Cuyuna versus Booleg Canyon- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 31 of 31
  1. #1
    bhc
    bhc is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    443

    Cuyuna versus Booleg Canyon

    I moved to MN this last spring from far western Arizona. I had made mention of Bootleg Canyon in southern Nevada in a thread.

    snowboy76 asked me in that thread,

    "Ride Cuyuna and let me know what you think of it versus Bootleg Canyon. "

    I like it more. Bootleg Canyon has great riding. But allow me to give the reasons why I like Cuyuna better.

    Greater variety in trails.
    Super place to take a novice. Bootleg is not for the new rider.
    Shorter climbs. (remember this is my review, others may rather have long climbs)
    Bobsled. I was like a kid at the amusement park going on his favorite ride over and over again.
    The terrain. Hardly any dusty conditions on the trails, and that after a month with very little rain. And though there are the rocks, it isn't all rock, so that if you do crash, you may not have to deal with some nasty gash. Also you aren't that concerned that you are going to slash your tires on the rocky trails.
    SHADE. I was there with temps in the 80's, and dew points in the 50's. It was wonderful not to have the sun blazing down on you.

    This place is the jewel of MN off road riding. Well worth the drive. Some of the riding reminded me of southern California riding in the fall, the lower elevation of Orange County. Some of it reminded me of riding in Spokane, WA. No, there aren't any long descents of miles and miles like the west has, but as I said, you don't have to climb for miles and miles either. But even though the climbs are short, you are rewarded to some great flow going back down.

    Make the trip up there before the snow falls. I know I will be up there again this fall.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    180
    Glad you liked it!

    I'm surprised you didn't mention Sandhog along with Bobsled. For flow per a mile both those trails are the best. Love the climb and descent on both.

    I'm sort of shocked at how "stealth" Cuyuna has remained this summer. There are always plenty of people on the trails, but most of them are MORC members, locals, or heard about it from a friend. I had hoped that MTBR would be filled to the brim with "I rode Cuyuna" posts.

    Did you take a dip in the mine lakes after your ride. Nothing is better than getting sweaty on the trail and taking a cannonball off the Portsmouth boat launch dock.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    4,972
    "I rode Cuyuna"

    I went in with too much of an expectation and thus was let down. Now I'm not saying the trail sucked, far from it. It was an awesome trail, I just expected too much. The ups were great, and so were the downs. The only thing I did not like was constant rolling hills. it was cool for the first 5 miles, but when the next 20 did the same thing, my weak legs couldn't take it.
    With that said, I still want to take a 2nd trip up there before the snow comes and when the foliage has fallen and the leaves have turned. That way I can get a 2nd chance to see trail for what it is.

  4. #4
    bhc
    bhc is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    443
    Yeah, I really liked Sandhog too. Plenty to stay busy with those trails. Its a good work out, thanks for the tip on the swim, will remember for next year when its warm again.

    In response to the-one1 comment about the rolling hills, just keep riding, you will get stronger and enjoy those rollers also. I rode for about 6 hours and then my body told me it was time to quit. Can't wait to get back up there.
    Last edited by bhc; 09-13-2011 at 05:26 PM.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    4,972
    True about the rolling hills. A new trail opened up in MN (Carver Lake) that has rolling hills just like Cuyuna and I enjoyed them since I "got" how to ride them correctly. So with that knowledge in mind, I want to hit up Cuyuna again with more ooomph and technique.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    True about the rolling hills. A new trail opened up in MN (Carver Lake) that has rolling hills just like Cuyuna and I enjoyed them since I "got" how to ride them correctly. So with that knowledge in mind, I want to hit up Cuyuna again with more ooomph and technique.
    Most new trail in MN will have these rolling hills moving forward. They are called grade reversals and they are a great way for trail builders to combat water damage. Water has less distance to travel on a trail tread before it is forced off the tread by the grade reversal. Many people actually feel that the grade reversals add fun, flow, and interest to a normally boring trail also. New trails at Cuyuna, Elm Creek, Carver Lake, and Lebanon Hills are built this way.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    303
    bhc,

    Glad to hear you like it! I think we are pretty lucky in the Midwest with trails like Cuyuna, CAMBA, Levis Trow, and Copper Harbor in our neck of the woods, plus good metro riding in the Minneapolis area. Not too bad for the mostly flat fly over land!

    I'm heading for Cuyuna and the CAMBA trails the last week of September. Should be a fun trip!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    70
    I'm at the Portsmouth Campground as I write this; I was/am a little disappointed with what I found at Cuyuna as I expected more variety and difficulty. Don't take me wrong these are amazing trails but did not live up to the hype of what I read before coming here. The Cuyuna trails are very fun, kind of like a very large pump track where you have to pedal occasionally. They are not challenging at all in anyway. Great for someone wanting to learn and experience some fun riding but just not challenging enough. I feel that Bootleg Canyon on the other hand has something for everyone.n Yes, there is more climbing but again not that extreme or difficult. I might add that I'm an old guy that rides a fully rigid single speed...well I guess I did have a full susp geared 29er at Bootleg but there it is more needed; not at all at Cuyuna.

  9. #9
    bhc
    bhc is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    443
    Well I agree Bootleg has more to offer for the airborne downhill crowd, but I just don't think it has that much to offer for the novice. I once took a new rider there, he was winded badly after the climb up to mother from the parking lot west of the veterans building. And then was rather tentative coming back down.

    I too am an old guy (48) riding single speed, and after 33 miles of riding at Cuyuna thought it was a good challenging workout. Of course everyone's skill level will determine was is considered challenging.

    They are two different animals. But since now I am 1800 miles from Bootleg, and 90 from Cuyuna, I am going to give my vote for Cuyuna.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    70
    bhc...At Bootleg, I feel that the lower trails towards town seemed good for a new rider to get a good experience but as you said likely not as much fun for them as the trails at Cuyuna.

    OK, what month is your birthday as I want to see who's older as I am also 48; b-day August 27th 1963.

    I guess I wasn't very clear; you surely can get a good workout on the Cuyuna trails. I was just expecting more from the things that I read and viewed about the trails though having just ridden all the trails in Copper Harbor a week before may have skewed my feelings on what I consider challenging. Copper Harbor trails are at the top of the spectrum for both fun and challenging. The Flow trail in Copper Harbor rivals some of the IMBA epic trails that I've ridden out west. If you have not been there...GO!
    Last edited by sugX; 09-15-2011 at 09:25 AM.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    303
    I think it all comes down to what people like. I feel lucky living in Minneapolis. I have good metro rides close to home and then I have nice quick destinations like the CAMBA trails, Cuyuna, and Levis Trow. All trails are different. Every rider is different. The overall response to Cuyuna has been largely positive. Even more extreme riders seem to have a great time on the runs out there. It is my favorite destination in the Midwest, but I am not an extreme rider, just like to have fun. I guess we are lucky to have the choice locally. I loved Copper Harbor myself. Cuyuna and Copper are my two favorites in the Midwest. Because of my riding style, I do like Cuyuna a tad better though, plus the 2 hour drive instead of 8 helps out.

    Also, keep in mind that Cuyuna is a work in progress. There are plans to add more technical stuff over time and hopefullly more trails. The ultimate goal is 50 miles of trail someday. Hopefully it happens.

    I would guess that 95 out of 100 riders come back pretty amazed with Cuyuna from my discussions in the MN riding scene. Hans Rey and Mike Van Abbel from IMBA have ridden all over the world and they also think Cuyuna is world class, so most people do really enjoy it, so if you are curious, check it out. You will most likely like it.

    If not, there are great alternatives close by. We are very lucky in the Midwest and it is only getting better!

  12. #12
    Dirt Huffer
    Reputation: AC/BC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,751
    If Cuyuna isn't hard enough you can always try gapping the rollers or biking faster to spice it up.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    180
    Everyone likes different things.

    Cuyuna is setup as "fast XC with technical features". If that isn't what you expected, I can see why it would be disappointing.

    For me, proud member of the Both Wheels on the Ground Club, Cuyuna is more than enough challenge. Go faster and try all the B-lines and the Playground (Yawkey). I'm sure you will find it very fun.

  14. #14
    bhc
    bhc is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    443
    sugX

    August 12, 1963. Got you beat.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    70
    bhc; beat again by a mere 2 weeks...I can never get the win!

    As much as my friends and coworkers like to call me a H8TR; I want to clarify my post. CUYUNA TRAILS ROCK AND ARE EXTREMELY FUN TO RIDE! I will be back and if you ride a mountain bike you should not miss going to and enjoy these amazing trails.

    MY expectations of things from what I had read was not what these trails turned out to be; my error but not these trails as they are great.

    I spoke for a good while with one of the local planners for the trails systems here in Cuyuna. The plan they are laying out is wonderful and ambitious; as previously stated, with a goal of at least 50 miles of trail in the short term future. This is very ambitious plan but with what they have done so far they should meet their goal well and we all will benefit from that. I wish I lived closer (9 hours away) so that I could volunteer my hands and back for the cause.

  16. #16
    Dirt Huffer
    Reputation: AC/BC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,751
    Does anyone know how late in the year Cuyuna will be open for riding? I heard the camp grounds close sometime in early Oct. Does this mean the trail will be closing as well?

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    180
    Per the DNR website:

    Visitor Alert!
    The last day to ride the mountain bike trails is Thursday, November 3rd. The water and shower building in Portsmouth Campground will be shut off and closed for the season on Monday, October 3rd. Porstmouth Campground will close for the season on Friday, November 4th.

  18. #18
    altazo
    Guest
    Apples and Oranges.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SeaHag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    388
    Cuyuna is amazing and fun...but coming from Mankato, I'd rather just drive the hour to Lebenon Hills and tear it up for a lap with some extra time spent in the new skill development/beginner section and head home.

    I made it up to Cuyuna twice this year...gonna shoot for 3 times next season. Really looking forward to more open jump lines to be added. My biggest beef with Cuyuna was it seems everywhere I would like to catch some nice air, there is a turn or tree just a few yards from the landing area causing me to lock up the brakes. It would be nice if some of the new stuff built has open sight lines of the landing zone with plenty of room to maximize the momentum coming off the landing instead of having to immediately decelerate.

    My favorite part of Lebenon Hills has become the end of the beginner trail with the large berms, jump line and flowing through all the grade reversals out to the parking lot. You can pump those grade reversals for some small air and gain so much momentum that I have almost flown off the trail in the curves without a single pedal stroke.

  20. #20
    altazo
    Guest
    To be honest, I suspect the OP is one of the few people in the world who has ridden both Cuyuna and Bootleg.

    Bootleg Canyon is an amazing network of singletrack located on a desert peak in Boulder City, NV (right next to the Hoover Dam.) It's especially noted for it's full-blown world cup level DH trails. These are some of the most relentless and tough trails in the world. It's super fun, but requires a full on DH rig and continued focus. The rock is super sharp and it's easy to destroy tires and fork stanchions, let alone your flesh.

    There are also some good XC trails there, including an IMBA "epic", but the area is clearly known for it's DH options.

    I haven't been to Cuyuna, but it looks to be an amazing network of machine and man made trails that make the best advantage of the local landscape. I suspect some flow may be found there. I also envision lots of trees and natural bodies of water (both of which you're not gonna see at Bootleg.) I love this kind of riding, and it's super cool areas like this are popping up in some lesser known mountain bike areas like the upper midwest.

    Both areas have their benefits, I'm sure. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't...

    bootlegcanyon.net | Mountain Bike Downhill & Cross Country Trail System

    Here is a photo of the mountain the DH trails descend:
    https://reviews.mtbr.com/wp-content/...02/bootleg.jpg
    Last edited by altazo; 09-27-2011 at 03:05 PM.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    53
    Quote Originally Posted by altazo View Post
    Apples and Oranges.
    Quote Originally Posted by altazo View Post
    To be honest, I suspect the OP is one of the few people in the world who has ridden both Cuyuna and Bootleg.

    Bootleg Canyon is an amazing network of singletrack located on a desert peak in Boulder City, NV (right next to the Hoover Dam.) It's especially noted for it's full-blown world cup level DH trails. These are some of the most relentless and tough trails in the world. It's super fun, but requires a full on DH rig and continued focus. The rock is super sharp and it's easy to destroy tires and fork stanchions, let alone your flesh.

    There are also some good XC trails there, including an IMBA "epic", but the area is clearly known for it's DH options.

    I haven't been to Cuyuna, but it looks to be an amazing network of machine and man made trails that make the best advantage of the local landscape. I suspect some flow may be found there. I also envision lots of trees and natural bodies of water (both of which you're not gonna see at Bootleg.) I love this kind of riding, and it's super cool areas like this are popping up in some lesser known mountain bike areas like the upper midwest.

    Both areas have their benefits, I'm sure. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't...
    More like Oranges and Grapefruits IMO.
    I've done both and, actually, I bet quite a few industry people from around here have likely done the IB demos at Bootleg and ridden Cuyuna.

    Sure, BL has no trees with more relentless terrain and the hardcore DH but if you dropped Cuyuna in the desert as an extension of the Caldera loop, I don't think it would feel out of place. The lakes right at Cuyuna Rec Area are actually mine pits - man-made - and Bootleg does have a pretty impressive man-made lake nearby - there's even a bike path down to it, isn't there.

  22. #22
    altazo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by taiter View Post
    More like Oranges and Grapefruits IMO.
    I've done both and, actually, I bet quite a few industry people from around here have likely done the IB demos at Bootleg and ridden Cuyuna.

    Sure, BL has no trees with more relentless terrain and the hardcore DH but if you dropped Cuyuna in the desert as an extension of the Caldera loop, I don't think it would feel out of place. The lakes right at Cuyuna Rec Area are actually mine pits - man-made - and Bootleg does have a pretty impressive man-made lake nearby - there's even a bike path down to it, isn't there.
    I mean, yeah, mountain biking is mountain biking and it's all good no matter where you're doing it. But I can't think of a more different landscape to the northwoods of wisconsin and minnesota than the desert of southern nevada. Can you?

    I forgot about interbike. I would imagine there is a fair number of minnesota shop people who have ridden both areas. But like I said, trails like Caldera, while super fun would not be the best representation of the trails Bootleg is famous for.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    53
    Quote Originally Posted by altazo View Post
    I mean, yeah, mountain biking is mountain biking and it's all good no matter where you're doing it. But I can't think of a more different landscape to the northwoods of wisconsin and minnesota than the desert of southern nevada. Can you?

    I forgot about interbike. I would imagine there is a fair number of minnesota shop people who have ridden both areas. But like I said, trails like Caldera, while super fun would not be the best representation of the trails Bootleg is famous for.
    As a whole, yes, polar opposites, but if you strip away the trees, and disregard the pure DH parts of Bootleg, they are quite similar. Cuyuna is not typical northwoods Minnesota. It is an abandoned iron mine and the trails are laid out on the slag piles which are essentially the rock that was blasted away to get at the ore. It varies between jagged rocks, gritty clay and loose sandy surface.

  24. #24
    altazo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by taiter View Post
    As a whole, yes, polar opposites, but if you strip away the trees, and disregard the pure DH parts of Bootleg, they are quite similar. Cuyuna is not typical northwoods Minnesota. It is an abandoned iron mine and the trails are laid out on the slag piles which are essentially the rock that was blasted away to get at the ore. It varies between jagged rocks, gritty clay and loose sandy surface.
    In that respect, the skiing at Buck Hill, Mn is also very similar to skiing in Colorado. I mean, if you strip away the extra 3,000' of vertical rise, 400" of snow and the extra 3 months of the season they're pretty much exactly the same. After all, skiing on snow is skiing on snow, right?

    I am getting the impression that you probably haven't ridden the plethora of DH trails at Bootleg during your Interbike visit(s)?
    Last edited by altazo; 10-09-2011 at 01:14 PM.

  25. #25
    bhc
    bhc is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    443
    Jumping back in as the one who started this, I agree with altazo, there is nothing like Bootleg for DH riding in MN. At least nothing that I have seen yet. You need mountains and not just hills. Nothing against Cuyuna, but it isn't mountains, just hills. But fun hills.

  26. #26
    altazo
    Guest
    Here are some youtube vids that give a good perspective of the riding Bootleg is famous for:

    Bootleg Canyon Ginger Lower Section - YouTube
    Bootleg Canyon Ginger Middle Section - YouTube

    I don't mean to come off as some guys who thinks he's a rad DHer who couldn't possibly have fun in Minnesota. Quite the opposite, I haven't raced DH since 2005 or owned a DH bike since 2008. When I did, I would visit Bootleg 4 or 5 times a year. Now that I'm primarily doing XC/AM riding I hardly ever get down there. Their XC trails simply don't warrant the 7 hour drive. My time is better spent visiting areas like Fruita or St. George. I would LOVE to check out the trails a Cuyuna. I may get to next summer as I'm traveling to the U.P. for a wedding. I'm also really excited to finally explore Copper Harbor.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    70
    Quote Originally Posted by altazo View Post
    I may get to next summer as I'm traveling to the U.P. for a wedding. I'm also really excited to finally explore Copper Harbor.
    That would make for a sweet midwest trip!

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    123
    Quote Originally Posted by sugX View Post
    That would make for a sweet midwest trip!
    You could really put a sweet trip together without leaving the northern areas if you can find the time. Cuyuna, Camba - Alpha, Levis, Nine Mile, Underdown, Smokin' Spoke, all of Copper Harbor, Marquette. You would have a great sense of the scene of mountain biking in the midwest these days, you would be sore as heck, and a smile you could not wipe off your face You can't go wrong at any of these places.
    Oh to have unlimited free time.....someday, someday.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    53
    Quote Originally Posted by altazo View Post
    In that respect, the skiing at Buck Hill, Mn is also very similar to skiing in Colorado. I mean, if you strip away the extra 3,000' of vertical rise, 400" of snow and the extra 3 months of the season they're pretty much exactly the same. After all, skiing on snow is skiing on snow, right?

    I am getting the impression that you probably haven't ridden the plethora of DH trails at Bootleg during your Interbike visit(s)?
    I've never been to Interbike. I spent a day at Bootleg with some friends during a trip to see the supercross season finals a few years ago.

    I'm not arguing the about the DH. It is completely different, and I even said disregard the dh. I did not get to run the DH stuff at the top but I did hit Skyline which I also wouldn't compare to Cuyuna except maybe a couple short technical B-lines.

    What I did say is that if you put Cuyuna side by side with the Caldera loop or any of the lower trails, it wouldn't feel out of place. You don't have to agree but if you are basing your opinion on other MN/WI experience, it doesn't hold up. Cuyuna is more similar to Bootleg (XC) than anything else in MN.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by altazo View Post
    Here are some youtube vids that give a good perspective of the riding Bootleg is famous for
    Holy cow, my gonads just retracted...

    It would be possible for Cuyuna to get so trails very similar to those in the video though they will have to wait on future expansion. The "overlook" hill has terrain as steep and as rocky as was shown in the videos. So it would be possible to create some trails capable of causing serious testicular displacement.

    Cuyuna is what it is: fast and flowy cross-country riding with lots of b-lines. If that isn't your thing, Cuyuna might be a disappointment. Otherwise, its an amazing trail.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    478
    Well I thought I'd throw my 2cents in for what it's worth. First off I've never rode bootleg but it definately looks fun from all the videos I've seen but for what it's worth the Nevada State Champ DH race was at Bootleg and the guy that got second was on a Specialized Enduro which is a All Mountain bike (Lee Likes Bikes) just a fun tid bit. Cuyuna is what it is and comparing it to the any where out west is apples to oranges. It is epic for MN and it very fast and very flowy but we just don't have the elevation to compete with that and I will also admit I was a little let down right away I was hoping for some technical boosty stuff after hearing about all the sweet down hills there were but I quickly forgot about the disapointment after having a perma-smile put on my face by how fast and flowy it is. That being said they could definately add some Double black level trails out there with some serious technical stuff. Like using the double black play ground as an example- do something like but down hill! Now that would be fun. booters, fast dh rock gardens, skinnies ect..
    the terrain is there so use it. Overall it's probably the best trail in MN and I live 3 mins from Lebanon and ride there every day and Battle Creek on the others.
    If I want seriously gnarly stuff I go visit my parents in SD. You don't have to go to1800miles away to Bootleg to get scary DH go ride the French Creek Section of the centennial trail, and that is suppose to be XC, I blew my fork out on one of the down hills and it has 6inch of travel. That's what I call XC! or go do Crows Peak or the Pheonix.
    And I will definately keep going to Cuyuna! I hope the rest of Northern MN took note at what can be done as there is so much amazing terrain up north that could be epic!

Similar Threads

  1. Cuyuna Riding
    By snowboy76 in forum Minnesota, Wisconsin
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-15-2011, 06:19 AM
  2. Squirrel Fest in Cuyuna!
    By DmacBmac in forum Minnesota, Wisconsin
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-10-2011, 01:21 PM
  3. Cuyuna MTB Trail Map
    By snowboy76 in forum Minnesota, Wisconsin
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-30-2011, 09:05 PM
  4. Great Article About Cuyuna
    By snowboy76 in forum Minnesota, Wisconsin
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-13-2011, 08:09 PM
  5. Cuyuna Videos
    By snowboy76 in forum Minnesota, Wisconsin
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-06-2010, 04:12 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.