Colorado Trail to Engineer MTN trail - Trail, Durango, Colorado

Colorado Trail to Engineer MTN trail - Trail, Durango, Colorado

DESCRIPTION

100 % singletrack, mostly above treeline (12,000 highest point)

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 12  
[Jun 23, 2013]
rbarrali
Weekend Warrior

I ride once or twice a week at an elevation of 1500 feet. I'm in reasonably good shape. I consider myself a competent rider. the trial starts from little molas lake and takes you on a wonderful uphill climb. once you reach about 11,000 feet you will get winded quickly. if you are not acclimated, aka you don't live at altitude year round, you will find this to be the start of your troubles. not to worry; you only have 20 miles to go. you continue gentle ascents and descents. these would be easy at sea level. you are dying. you will be walking your bike half the time. the turn on to the engineer mtn trail signals a new set of difficulties. half of the steeps are death traps. you are sick of walking your bike. you tempt fate. you almost go over a cliff. you end up walking your bike over half of these steeps. you start to wonder if you are doing more walking than riding. you are all for taking chances on steeps, but you remember you are in the middle of nowhere. no one is going to save you if you fall and break a leg. you wonder when this is going to end. you look off into the distance and see that you have to climb again. as you push your bike closer to the face of engineer mountain you will notice the trails become deeply rutted out. you try and crank your way out, but your pedals invariably hit the sides of the ruts. the only saving grace is you are going so slow because of the lack of oxygen. you get to the coal bank trail and wonder why you just didn't start there. you continue your journey to an altitude of about 12,200 feet. the sun is setting. you are pedaling more than you are pushing. you actually have some energy. suddenly you are making some respectable climbs. the air hunger has subsided for the time being. the scenery just keeps getting better. you can practically hit the face of engineer mountain with a seven iron. the down hill makes your previous fourteen miles bearable. not really. it's about the best downhill experience I have ever had. this is a one and done trail most suited for hikers.

Customer Service

start at coal bank trail. pedal up hill for a couple miles and then it's awesome downhill for seven or eight miles. you get great scenery without killing yourself. you have a great downhill experience and still have enough energy to consider pizza and beer.

Similar Products Used:

do hermosa creek ten miles in and turn around. minimal altitude. gentle down hill in. you can pedal out without stopping, or you can stop and fish along the way.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 24, 2012]
Bill Stewart
Cross Country Rider

Trail has been worked on in the last year. It is in stellar shape. Excellent single track. This is some of the best high Alpine riding in Colorado. The high start leaves you with enough energy to get a beer in Durango.
I don't usually recommend not having a map when riding this far into the back country but for this ride you can get by just staying on the trail and reading the signs. Be prepared!! You are back pretty deep. There is cell coverage on Verizon.

Customer Service

Catch the Colorado trail off of Molas Pass and stay on until you reach a very defined and marked departure onto Engineer Pass trail heading east. Stay on this trail to the north base of Engineer Mountain. Do not turn off to the left which takes you to Coal Bank pass. Continue straight south on the trail to the terminus near Cascade Village. The descent begins just after the base of Engineer. Rock on!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Sep 18, 2010]
Penny
Cross Country Rider

90% rideable singletrack, 15% steep loose climb. I don't really get the previous review's problem with the trail. I was pushing my bike for maybe 15-20 minutes of the 3 hour ride. The Colorado trail section is uber scenic and offers a nice mix of ups and down. The last mile of the CT and the first couple miles of Engineer Mt Trail aren't great, but the 30 minute DH at the end is worth a couple hike-a-bikes. Any competent rider should have a blast on the final DH. This is one of the better alpine rides in Colorado!

Customer Service

Start at Little Molas turn off. Ride 9.9 miles on Colorado Trail. Turn left onto Engineer Mt Trail. Continue past Engineer Creek (don't turn), continue toward Pass Trail. Continue past Pass Trail down to the road. Hitchhike back up or set up a shuttle.

Similar Products Used:

Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman's (Crested Butte), Monarch Crest

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Sep 20, 2009]
barnhorse
Cross Country Rider

Get off the bike. Get on the bike. Get off the bike. Get on the bike. etc. etc. This is a beautiful trail, but not really a bike trail. It is a horse and foot trail that can be biked if you want to battle your way along. After the first third of the Colorado Trail portion, I found it very tedious. Way too many unridable spots for me. I could never get a cadence going. There is no flow on this trail. I had to walk huge sections of the downhill. And there were plenty of footprints in the mud where other riders walked as well - no way was I the only one. Bike the first part of this trail, enjoy the view, and then turn around unless you know what you are getting into.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 28, 2003]
JBSmtbiker
Cross Country Rider

The best mtb ride of my life. Period. I rode this with Chip, owner of Mountain Bike Adventures and a life-long Durango resident. Most of the ride is above the tree line and much of it is very exposed, so the scenery is awe-inspiring. The day we rode, rain fell in the mountains to the north and south, but never on us. Foul weather clothing is still mandatory, as is plenty of food, water and energy slimes. A camera is a good idea, too. This trail is all single track, with many nasty drainage crossings in the high country. Although the whole trail is theoretically rideable (ie, for Hans Rey), you will want to get off and hike the hairier sections where the slightest mistake will result in death or worse. I ride alone most of the time, but I would never ride this trail alone. We were up there in late August; after we left the trailhead we saw no one for the next 25 or so miles. This ride took us 5 hours, with 3+ hours of climbing, an hour or so of rolling single track and finishing with a 6-7 mile descent(!) Can you say 'switchback'? If you can only ride one trail in the Durango area, make it this one.

Customer Service

Park at Durango Mt. Resort (nee Purgatory) and take a shuttle to Molas Pass. Follow the generally well-marked (and maintained) Colorado Trail (about 18 miles) to the Engineer Mt. Trail. This will lead to the best descent in Durango, dumping you out on 550 followed by two easy miles of peddling back to the resort.

Similar Products Used:

Hermosa Creek; Horse Gulch and Logging Chutes (in town)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 21, 1999]
Tombo

Awesome ride: Starts at 10,900 and climbs up from there peaking at 12000 feet. The first 12-14 miles or so are a net up hill, with solid, fun, rideable singletrack. Being from the East the altitude was a little bit of a problem - but not too much as we were all pretty much acclimated. The scenery is mind-blowing, dizzying and "bankrupts the English language". There's no other to describe it. At the top of the climb (12150) the Colorado trail goes one way, and you can pick up the Engineer mountain trail. Unfortunaley, when we were there the Engineer MTN trail is *extremely* eroded. We are all pretty good riders and had to walk most of this down hill. A couple of more miles of pushing the bikes was in order (becuase for the most part the singletrack had eroded into a 5-6+ inch deep rut) which meant that you were sometimes hitting your pedals on the side of the trail! After that the trail turns downhill into the trees and is fun and rideable again. If I were to do this ride again I would consider turning around at the high point and riding back to the start from there. Overall the downhill would be more enjoyable. Despite this I would say the ride is a must do if you are in the area.

Customer Service

Start at pass (scenic lookout) between Durango and Silverton. Shuttle ride to top of Coal Bank Pass (closer to Durango) approx 22 miles.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Apr 19, 2000]
Bill

Most awesome scenery in Colorado. Just keep going up, past the snowfields until you get to the saddle.

Customer Service

Start at the Campground at Little Molas Lake and head UP on the Colorado Trail.

Similar Products Used:

I agree with Tom. At that point head back down to the start. The scenery is just as spectacular in this direction.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 06, 2000]
Dave Ortiz

A very nice trail to visit once in a while.
I don't get up here too much since there are so many
trails to ride and explore in this area.But this one has some of the best scenery the San Juan Mts has to
offer.

The trail experiences erosion from snow runoff and
torrential rains so a turnaround back to Molas Lake
may be a better option.And always start your ride
early in the morning before the heavy rains bog you
down miserably.

Similar Products Used:

Colorado Trail nearer to Durango,in the La Plata Mtn area.Horse Gulch in the outskirts of Durango and

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 21, 2000]
S Mason

This is possibly the most epic MB ride I've ever done. The views are incredible and the elevation is mind numbing. I agree with the other two- ride up the 12 miles, then come back down. The trail is up, but definitely ridable- just take lots of clothes, I was there in late june, and needed arm and leg warmers.

Customer Service

leave from the campground at the pass

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 30, 2000]
Vaughn

Holy Toledo! I may have ridden on nicer trail surface before, actually probably not, but the scenery here is out of your mind. I thought I had seen the best stuff up in Crested Butte, but this is just awesome. Somehow we lucked out on a completely cloudless day. I was worried about the thunderstorms we had been slammed with the previous afternoon on another ride, but high pressure system to the rescue. Uncrowded as well. We were up there on July 4 and saw exactly one biker...and then a bunch of hikers at Coal Bank.

The first part of the trail climbs a long exposed above treeline ridge with full 360 degree views. I used up almost a complete roll of film in the first 5 miles of this ride. The point to point is about 18 miles. I can see the point about turning around at the summit of Engineer Pass and riding back to Molas lake, especially if you were originally planning on dropping in at Coal Bank Pass. Like stated previously, the first 12 miles of trail is a net elevation gain to Engineer Pass. The next 2 miles of singletrack is less than glorious. Deeply rutted, steep, and trialsy. It drops you down a marshy hillside, then makes you regain 500-700 feet back before getting to the Coal Bank turnoff. The Coal Bank Pass trail is loaded with hikers going up to amble around the awesome Engineer mountain. After stopping for the 40th hiker right-of-way on an otherwise fun, but short descent to car, I would not be pleased. But then I wouldn't really know about the drop into Coal Bank as we skipped that little section. Don't leave a car at Coal Bank at all, but instead leave it down at Cascade Creek. This gives you probably 2000 more feet of descent and adds another 4 or 5 plus miles...and on mostly primo singletrack. Runs through deep wooded hills with tight twisty loam. A few blowdowns at the bottom weren't a big deal, by then I was so tired I wanted to get off my bike anyway. Bear right at the bottom, right before the dirt road and the little pond. You'll see a sign for Cascade Creek pointing right, but you won't see the trail until you pick your way along the fence for a few feet. The trail finally brings you out to a double track by a raging water flume and promptly drops to the highway at Cascade Creek.

Cascade Creek is just 2 miles up the highway from the Purgatory ski resort. It is the first major highway switchback as you drive up to Coal Bank Pass. Plenty of parking on both sides of the road.

Customer Service

Molas Pass to Coal Bank cutoff, but skip the cutoff and descend the Cascade Creek Trail to Upper Purgatory

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 12  

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