Arizona to Colorado-
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: kubo's Avatar
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    Sep 2009

    Arizona to Colorado

    We will be doing a trip from July 18-24 and will be mainly riding Sol Vista and Winter Park but I heard of a lot of people liking the Created Butte area. I am mainly a downhiller but I don't mind some pedaling, as long as if its fun and worth it.

    So my questions for those that have taken the trip...

    What were the places that you stopped along the way that you liked? Gallop, Crested butte, something else?
    What would you do better?
    Any suggestions on renting Condos or places to stay?

    Thanks in advance...

    I'll post pictures and trip details when I get back for anyone else wanting to do the same trip

  2. #2
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    Aug 2010
    I just came back from a non-mountain biking trip to Crested Butte (I know it's sacreligious, my family doesn't ride) . After being in Colorado for years I'm not easily blown away by scenery but the flowers in Crested Butte blew me away. If you can, I would definitely check out Crested Butte. However, we had above average snow in the Colorado Mountains this year. Hopefully more of the trails will dry up in July.

    Here's a link to trail Crested Butte trail conditions.

    I'm not a resort rider but I've heard good things about Keystone. You may want to check that out.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2011
    If your mostly into Downhill and are hitting Crested Butte check out Crested Butte Mountain Resort and the Evolution Bike Park.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2009
    Just to follow up.
    We had a blast in Colorado!

    Day 1 - Sunday
    We left a day early for Telluride since I knew of a friend that lived close to it, in Grand Junction. Though we were pretty tired from the drive (leaving at around 2am and getting there at around 930am), we were still able to get around 7 or 8 runs in, and that was taking our time. It had a fairly small trail map but that was to be expected. But the trails that were there was fun, some things needs a little more flow and a little better planning but all in all we had a good time. It was my girlfriends (Emily) first time mountain biking and took to it well there on the green runs, but coming from moto was an easy transition. Again some of the trail routes and features I didn’t really seem to agree with (needs better flow and planning) but it was said that they are waiting for the final approval to put full effort into the park.
    The town was amazing. I mean WOW! Looking around and seeing waterfalls, wild flowers and the Rockies in the background were just breathtaking. We ended up locking the bikes up at around 4pm to check out the town. After getting a bite to eat and a brewski, we talked with a local about the waterfalls on the mountain. He mentioned that there was a dirt road that leads right up to it, and it was something not to pass up. So we checked it out. And again, WOW! What a way to end the day of mountain biking, with the nice cool mist of the HUGE waterfall crashing down on the rocks below. After about an hour of that, we figured since we drove up the dirt road we should ride our bikes down, right? Of course!
    After all of that, we drove 2 ˝ hours to my friends house in Grand Junction and passed out right away to get a early start on the next day.

    Great day! And best of all it was practically all for free! Besides Dinner…

    Day 2 - Monday
    We woke up at around 5am to drive to Winter Park. It was about a 3 hour drive, not too bad but at this point we were sick of being in a car so it felt like 6 hours… but the scenery was nice. We got to the Condo, unpacked, took showers and headed to WinterPark for a half day. Completely blown away with how well the trail crew takes care of the trails. I knew they were backed by the IMBA but they really do take pride in their park. I stuck to the Green and Blue to have Emily get used to the place and new bike. She loved it! She was riding the wall by the end of the day! She followed me on a few blue runs and while she went slow and took it easy, I was able to go faster, send some stuff and have fun as well.
    Went back to the Condo, jumped in the Jacuzzi and talked about what to ride tomorrow… Definitely Winter Park!

    Day 3 – Tuesday
    We are feeling great at this point. Did a couple green and blue runs with Emily then ventured off to the black runs with the rest of the guys on the trip. First Rainmaker….. What’s not to love about rainmaker! Did a couple runs down it then convinced Emily to come. And again, she was able to follow behind us slowly, taking her time while I railed it and flew. Stopped every couple turns or so to make sure she was there and was doing good, then railed it again. Though she wasn’t getting air time, rainmaker was one of her favs at the park since it was smooth.
    It ended up raining for about 5 hours this night….

    Day 4 – Wednesday
    Again, Winterpark! Seemed like the smartest move… it was the best deal because it was a long day (till 7pm). But instead decided to do the half day since it was cheaper (which is really a full day – 1pm to 7pm). So we were able to sleep in and take our time before getting there. We checked out the town a little bit before going to the park. We were a little worried about all the rain we got the night prior but the placed really soaked it up, it was actually PERFECT! It was just the right amount of tackiness. We did our normal blue and green runs (which I could never really get tired of, pretty fun and good warm ups)… then ventured off to the black trails with the guys again. Trestle DH, boulevard, etc… Damn, every trail is a blast! Even the chunky stuff has a good flow to them, but Emily didn’t go down the chunky stuff… not really beginner friendly, which is OK by me 

    Day 5 – Thursday
    So at this point everyone wanted to hit someplace different, either sol vista or keystone but couldn’t decide which place. Sol Vista opened from 4-7 on Thursday so that was tough to pull since we didn’t really want to waste a whole day. And most of the guys couldn’t afford 2 half days… Either could I really, but I figured what the hell. So Emily and I did a half day at Winter Park and a Half Day at Sol Vista. My first impression of Sol Vista was not that pleasant. We were trying to find a run to get used to the dirt on, and for Emily to ride… But the Green runs were like Blues, the Blues were like diamonds and the Diamonds were insane. The dirt there is almost like power, so you need to keep your speed up really fast to glide over it or its hard to control… by the second run down Emily just threw in the towel and told me to have fun. I ventured off by myself to the blue runs. Again like power… and the rocks in the trail were loose and extremely hard to predict, especially when checking out the trail. Though the jumps were fun, and silky Johnson was flowy and had good sections, it was a very hard place to get to know, by the third time down the blue run was better… it seems like a place for people that likes to ride on the edge, but then again that also involves beating up your bike more. Did a run down drifter, still had the power everywhere (almost like flower consistency) with loose rocks in it… would have been better if I had known every turn. Then did a run down cougar, which I had the most fun on that, those jumps are so much fun, so HUGE!
    All in all, this place would be the place I would go if I was a local and wanting hone in my skills as a downhiller. But a place for beginners and vacationers, not so much. It could use a little trail cleaning to keep the rock gardens as sections and features and not throughout the whole trail.

    Day 6 – Friday
    We took a cruise to Keystone. First impression was that this mountain was HUGE! We of course took the Green run down for the first run, I liked it a lot, its like a fun single track roller coaster! But after I got to the bottom I found a bolt missing from my FSR linkage… probably from Sol Vista the day prior So I had to call it a day after the first run. The other guys weren’t too impressed with the other trails. They described it as a DH park with features built for small bikes, but chunky enough through the trails for big bikes… so it was tough to work with.
    I guess Ill find out next time.

    Day 7 – Saturday
    We all decided to stick with winter park for the last day. Good thing too, they opened up 3 runs that day and was almost done with upper rainmaker (which we tried that out too, shhhhh!.... it’s going to be fuuun!)

    Day 8 – Sunday
    We are so beat at this point, but a damn good trip! Drove the moab way to phoenix on the way back… with stopping for gas and a bite to eat, took a total of 13 hours. Not bad

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