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05-22-2012, 11:45 PM #1
First time bike park trip to Moab/Sol Vista/Colorado, whats good??
I'm going to be road trippin from the bay area to Colorado with a friend. Leaving SF May 27th. We have ~7 days, little money, and big bikes. Right now the plan is to drive like hell, split our time between camping and cheap roadside motels, and ride Sol Vista for 2-3 days. We're picking up more bikes in Durango, then heading back to California. Options for the way back are stopping by Angel Fire, Sol Vista again or Moab. We are either bringing 2 DH bikes or 2 dh bikes and 2 trail bikes.
-Does anyone know the conditions in Sol Vista/Angel Fire? I know its very early season, so hows the trail maintenance, and is everything open?
-Are there any other bike parks close by or on the way we should check out? Colorado, Utah and New Mexico have a whole lot of bike parks, whats the best?
-Is there a place to camp near sol vista?
-Do you need a trail bike for moab? Would we be able to find some fun stuff to ride around on easily?
Most importantly, who wants to ride?? If your anywhere in the area and want to ride trails, shuttle something or hit up a bike park let me know. And if you've got some extra room on your floor, we'll bring the beer! Any recommendations on how to make this trip as epic as possible would be greatly appreciated.
05-23-2012, 11:34 AM #2
I am in Durango if you are looking for someone to ride with next week shoot me a message. A lot of the riding here is big climbs followed by long descents, or there is Phils world over in Cortez that everybody likes but would not be much fun on a DH bike.
05-23-2012, 11:58 AM #3
As far as Moab on a DH bike goes, the only trail I've done there on my big rig is Porcupine Rim. You have to push up the first couple miles, but then you get to open the throttle on a 10 mile downhill and hit some of the bigger drops the XC rigs can't do.
If you have a trail bike and are looking for a quick but fun ride, hit up Pipe Dream- it runs on the ridge right behind the town and you finish right back in town. It's perfect for a quick ride if you first get there in the afternoon or if you want a 'last hurrah' ride before you leave.
05-23-2012, 12:04 PM #4
Sol Vista and Angel Fire both open this weekend and should be fully good to go. Both places get blown-out quickly, so I actually imagine you will have good timing to hit them up while still riding well since they will have just opened and you will be there before any DH races. I know Angel Fire is opening a new trail tomorrow and have been working hard on maintenance, so it should be dope (fair warning the place is the rockiest goddamn riding in the west). Sol Vista (which is no longer called Sol Vista) is a bit more up in the air since Wentz and the boys are no longer there, but their legacy is and it should be good as well. Take your big boys pants and get ready to send some big shit.
Unfortunately, your timing is a bit early, as the other bike parks in CO do not open until around June 16, so those are your only two options for lift served riding.
Though the Mountain Village bike park is not open (and will not be for your visit), if you find yourself driving by Telluride, you should stop, spend a night camping at Alta Lakes, and take the free gondola to San Sophia and then push to the top of Gold Hill Express (lift). From there, there is a trail called Nelly Mine Trail (folks in town will call it the Gentleman's Wasatch), which is a 4,000 foot sickie descent back into town. Highly recommended if you are in the area. There is also an epic shuttle called the Alta Lakes -> T35 trail, but you need a shuttle rig and someone who has ridden it to find your way.
Lots of places to camp near Sol Vista. Just open a map and drive into National Forest on one of the many surrounding roads and camp anywhere you want.
A trail bike in Moab depends on what you want to ride. You should definitely hit up the whole enchilada (which if you have only one car, you will need to book a shuttle for), which can be ridden on a dh rig no problem provided you have got some legs under you. If you wanna ride about anything else in Moab (Mag 7, Slick Rock, Ammasaback, whatev), yes you should take a trail bike. If you take a trail bike and are passing through Durango, I would second a recommendation to stop by Phil's World for some dope trail riding.
05-23-2012, 07:38 PM #5
SWEET! My trip would be to Sol Vista for as long as possible, James has just PIMPED out alot of those trails. All the old crappily designed jumps have been buffed out and given some flow. I say this solely from his pictures, but all the jumps I used to not dig so much have gotten a lot of TLC and he builds a FWT course, so he knows what he is doing. The place kicked ass already, but now looks even more fun. If you havent been there, start on Silky Johnson and your jones will skyrocket.
Camping galore, i lived in my truck for 3 months while i worked at the golf course there, just drive up a dirt road til you reach national forest and set up camp. I was never hassled.
Went to Angelfire for the first time last year and was very impressed. They just started building stuff with big jump lines (candyland i think) and had a bunch of FR trails in the plans, which i think are open this year. I will definitely try and make it down there again this year, super fun. Loooooong trails compared to Sol Vista.
Camping there looks easy too, we kind of got screwed last year because like all the National Forest was closed for those huuuge fires so we had to look for awhile to find some wooded parking to set up tents. If the national forest is open, plenty of places to set up. We also poached the hot tub at that hotel every night, which was nice.
I would say Moab would be more fun on your trail bikes. I prefer Grand Junction to Moab nowadays since I no longer have an XC bike, especially because it is so much more accessible from the highway. If youre in a hurry Id skip Moab and spend some time in GJ, some pretty fun stuff off of the Ribbon/Tabaguche trails. They have free shuttle nights too, and if you can get in the Ranch, youll be thoroughly impressed. Go to Grassroots Cycles, they are awesome guys. Some good free hidden campsites up by the Ribbon as well.
Durango was pretty fun too, minus when I cracked my ribs. The Log Chutes are a fun shuttle with some cool little jumps and some berms, can rail that trail as fast as you want, just dont trust someone if they tell you there is a small drop followed by a roller, its actually a roller followed by a pretty gnarly drop. We went to 2nd Avenue Sports and shuttled with the guys after work, forgot their names, but they were badass and let us crash their party that night, and then their couches for 2 days as well. We just shuttled those trails for a day and then hit up the other XC trails at the end of that one road, forget the name but its the most popular place in town. Nice river to jump in as well.
I would head through SLC on the way back, I just got back from there and had a pretty good time at I-Street and the Bobsled trail. Doesnt look like Deer Valley lift service opens for a few more weeks, but there a few parks without lifts in the surrounding area that are open as well. You can shuttle Bobsled a few times in a day too, the push up isnt that bad. Might be able to find a shuttle here, or just wait in the bottom lot
And after looking at a map, if you are driving from SF to Durango and have a few hours to spare, I would make a detour to go ride Bootleg Canyon in Vegas. It is the best riding Ive encountered in Nevada, with some gnarly ass lines, some super fast fun lines, a love tunnel, some fun ass jump lines, and an allright night life. As far as camping, you dont really need to sleep, but if you do, i have just parked in the wasteland below the bike trails, there is even a shower and toilets and electricity right there. Shuttles offered here
And if you find any riding in Northern Nevada off of 80W, then let me know, I f-ing hate that drive from SLC back to Tahoe for the sole reason there is nowhere to ride.
Anyways, sorry about the novel i just wrote, but that is the trip that I would do, and I find myself with a lot of free time on my hands to write about it. . ..
there are videos of all of the aforementioned places at either of these 2 pages if you want to see some POV
Last edited by brannen; 05-23-2012 at 07:46 PM. Reason: links
05-23-2012, 11:16 PM #6
My buddy, Rich (The Godfather of NM freeriding, he also rides with Josh Bender) is building a new freeride (as in not your typical DH or jump line) trail at Angel Fire. Not sure if it will be complete on your visit. By the way Angel Fire hired 12 full time trail builders this year, so the growth in trails/features should be incredible.
Check Angel Fire's lift schedule online, because they are not open every weekday.
Another option, if you adjust your trip a day or two, is Pajarito Mountain in Los Alamos (1.5 hr drive from Angel Fire).
They run lifts for both days on:
Saturday June 2 (Summerfest- Brew fest featuring several NM/CO breweries, bands etc. on their big deck on the slopes)
Sunday June 3 (Pajarito Punishment DH race) with lifts also running for non-racers.
Pajarito is more freeride than DH, and super steep. Lots of logrides, BIG drops, natural chunk, etc. The runs are short, but steeper than most anyplace.
That's 3 different awesome bike parks to hit in a small corridor. Could be pretty good.
05-23-2012, 11:21 PM #7
For SLC, Sundance is open, not sure on Brian Head in south. Deer Valley not until June. Just got back from Moab, it's pretty damn hot there now for any midday riding.
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05-24-2012, 01:14 AM #8
That was great. Really great. Keep it coming.
Right now the plan seems to be Angel Fire on Monday the 28th, then driving to Durango. We've got a few days to bum around durango or do a day trip somewhere until Sol Vista opens. Thinking about doing Grand Junction on Tuesday or Wednesday. Then Sol Vista til we gotta head home.
05-24-2012, 09:13 AM #9
If you are going to Junction, ride The Ribbon -> Free Lunch -> Pucker Up.
Nice to hear Pajarito is opening back up this year. That place is sweet and def worth a day. rootsy, small, good riding.
Stoked to hear about the new building at Angel Fire and to check it out this weekend. should be good.
I stand by my comment that the non-rocky sections of Angel Fire get blown out. After the MSC race, anything that is not rock, which granted isn't that much, gets dusty and very loose. up here in colyrady, we call that blown out. Also, uh, you must be spinning laps at WP, because both Keystone and Sol Vista have plenty of rocks, plenty of rocks. But the rockiest sections of trail up at Sol Vista, which is by far the rockiest shit we got, is what entire runs at Angel Fire are like.
Either way, the Pajarito -> Angel Fire -> Durango -> Phil's World in Cortez -> toss in T-ride for epic camping/one of the sickest push to 4,000ft descents you can find in CO -> the Ribbon in Junction -> Sol Vista is a sick, sick itinerary.
05-24-2012, 10:16 AM #10
05-24-2012, 11:02 AM #11
05-24-2012, 11:30 AM #12
Glad to hear SolVista should be rocking this weekend - I'm headed up with a group on Saturday for the first time. (Had already planned a trip for this weekend, then realized that SolVista was opening. Good timing!)
Question (thread hijack, really): are 5-6" trail bikes fun up there, or do we really need to rent bigger DH bikes? I've had a lot of fun at Winter Park on my Giant Trance X, but recognize that it would be a lot more fun on a bigger bike. But is it worth $75/day to rent? Or are the green/blue trails enough fun, especially if I'm only up there for a few hours?Outlive the bastards - Ed Abbey
05-24-2012, 11:38 AM #13
05-24-2012, 11:54 AM #14
05-24-2012, 12:07 PM #15
05-24-2012, 12:15 PM #16
05-24-2012, 12:47 PM #17
looks like a bunch of snow up in Granby, should tack everything up nicely!
Id still make a lil detour and hit up Bootleg Canyon early in the morning if i was yous guys
05-24-2012, 03:11 PM #18
05-26-2012, 11:14 AM #19
Leaving tonight! I have no plans for Tuesday or Wednesday. Are there any shuttle services near Angel Fire, Durango or Sol Vista? I'm thinking of going to Grand Junction to ride these days, sound like a good plan?
05-29-2012, 11:58 AM #20
Angel Fire yesterday was the tits. And pretty empty. I was on a black iron horse with yellow shorts, white shirt and armor, my buddy on a session with white pants and a t shirt. Did anyone else get out there?
05-29-2012, 11:59 AM #21
Jqualls want to ride today?
05-29-2012, 12:00 PM #22