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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wife and I are planning a road trip from Phoenix to Colorado for a week in mid-July with a purpose of some xc/trail riding. Looking for mainly for SINGLETRACK and scenic rides.

I would like to set up camp in 1 or 2 places to minimize driving and maximize riding.

We are also looking for cool weather (anything under 85 for us) and tree shade.

We were thinking Breckenridge and Aspen - as they are relatively close to each other.

Suggestions from locals much appreciated.

Thanks,

Bart.
 

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Durango > Crested Butte. I love Breck and ride there often, but coming from the south the I-70 corridor is a longer drive and you will be bypassing some of the best riding in the state. Durango and CB are close enough to each other. Either place you could spend a full week in or do both.
 

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There are many places to do what you're talking about. Breck is pretty hard to beat for singletrack right out of town. Not too many other places have as many options so centrally located. You can camp up the Swan and be right in the hub of a spoke with trails in every direction.

That said, there are many other great towns to ride from. Durango, CB, Telluride, Salida, Winter Park, Eagle, Aspen, Carbondale, and the list goes on. You really can't go wrong. The only thing is some of the places with lower elevations can be hot that time of year although the high country and places to camp isn't far away.
 

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a dad
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Crested Butte/Gunnison/Salida

Your only problem will be wishing you had more time.. Maybe hit Durango on there way there or back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys, Crested Butte and Durango it is.

Is five night too long for Crested Butte? We can ride 20-30 miles a day with 5-7K ascent. So I wonder if in 2-3 days we can hit most of the good stuff. How is the night life there, the town looks tiny on the map.
 

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Thanks guys, Crested Butte and Durango it is.

Is five night too long for Crested Butte? We can ride 20-30 miles a day with 5-7K ascent. So I wonder if in 2-3 days we can hit most of the good stuff. How is the night life there, the town looks tiny on the map.
you couldn't hit everything in 5 months. Get a map, explore, have fun. Night life is pretty good for a little town.
 

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Thanks guys, Crested Butte and Durango it is.

Is five night too long for Crested Butte? We can ride 20-30 miles a day with 5-7K ascent. So I wonder if in 2-3 days we can hit most of the good stuff. How is the night life there, the town looks tiny on the map.
You can easily spend 5 days there. And you'd only get in 5 of the good rides at that.

Night life. Heh. What do you want to use as a comparison?
 

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... How is the night life there, the town looks tiny on the map.
It is tiny. But there are at least a dozen restaurants and/or bars. The Brick Oven Pizzeria alone is a really great place to drink away a summer evening. Donitas for so much mexican food that you need help up from the table...

Hy evuh. (that's southerner speak for however):

Camping and night life. Could be a little complicated. Most of the places you will legally camp near Crested Butte are not near Crested Butte. They tend to be a bit of a drive. Maybe you're the type who can enjoy an evening out and then jump in your car and drive without risking a DUI. If not, your night life may be a camp chair next to your cooler listening to breeze blowing through camp. Which is not bad.

Another thing to consider along those lines: the riding in Crested Butte tends to involve some pretty far-flung traveling. A little less so Durango--there are more trail miles within a tight radius of Durango. And there are campgrounds that are closer to town in Durango. There's a commercial campground in Durango called Riverside that's a fairly flat couple miles from the downtown. There's also a really nice Forest Service CG up Junction Creek near the Colorado Trail TH. That one is an easy ride to town since it's all down hill, but a pretty good climb from town.

But for example, to ride CB's marque ride 401 you have to drive or ride a paved then dirt road for like 12 miles. With lotsa climbing. Doctor Park which is my new favorite CB ride is actually more like an Altamont ride.

Just something to consider. If you are into 30 mile days there's lots you can ride right from CB. If you want to keep it less than 30 you'll tend to need shuttles, or to drive out to a starting place. Some of the best rides near Durango are totally that way too, like Molas Pass. But you can do Hermosa from town. You can do a sweet Colorado Trail ride out/back from town. Horse Gulch Trails are right at the edge of town, additionally the test tracks. But in mid-summer you probably won't want to spend a day on those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Night life is maybe an inaccurate description. I am looking for some good pizza, burgers, etc. and great beer. It would be nice to see some activity at night, as in people walking about a town. Live music would be nice too. Good coffee and breakfast place, something unstarbucks.
 

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Night life is maybe an inaccurate description. I am looking for some good pizza, burgers, etc. and great beer. It would be nice to see some activity at night, as in people walking about a town. Live music would be nice too. Good coffee and breakfast place, something unstarbucks.
its all there. I would also highly suggest at least a day trip to Monarch Pass for some riding.
 

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Durango / CB would be my choice. Colorado Trail is epic in Durango (think about doing the supported ride from Molas Pass to Durango) and CB has some great rides like 401, Reno Flag Bear Deadmans, Drs Park etc. I would also drive the hour or so from CB and hit Monarch Crest trail outside Salida while you are in the area.
 

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Night life is maybe an inaccurate description. I am looking for some good pizza, burgers, etc. and great beer. It would be nice to see some activity at night, as in people walking about a town. Live music would be nice too. Good coffee and breakfast place, something unstarbucks.
You should find Crested Butte more than acceptable.
 

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Durango would be a bunch warmer than CB in mid July, not that you Arizonians would notice much, but still. CB would be plenty for 5 days IMO, if you wanted to get in another area, Aspen/Snowmass has great, very similar riding. Less optimized for tourists though.
 

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Durango would be a bunch warmer than CB in mid July, not that you Arizonians would notice much, but still. CB would be plenty for 5 days IMO, if you wanted to get in another area, Aspen/Snowmass has great, very similar riding. Less optimized for tourists though.
Not nearly as much of it, either.
 

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Camping and night life. Could be a little complicated. Most of the places you will legally camp near Crested Butte are not near Crested Butte. They tend to be a bit of a drive. Maybe you're the type who can enjoy an evening out and then jump in your car and drive without risking a DUI. If not, your night life may be a camp chair next to your cooler listening to breeze blowing through camp. Which is not bad.

Another thing to consider along those lines: the riding in Crested Butte tends to involve some pretty far-flung traveling. A little less so Durango--there are more trail miles within a tight radius of Durango. And there are campgrounds that are closer to town in Durango. There's a commercial campground in Durango called Riverside that's a fairly flat couple miles from the downtown. There's also a really nice Forest Service CG up Junction Creek near the Colorado Trail TH. That one is an easy ride to town since it's all down hill, but a pretty good climb from town.

But for example, to ride CB's marque ride 401 you have to drive or ride a paved then dirt road for like 12 miles. With lotsa climbing. Doctor Park which is my new favorite CB ride is actually more like an Altamont ride.

Just something to consider. If you are into 30 mile days there's lots you can ride right from CB. If you want to keep it less than 30 you'll tend to need shuttles, or to drive out to a starting place. Some of the best rides near Durango are totally that way too, like Molas Pass. But you can do Hermosa from town. You can do a sweet Colorado Trail ride out/back from town. Horse Gulch Trails are right at the edge of town, additionally the test tracks. But in mid-summer you probably won't want to spend a day on those.[/QUOTE]


Yeah, I love the riding in CB, but I have gotten used to the easy access the Breckenridge has. Very few places have the access right from town that Breck has. They've added some closer in stuff in CB over the years, but it's still pretty spread out. Durango is a little better than CB, but you still have to drive a fair amount.

Of course those are truly first world problems; the riding and scenery in those two places is top notch.
 

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Awesome, thanks. Looking forward to the trip.
One more thing to think about: in July expect it to rain. Maybe a fleeting afternoon storm or two, maybe pounding rain all damn night. I camped up on the Paradise Divide a couple nights last July. First night was beautiful, next day was beautiful then as is typical it clouded up and started raining in the afternoon. It rained all night and in the morning it was still coming down in buckets.

Every time I go to Durango in summer I get wet at least a little.

Have good rain gear with you while riding. If you are tent camping, have a good tent and think about where it's going when you pitch it. Not in a low spot.

One of the reasons those places are so beautiful is that lots of moisture goes there.
 
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