5.26.2012

Best of Durango Single Track

Shred ready and Durango bound
Mary feeling the flow at Phil's World
WSC Guide John M.












So what does a mountain bike guide do with his off time? He shreds! After our annual Western Spirit guide meeting in Moab Utah I found myself with three free days. I am tired of driving to and from my home in Park City and Moab is already so hot. So I took up my co-guides offer of a series of epic rides in Durango. Mary and I jumped in the car and we’re off. 

Dutch Trail
The first ride is in Cortez, CO about 40 minutes outside Durango at Phil’s World, home of the recent 12 Hours of Mesa Verde. 22 Miles of unbelievable buffed out flowey single track with very little climbing. The highlight for most is known as the Rib Cage, showcasing extremely fun well-built whoops, spines, jumps, banked turns, and steep drops. A perfect pit stop to spin the legs and finish the drive to Durango to start the real fun in the mountains.
 
The Alpine is one of my favorite places on earth. The bright white aspens, vibrant green pines and grass, and the eye popping colors of dandelions and lupine. Numerous times I nearly ejected myself right off the trail trying to take in the stunning beauty of the La Plata and San Juan mountains. The next two days were spent on some of the best single track in the world coupled with alpine southern Colorado vistas. I was in single track heaven.

One of many Dutch Creek crossings
We start day two with a long dirt climb up Junction Creek Rd to about 10,300 ft. just below Kennebec Pass. This is where we pick up the final 25 miles of The Colorado Trail. I’m willing to bet we were some of the first few who have ventured out to this trail so early in the season. Beside a few down trees and a couple tiny snow patches this trail was FUN and in perfect condition. We had about 20 miles of descent and 5 miles of climbing from this point. So have you ever had the single track perma-grin? The kind of smile you can’t swipe off your face. Dipping, carving, and jumping through the forest cruising about 20mph. Yeah, I had that. This trail was mind blowing!

Onawa on Pinkerton-Flagstaff

We park at Lower Hermosa Campground. Today, day 3, I’m with Mary and Onawa. Onawa is a mutual friend that I knew from my college racing days, and she rips on a mountain bike. The loop is 20 miles of fun. The first half of the ride is a gorgeous consistent single track climb up Jones and Pinkerton/Flagstaff. It’s a very similar environment as the CT with stunning flowering green meadows, aspens, and the snowy Needle Mountains off to the East. We eventually reach Dutch Creek Trail. Words can’t even describe the fun Dutch offers. It has legitimately made it to my top 3 best rides.

Reality sets in on the fourth day. Mary and I drive back to Moab where she rigs a truck to start a White Rim trip the following day and I continue on my way driving all the way to St. George Utah to begin rigging for my North Rim Grand Canyon trip. Life on the road, mountain biking from place to place, endless highway miles in between, living in a tent, and out of a duffle. That’s the life of a mountain bike guide. It doesn’t suck…



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