? If you didn't like it one way, you probably won't like it the other way. Longer but easier climb East to West, Longer descent West to East.

  8. #8
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    Horsetooth and Lory park seem pretty popular. I've also seen a lot about Crested Butte. I was there for a ski trip and loved the town. I wouldn't mind makng a trip down there to do some riding.

    So given that all the trails are great in Colorado, which ones have the highest likelihood of warmer/dry weather?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by screampint
    What is "backwards" on Moore Fun? If you didn't like it one way, you probably won't like it the other way. Longer but easier climb East to West, Longer descent West to East.
    i went the non-recommended way, according to reviews at the time. i'm pretty sure i went west to east, and with my skill level at the time, paired with my rental bike with cages, it wasn't much fun on the way up. probably wouldn't be too bad now, but like i said, wasn't fun at the time.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creelove
    Horsetooth and Lory park seem pretty popular. I've also seen a lot about Crested Butte. I was there for a ski trip and loved the town. I wouldn't mind makng a trip down there to do some riding.

    So given that all the trails are great in Colorado, which ones have the highest likelihood of warmer/dry weather?
    The further into the mts you go, the more likely you'll encounter snow/rain. Lyons, Ft. Collins/Loveland, Golden are probably all dry now, but in 3 weeks? Who knows...
    Fruita will likely be dry as well.

    Chad

  11. #11
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    You won't be able to ride Crested Butte that time of year. The high country has already seen a fair amount of snow. All of the above suggestions are good.
    You can't get lost on Hall's & it's a blast.
    All the stuff up here in Ft.Collins is excellent. Devil's Backbone in Loveland is relatively short (about an hr) but is pretty techy and is kind of unique in regards to the terrain & geology. Plus, it's always dry and warm because there are no trees.

  12. #12
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    Uh...

    How about packing the board/skis instead?
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  13. #13
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    Biking = free. Skiing = expensive. Me = college. College = poor.

    Enough said?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creelove
    Biking = free. Skiing = expensive. Me = college. College = poor.
    backcountry="free"

    Quote Originally Posted by Creelove
    Enough said?
    not really, but that's OK, "par for the course".
    oh, nevermind.
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

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