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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
I am coming out to Durango this July and will be bringing my XC bike(Cannondale Scalpel). I am looking for ride recommendations. I like XC type trails with big switchback climbs and fun descents. I was out there a few years ago and rode at Telegraph trails from Horse Gulch Rd. Absolutely loved it! I will be hitting that system again, but wondering if anyone has any other recommendations. I will be riding solo. Thanks in advance!
EDIT: I realize in July it can get pretty warm there. I will be doing most of my riding in the AM.
 

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You'll like Animas Mountain loop too. Climb up counter-clockwise and loop it out with a west side descent. Do the opposite route later in the trip.
For good switchback climbing, go up Skyline Trail on east side of town, descend down Sugar for more of the Horse Gulch system. (or descend down Raider Ridge for a very techy, challenging, advanced+ level ride down).
 

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In the high country:

Engineer Mountain Trail
-pretty easy to self shuttle with a hitchhike, or you can climb the highway or use Lime Creek Road.

Molas Pass to Engineer Mountain Trail or to Cascade Canyon (more ambitious) or to Engine Creek (also more ambitious). Come prepared for alpine conditions
, afternoon storms and self sufficiency. Plenty of water. Likely will encounter some snow fields this year.

Hire a shuttle to Kennebec Pass, Ride the CT back to Durango. Reliable and regular water sources.

Missionary Ridge Trail is a fairly stout out and back from the cattle gate/ Florida Rd side. Sustained climbing and some screaming descents. It’s gets hot up there, though and there are seldom any water sources in the summer so carry plenty.
 

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Thanks for the tips! A few questions...Does the CT traverse thru wilderness at all that I need to be aware of? Also, do any of the local bike shops organize weekly group rides at all?
@CWnSWCO- Is the Animas loop the same trail referenced at this link?
https://www.singletracks.com/bike-trails/animas-city-trail.html
CT doesn't cross Wilderness in the zone near Durango. It does NE of Silverton, but not on the close-to-town stuff.

Yes, that link is the same Animas loop I mentioned.

I think 2nd Ave Sports has a weekly shop ride. Pedal the Peaks used to have one, don't know if they still do.
 

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As counter programming to Animas (yuck), I would suggest the Twin Buttes trail system. 1.5-2 hour ish loop from town with plenty of up and down, and slightly more shade than Horse Gulch. But yeah, Skyline if you want switchbacks.
 

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As counter programming to Animas (yuck), I would suggest the Twin Buttes trail system. 1.5-2 hour ish loop from town with plenty of up and down, and slightly more shade than Horse Gulch. But yeah, Skyline if you want switchbacks.
Yeah, I'm not much a fan of Animas Mtn.
It always seems to be either too hot or too crowded. When the weather is nice, there's just too many people on it to really open up on the downhill, so I'll occasionally get the itch and go and do it when it's "too hot" out and quickly remember why I seldom do that trail. I'm never motivated enough to do Town trails in the early morning, but I'd wager that it's busy with runners and hikers. Last light can be good if you time the descent right. I won't even consider it during peak hours, but I'd say the same for many of the town trails.
 

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As counter programming to Animas (yuck), I would suggest the Twin Buttes trail system. 1.5-2 hour ish loop from town with plenty of up and down, and slightly more shade than Horse Gulch. But yeah, Skyline if you want switchbacks.
Agreed. Personally, Animas might be the only ride I like less than Horse Gulch. I like Twin Buttes, Junction Creek over to Dry Fork, all the stuff around Star Wars, Hermosa Creek (closed this year I know), the CT and I never miss Phil's or Boggy Draw/Italian Canyon but probably doesn't fit what OP is looking for.
 

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Interesting to note that the new BLM proposal calls for creating a new trail on the Western Rim of Animas Mtn as well as some designated Bike only trails. The proposal also includes closing Hogsback to Bikes.
 

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Hermosa Creek drainage is open again as of today (5/1), however, it is difficult to imagine it will be in any kind of riding shape this season due to the damage from the fire. It is surely covered with deadfall.


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey all. Just thought I would revisit this thread. I am currently in CO Springs and will be in Durango tomorrow evening. I plan to ride both Telegraph and Animas probably Saturday and Sunday. Any trail reports/closures I should be aware of?
 

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-Town trails are all clear.
-Hermosa Creek drainage is open. I’ve done some of the side trails up to over 10,000 feet. The creek crossings are kind of DDP, though.
-champion Venture Road is passable by bikes to the CT. Due to some avalanche damage, it can’t be driven past mile marker 16 or so
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks all! Just arrived in Durango. Gonna look for some local microbrew tonight and hit some trails tomorrow. Hope to see some of you out there! I will be on a Red Cannondale Scalpel with a Lefty fork. Say hi if we cross paths at all!
 

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I’ll be interested to hear how Hermosa Creek is riding, as we’ll be in Durango the first week in August, and would like to ride it. We couldn’t last year, because of the fire. Some friends rode it in the past few days, and said it was all rideable, but slow. Lots of interesting, post-fire scenery, however.

A couple questions, given the heavy snow season:
- Is the CT/Champion Venture clear up to High Point? Or will it be, in another month? We really enjoy that out and back from Durango.
- Will Molas Pass/Engineer Mountain be clear in a month? I’m assuming that the CT in that area is still snow-covered?

Thanks for any and all input!


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