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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to mountain biking this year. Been doing variations of Green Mountain for the last few weeks (most everything but Box O' Rocks). The GM climbing is still plenty challenging for me but I'm ready for some variety and something a bit more technical.

Hoping to try something new this weekend. What would you recommend?
 

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North Table Mountain (Similar to GM)
3 Sisters (Check conditions)
Lair of the Bear (Check conditions)

NTM is somewhat similar to GM. Big climb in the beginning. The last two mentions provide some varied terrain to boost those developing skills and the climbs are moderate.
 

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Lair of the Bear. It's my go to short on time ride. It's got short tech sections, fun downhills, monotonous climbs, and let's you practice trail courtesy which few do there. Hall Ranch is great time also which I highly recommend but it's a little further from Green Mountain. If you go to hall, get a sandwich from St Vrain I can't sing their praises enough. 7$ for a two meal sandwich. I always seem to meet the coolest people at hall.
 

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The Notorious S.L.O
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North Table Mountain (Similar to GM)
3 Sisters (Check conditions)
Lair of the Bear (Check conditions)

NTM is somewhat similar to GM. Big climb in the beginning. The last two mentions provide some varied terrain to boost those developing skills and the climbs are moderate.
Since my house is ~ the same elevation of 3 Sis, I am expecting snow in the shade and mud in other spots, would expect some snow at Lair, but since it is lower, not sure how much.
 

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tiny rider
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Lair (of|'O) the Bear is a good next step. Another option is to just head up Waterton Canyon to the Colorado Trail (and you can up the technical level quite a bit if you tie in some of Indian Creek). I'd suggest Buffalo Creek as a fun place to put in lots of trail miles without a lot of high-consequence exposure.

Mt. Falcon certainly hits you with a big climb to start, but I really love the Parmalee trail up top. It's technical, but not dangerous. You can add in some of the smaller loops if you want to play on rocks as well (Old Ute and Devil's Elbow).

Centennial Cone is a nice place to ride as well. It's not technical, but there is exposure which makes it less ideal for some.

Deer Creek has good trails if you are willing to hike a couple of the steep sections.

Golden Gate Canyon has a lot of fun trails. The West side (Mule Deer in particular) is smoother. It gets much more technical, though, as you add things like Snow Shoe or Mt. Lion loop.
 

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I agree with everyone that has recommended Lair, Three Sisters, or North Table.

I see a few above recommended Deer Creek and Dinosaur Ridge - if you're a beginner and not comfortable on Box O' Rocks, I'd stay away from those for now.
 

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The OP asked for easy rides...Deer Creek, Mt. Falcon, Dinosaur Ridge are all Advance/Expert rides. Golden Gate and Centennial Cone will have a lot of snow right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, I have my reservations about Dakota Ridge (too technical at this point), Falcon (tough climb), and Deer Creek (tough climb + "the wall").

I'm looking for something that is a step-up, technically, from Green Mountain, but similar in physical difficulty/climbing. At this point, my technical ability and confidence are ready for more. My fitness has some catching up to do before I'm ready for something like Falcon, though.

Sounds like there's some consensus around 3 Sisters, NTM, and LOB. There was an earlier post that mentioned Matthews Winters, which also sounds like it might be a good, dry, option for this weekend.

Thanks for all the responses so far.

If anyone has up-to-date info on how Lair 'O the Bear is looking for tomorrow would love to hear about it. I'm eager to check it out.
 

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bear creek lake mt carbon loop is where i take a lot of beginners. Fun little loop that you can combine with nearby trails or do a couple times if you want. marshal mesa is another one that is a nice beginner loop with decent mileage.
 

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tiny rider
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In the trail conditions thread, a recent post about LotB was encouraging (until Sunday at least).

There certainly is a distinction between physical and technical difficulty, and you need to figure out where you want to play. For me, the biggest consideration for novice-intermediate riders, though, is the risks of making mistakes. Betasso and Cent. Cone are smooth trail, but if you navigate wrong you may be in for serious carnage. Something like Parmalee Gulch is technically harder, but the consequences are generally not particularly high.

Putting on my geezer hat, when I first rode the Front Range, I slogged up Mt. Falcon on my rigid 21speed. And I walked quite a bit (up and down). The trails were generally less utilized and therefore smoother, but the lesson is clearly don't be afraid to get on a ride that leaves you walking some stretches. White Ranch isn't much fun until you can clear many of the waterbars, but most of the above-listed trials are rideable in large part even if they are over your head.

Explore and you'll find what you like, as well as places to visit as you get stronger.
 

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I would try Bear Creek. Not as challenging as GM but you can get lots of miles and a little bit of everything. Keyword being a 'little.' I would try Matthew Winters as well, you gotta start somewhere on the techy stuff and its short if you find you are not enjoying the ride.
 

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If you head up to Hall area, also check out Heil. Some of the trails are closed currently but good climbs, good technical (rocks, rocks, and more rocks) while still being rideable. Haven't been up there yet this year but it and Hall are some good riding :)
 
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