Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 41
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    14,362

    Must-Do Rides in Durango Area?

    Searched and found a little info, but nothing that great or specific.

    I'm thinking about heading down to Durango in early August for 3-4 days of riding, and I'm looking to link together some of the Colorado Trail with the better local trails in the area. Will have multiple vehicles, so point-to-point rides are just fine. Anything 20-30 miles (maybe a little more) is great, hoping for a good combo of long descents and huge views. A couple I'm looking at are:

    Kenebec to Junction Creek
    Molas Pass to Engineer Mountain

    What else should I not miss?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Carbondale
    Posts
    10,825
    Was just looking at this... got directed to big loop maps on Facebook. Havenít gotten any or contacted them yet.

    Looks like epic opportunities out of Rico


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,107
    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Searched and found a little info, but nothing that great or specific.

    I'm thinking about heading down to Durango in early August for 3-4 days of riding, and I'm looking to link together some of the Colorado Trail with the better local trails in the area. Will have multiple vehicles, so point-to-point rides are just fine. Anything 20-30 miles (maybe a little more) is great, hoping for a good combo of long descents and huge views. A couple I'm looking at are:

    Kenebec to Junction Creek
    Molas Pass to Engineer Mountain

    What else should I not miss?
    We did Molas to Graysill creek, which I thought was a great descent.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    in a suite of vigorous disturbances
    Posts
    1,756
    Sweet! Iíd be happy to play tour guide if the dates jive.

    Ride 1: Molas to Cascade via the Graysill connect is totally awesome. Thereís lots of ways to hook up Molas-cascade, but thatís the best. So start on the CT at Molas. Ride to Rolling pass, down to Cascade creek, climb up to the Graysill Connect trail. Descend it (1/2 way youíll cross Cascade divide road, just pause and look for cairin to the Left). Descend to Cascade. Descend Cascade back to 550. Have your shuttle vehicle left at the large pull out at the Cascade canyon hair pin. Make certain cold beers are left in the car. Duh.

    Ride 2: Blackhawk pass. A total classic. Take the dirt road behind purg t the ďupper Hermosa THĒ. Park at the TH (or really park in the huge meadow just off the road so you donít have to drive the creek). Grind up Bolam Pass Road for 8 miles to Celebration Lake. Take a L on the CT, stay on it until you come over Blakhawk pass. Descend into boner town. When you hit Hotel Draw Rd you have two options (really 3 if you want to DH hotel draw road which is for Texans or if youíre getting rained on). First option is to go up the road for a mile to the Stagecoach trail which is fkn rad and will take you straight to the TH. Option 2 is to stay on the CT. Climb a couple miles to Corral Draw. Drop Corral. Endless backcountry single track. Endless. Hit Hermosa and easy climb another mile or so to the TH. Make certain you have cold beers in the car. Duh. No shuttle here. Loop. Donít shuttle up to Celebration lake as the road sucks and thatís a poseur move.

    Ride 3. Shorter ride (3-4 hours). Park at the bottom of Engineer Mountain trail (right around the corner from the cascade hairpin mentioned in ride 1. Ride up EMT (GRUNT). To the meadow. Continue past the Pass Ck Intersection (taking note youíll be back there in an hour or so when you loop the lollipop) another mile or so to the Coal Creek Intersestion. Drop Coal Creek into Bonerville. Hit the N. Side of Coal Bank pass. Easy spin up 550 to the top of Coal Bank Pass. Hop on the Pass Creek trail and complete the loop of the lollipop. Drop EMT back to car. Variations of this are endless (1.5 hours-park at bottom of Coal Creek and just do the 550-pass ck-EMT-coal creek loop without the big part of EMT. Or just do EMT as an out and back without coal-pass lollipop.

    Ride 4. Molas to cascade the regular way: Like ride 1...start on the CT at Molas. Ride it to Jura Knob (a mile before Rolling Pass). At Jura Knob, get on the Engineer mountain Trail and take EMT to the lower TH as mentioned in Ride 3. Sickness.

    Ride 5. Start at either the bottom of EMT (stud) or leave a car there and shuttle to Coal Bank (frontranger). Either way, get to the meadow at the EMT/Pass Creek intersection. Stay on EMT, past Coal Ck/Deer Ck. Get to the 4 way intersection of EMT, White Creek, Engine creek. Take a left on white creek (climbs a bit at first) then contour around on white creek trail back to the CT and finish on Graysill connect like ride 1.

    I could go on and on and on. This is just a drop in the bucket, and really only a few loops in one area. But this time of year its just fkn so rad. So much more in every direction. This will get you started with some good spank-bank material.

    Let me know when youíre here and hopefully Iíll be able to show you around.


    Sent from my iPad using TGR Forums

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SW, CO for now
    Posts
    654
    Durango local here

    The CT is such a gold mine of trails. It'll take years to ride all the awesome stuff within an hour of Durango.

    There is a lot off of that Molas to Rolling Pass section. Molas to Graysill is one of my favorite high country rides to date. The Engineer Mountain Trail is a blast. Easy to get to off the top of Coal Bank but riding it from Molas is worth the extra mileage. I've heard really good things about the Engine Creek descent too. Might go do that this weekend. If you park out at Hermosa and are willing to do a good road push, taking Bolam Pass to Blackhawk Pass down either Corral Draw or Stage Coach is a 25 miles loop with nearly 5k of descent and some of the best views of the CT.

    In the Hermosa zone the classic is to shuttle Hermosa Creek Trail. Excellent bang for buck, but if you're an expert rider there is a lot of better stuff in the same area. Jones Creek to Pinkerton to Dutch Creek is a high quality loop that uses a good portion of the Hermosa Creek Trail.

    I've never shuttled Kenebec but people rave about it. I've ridden the to High Point between Junction and town and that was a lot of fun too.

    If you're interested in doing some of the stuff right out of town the Horsegulch system has the most trails. All the trails off Telegraph are good fun. I especially like Big Canyon and Anazazi. If you're at all into Moab style technical riding and fast gnarly chunk with drops check out the Extended Raiders Ridge. Take either Skyline or Sugar Trails to get there and then hang the fuck on. Animas Mountain is a workout with a great payoff at the top and one of the best views right out of town.

    I would not suggest going up the Bear Creek trail off the CT or up the Rico/Silverton Trail unless you're really into hiking your bike up hill for miles lol.

    If you've got any questions about locals trails feel free to ask em here.



    EDIT: Tech Tonic and I basically all named the same trails lol. That should give you a good place to start.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Down In A Hole, Up in the Sky
    Posts
    28,075
    Does Ned ride an e-bike yet?
    Forum Cross Pollinator

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    in a suite of vigorous disturbances
    Posts
    1,756
    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Does Ned ride an e-bike yet?
    Probably. It seems like all the industry-types have signed on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Down In A Hole, Up in the Sky
    Posts
    28,075
    Yup, can fully corroborate that.
    Forum Cross Pollinator

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    14,362
    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Tonics View Post
    Sweet! I’d be happy to play tour guide if the dates jive.

    Ride 1: Molas to Cascade via the Graysill connect is totally awesome. There’s lots of ways to hook up Molas-cascade, but that’s the best. So start on the CT at Molas. Ride to Rolling pass, down to Cascade creek, climb up to the Graysill Connect trail. Descend it (1/2 way you’ll cross Cascade divide road, just pause and look for cairin to the Left). Descend to Cascade. Descend Cascade back to 550. Have your shuttle vehicle left at the large pull out at the Cascade canyon hair pin. Make certain cold beers are left in the car. Duh.

    Ride 2: Blackhawk pass. A total classic. Take the dirt road behind purg t the “upper Hermosa TH”. Park at the TH (or really park in the huge meadow just off the road so you don’t have to drive the creek). Grind up Bolam Pass Road for 8 miles to Celebration Lake. Take a L on the CT, stay on it until you come over Blakhawk pass. Descend into boner town. When you hit Hotel Draw Rd you have two options (really 3 if you want to DH hotel draw road which is for Texans or if you’re getting rained on). First option is to go up the road for a mile to the Stagecoach trail which is fkn rad and will take you straight to the TH. Option 2 is to stay on the CT. Climb a couple miles to Corral Draw. Drop Corral. Endless backcountry single track. Endless. Hit Hermosa and easy climb another mile or so to the TH. Make certain you have cold beers in the car. Duh. No shuttle here. Loop. Don’t shuttle up to Celebration lake as the road sucks and that’s a poseur move.

    Ride 3. Shorter ride (3-4 hours). Park at the bottom of Engineer Mountain trail (right around the corner from the cascade hairpin mentioned in ride 1. Ride up EMT (GRUNT). To the meadow. Continue past the Pass Ck Intersection (taking note you’ll be back there in an hour or so when you loop the lollipop) another mile or so to the Coal Creek Intersestion. Drop Coal Creek into Bonerville. Hit the N. Side of Coal Bank pass. Easy spin up 550 to the top of Coal Bank Pass. Hop on the Pass Creek trail and complete the loop of the lollipop. Drop EMT back to car. Variations of this are endless (1.5 hours-park at bottom of Coal Creek and just do the 550-pass ck-EMT-coal creek loop without the big part of EMT. Or just do EMT as an out and back without coal-pass lollipop.

    Ride 4. Molas to cascade the regular way: Like ride 1...start on the CT at Molas. Ride it to Jura Knob (a mile before Rolling Pass). At Jura Knob, get on the Engineer mountain Trail and take EMT to the lower TH as mentioned in Ride 3. Sickness.

    Ride 5. Start at either the bottom of EMT (stud) or leave a car there and shuttle to Coal Bank (frontranger). Either way, get to the meadow at the EMT/Pass Creek intersection. Stay on EMT, past Coal Ck/Deer Ck. Get to the 4 way intersection of EMT, White Creek, Engine creek. Take a left on white creek (climbs a bit at first) then contour around on white creek trail back to the CT and finish on Graysill connect like ride 1.

    I could go on and on and on. This is just a drop in the bucket, and really only a few loops in one area. But this time of year its just fkn so rad. So much more in every direction. This will get you started with some good spank-bank material.

    Let me know when you’re here and hopefully I’ll be able to show you around.


    Sent from my iPad using TGR Forums
    Right now it's looking like around August 4-8th... should stay within a day or two of those dates if it changes at all.

    Great info, those are definitely some good ride routes. I think we'll prefer to stay in the higher elevation stuff vs around town, just given heat and the awesomeness of the high country descending.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    PRB
    Posts
    23,852
    Two of the best rides I've ever done were Molas to Cascade and kennebec to town. Do those, and all the other ones tech tonics mentioned.

    Hermosa Creek might be the most famous one, and it's a really nice ride that I wouldn't say you shouldn't do, but it will disappoint compared to that other stuff, it should absolutely not be the most famous ride in the area.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Down In A Hole, Up in the Sky
    Posts
    28,075
    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Right now it's looking like around August 4-8th....
    So, you’re saying I should turn off the AC in the camper?
    Forum Cross Pollinator

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    14,362
    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    So, you’re saying I should turn off the AC in the camper?
    Not yet.... still weighing options. Durango has a slight edge since it's a realistic option for a future Chasing Epic trip, whereas Jackson most definitely isn't (no guiding up there). This is a fun personal trip though, so that's just one of the factors.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The greatest N. New Mexico resort in Colorado
    Posts
    1,354
    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Does Ned ride an e-bike yet?
    Ned is old as fuck and will still destroy you.

    What TT said, we finally got some rain today and in the forecast so it wont be so damn dusty up high when you come down. Blackhawk was as dry as I've ever seen it on Sunday. (But still stupid fucking fun)

    If you're going to ride in town, be aware that its hot as balls on the town trails. Recommend riding up high in the morning before the rain comes in, big lunch and a siesta, and check out some of the town trails after 7 pm. Ride till dark, there's a trailhead five minutes from anywhere and down always gets you back to town. If you're here less than a week you can justify skipping everything below 9k feet.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    9,225
    Researching for your commercial rides?

    Just take them to Phil's World and charge em double. Ride 2 loops. Weeeee meh.

    Sorry

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    in a suite of vigorous disturbances
    Posts
    1,756

    Must-Do Rides in Durango Area?

    I would certainly skip hermosa unless youíre looking for something more mellow. No reason to ride that low in August, especially if youíre visiting rom out of town and want to experience the goods

    Kennebec to town is awesome, but itís a longggg shuttle. Riding from town with no shuttle is ~55 miles. Or just shuttle to the bottom of la plata canyon and itíd be something like 40ish miles.

    If Iím gonna ride the end of the CT, Most of the time I just ride from home, up junction creek road, past animas overlook to Champion Venture. Hop on the CT below slide rock (just a few miles from kennebec pass). Itís like 85% of the downhill and 100% less of a pain in the ass. Iím not a fan of shuttling though. Itís also about 40 miles but can do from rolling out my driveway.

    An out and back on the CT to high point is about 25 miles total. You could camp at the campground. This is a sick ride, but lacks the dramatic scenery of the high country. I still consider it an ďin townĒíride.

    As far as other in-town goes...Horse Gulch is good. But donít overlook the test tracks on the west side. Goes into shade early in the evening so make for great after work rides. Iím biased as itís my backyard but goddamn itís good stuff. An hour in the TT can get you nearly 2000í of climbing. A quick ass kicker.

    Shoot me a PM and Iíll send you my #. We can discuss details and where you could camp to make these rides happen.

    I think Iím doing a low water San Juan river trip from 8/5-8/8 so I may miss your trip.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Down In A Hole, Up in the Sky
    Posts
    28,075
    Quote Originally Posted by ZomblibulaX View Post
    Ned is old as fuck and will still destroy you.
    .
    Most definitely.
    Nothing but mad respect for Ned from this maggot, been a fan since around ‘89.
    Forum Cross Pollinator

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    14,362
    Quote Originally Posted by Name Redacted View Post
    Researching for your commercial rides?

    Just take them to Phil's World and charge em double. Ride 2 loops. Weeeee meh.

    Sorry
    No, read above. Just looking to get some big high country rides in since our trips to Revelstoke were cancelled in August. No interest in Phil's World.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,149
    Quote Originally Posted by ASmileyFace View Post
    In the Hermosa zone the classic is to shuttle Hermosa Creek Trail. Excellent bang for buck, but if you're an expert rider there is a lot of better stuff in the same area. Jones Creek to Pinkerton to Dutch Creek is a high quality loop that uses a good portion of the Hermosa Creek Trail.

    I've never shuttled Kenebec but people rave about it. I've ridden the to High Point between Junction and town and that was a lot of fun too.

    ...

    I would not suggest going up the Bear Creek trail off the CT or up the Rico/Silverton Trail unless you're really into hiking your bike up hill for miles lol.
    Agree that most of the rides posted that include CT are rad. Molas to Engineer and Blackhawk are must do. The upper Hermosa trailhead may be the best option to camp and access some great riding. Do the Bolam-Blackhawk-Stagecoach loop. Or a point to point up Cascade/Graysill to the CT then around and down Stagecoach or Corral. I'd like to do Molas to Graysill or Engine Creek at some point. The Engineer descent is good but seemed monotonous now that I've done the ride a few times. Definitely worth doing just for the CT section though. I liked going over Rolling pass on CT and then back to Engineer on White Creek. Lots of options in that little area.

    Kennebec to Junction Creek is probably my least favorite CT section in the area. Once it crosses the road and is all below tree line it's ok singletrack but nothing outstanding. I really dont' get why it's so popular. Except.... shuttle. Same with Hermosa. Jeep road that narrows to ATV trail that narrows to moto trail, all down in a valley bottom with no views. There are some nice sections closer to the lower TH but you can knock those off on the Jones-Pinkerton-Dutch loop. That ride is worth doing if you only have about 4-5 hrs. And the campground at the trailhead is convenient. Heard it's not free anymore?

    Coming from front range another great option is the CT east of Silverton to Cataract Lake. Start from Stony Pass Rd or Maggie Gulch road east of Silverton. Some burly but scenic riding between 12k and 13k. I read a while ago the San Juan county sherriff was ticketing cars at trailheads with out of state plates. I'm assuming that is no longer being done?

    I also like the Rico side, and Telluride of course. Those will be a bit out of the way but worthwhile if you can make it. In Telluride the Bridal Veil-Cascade-Bear creek loop was awesome. Off the gondola the Gentlemans loop connecting over the backside to Sunshine trail, then Galloping Goose back to town was a fun ride. Out of Rico, the Calico point to point is one of my favorites. Trailforks says there are tons of downed trees on the south end but maybe Priest Gulch is open. I also like Bear Creek on that side up to Sharkstooth, Indian Trail Ridge and down Salt Creek. Burly loop, but so so good! Bring lights. I've ended in the dark there each time. Finally, there are some great hike a bike rides that are off the beaten path. I did Ice Lake on one ride. Want to do Columbine lake next time. Probably best not to do those on a weekend due to hiker traffic. Lots of other goat trails and old mining roads up high as well. The Bear creek's I mentioned are not the same as what ASmiley mentioned, but will also entail plenty of worthy HAB.

    Incidentally I just got vacation days approved for July 29-31 and may hit up this area again.

    Here are a couple TRs for inspiration including some of the rides mentioned:
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...9-CO-Trip-2016
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...15-(pic-heavy)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    14,362
    Awesome, thanks Evdog.

    I think right now the plan for three of the days is:

    Molas Pass (CT) to White Creek, down Engineer Trail
    Pass Creek - ENT - White - CT- Graysill - Cascade
    Bolam Pass - CT - Stagecoach

    Looking for a shorter 4th ride, so maybe something around Hermosa... or we might just hit something on the way back home (around Vail/Eagle).

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    345
    Kennebec to Junction Creek is half a ride. You can turn it into an epic by starting at Hotel Draw and riding the high line (CO Trail) to Kennebec. The high line was referred to by evdog as Indian Trail Ridge. You will spend a long time above 12k ft.

    There is lots of great info in this thread.

    Question for the locals: how much of Hermosa, Jones, Pinkerton-Flagstaff, and Dutch Creek burned? I thought most of the area got toasted. Iím surprised that people are riding it.
    U.P.: up

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SW, CO for now
    Posts
    654
    Quote Originally Posted by stradissimo View Post
    Kennebec to Junction Creek is half a ride. You can turn it into an epic by starting at Hotel Draw and riding the high line (CO Trail) to Kennebec. The high line was referred to by evdog as Indian Trail Ridge. You will spend a long time above 12k ft.

    There is lots of great info in this thread.

    Question for the locals: how much of Hermosa, Jones, Pinkerton-Flagstaff, and Dutch Creek burned? I thought most of the area got toasted. I’m surprised that people are riding it.
    We got lucky and the fire really skirted the trails. The worst of it is on Pinkerton and there was a decent amount of deadfall last season, but it's been cleaned up well. I didn't ride it personally till this season, but based on what I've heard most were surprised how well the trails fared.

    Hermosa Creek proper had a bunch of flash floods run over it, but trail crews have done a good job fixing those places up.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    394
    Be sure to hit up Durango Cyclery while in town. Good people there...

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    T.ride
    Posts
    1,764
    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    I also like the Rico side, and Telluride of course. Those will be a bit out of the way but worthwhile if you can make it. In Telluride the Bridal Veil-Cascade-Bear creek loop was awesome. Off the gondola the Gentlemans loop connecting over the backside to Sunshine trail, then Galloping Goose back to town was a fun ride. Out of Rico, the Calico point to point is one of my favorites. Trailforks says there are tons of downed trees on the south end but maybe Priest Gulch is open. I also like Bear Creek on that side up to Sharkstooth, Indian Trail Ridge and down Salt Creek. Burly loop, but so so good! Bring lights. I've ended in the dark there each time. Finally, there are some great hike a bike rides that are off the beaten path. I did Ice Lake on one ride. Want to do Columbine lake next time. Probably best not to do those on a weekend due to hiker traffic. Lots of other goat trails and old mining roads up high as well. The Bear creek's I mentioned are not the same as what ASmiley mentioned, but will also entail plenty of worthy HAB.

    Incidentally I just got vacation days approved for July 29-31 and may hit up this area again.

    Here are a couple TRs for inspiration including some of the rides mentioned:
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...9-CO-Trip-2016
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...15-(pic-heavy)
    I think technically the gentleman's loop skips alta lakes and sunshine trail? I'm no good with the nicknames. However I can't really recommend this ride anymore as an 'epic' since the forest service came in and rebuilt the alta lakes section now called 'magic meadows' used to be a backcountry route finding adventure with some steep ass options to take, now it's a 8.5 mile green trail snoozefest smack dab in the middle of your 'epic' pedal. Total buzzkill. There are still some cool additions to make your prospect loop more interesting but they would best be discussed over pm.

    Scotch creek to salt creek out of Rico is a cool ride. The moto guys get on blowdowns down that way super quick, I've never done calico but I've shuttled priest gulch, it's a fun one and straight up shuttle bomb. 3700 feet over 8 miles basically no pedalling.

    Whole Uncolada outside of Montrose is a cool one as well for something interesting heading back north. The spring creek section in particular rips but the whole ride is pretty fun

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    in a suite of vigorous disturbances
    Posts
    1,756
    Quote Originally Posted by stradissimo View Post
    .

    Question for the locals: how much of Hermosa, Jones, Pinkerton-Flagstaff, and Dutch Creek burned? I thought most of the area got toasted. Iím surprised that people are riding it.
    Of that loop, the only part that got fully burned is the bottom 1/3 of Dutch and most of Hermosa. Itís quite amazing that we are riding in there so quickly after the burn. Iím sure every spring will be a huge clean up of downed trees, but the ecosystem is super cool-aspens and thistles and other primary succession species already taking over the landscape.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    in a suite of vigorous disturbances
    Posts
    1,756
    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post

    Looking for a shorter 4th ride, so maybe something around Hermosa... or we might just hit something on the way back home (around Vail/Eagle).
    A great short ride is to park at the bottom of Coal Creek on the N side of coal bank pass, up a couple easy miles on 550, then pass creek, right on EMT, down coal ck to your car. Like 90 minutes

    And really, coal creek is in great shape.

Posting Permissions

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