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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for a little advice from some locals here...I am planning a camping trip with my girlfriend to Rocky Mt Natl Park in July. I am aware there is no offroad riding allowed in the park, so I was wondering if anyone could recommend some trails outside of the park? I would be looking for anything that would be 1-3 hours in length.

My girlfriend will have a bike but does not ride single track at all. So with that, and the fact that I am not looking to be a candidate for a Darwin Award, is there any trails that would be recommended for a solo rider? I will have my FS Giant Trance 29er with me on this trip. Being from the midwest, I am mostly used to riding XC singletrack trails. I am pretty good on single track and regularily ride an IMBA Epic route near my house. I realize that Colorado will be a whole different animal though!
If there are no trails that would fit this category, is there any advice on how to find out about public group rides that welcome visitors and newcomers etc?

I really do not want to come out to Colorado and not ride any singletrack! Please help!
 

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The closest trails are around Nederland, to the south ~1hr, or Ft. Collins to the north. Or there is the ride up and over Rollins Pass into the Fraiser Valley. Where there is much more riding than on the east side of the divide.
 

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Which side of the park are you camping on? If the west side, you're not far from Winter Park and even closer to some more obscure trails.

If on the east side (Estes) you're 30 minutes to Lyons and Hall/Heil Ranch, and maybe closer still to Peaceful Valley where the northern end of the Sourdough Trail starts, and Buchanon Pass.
 

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I would stop in Lyons on the way up and ride Hall. You could park in town and your girl could walk around Lyons then y'all could meet up at Oskar Blues for a beer. Hall is a fun ride and you could ride Nelson loop a few times to extend it or out on Picture Rock if your so inclined. Lyons is a cool little town for your girl to walk around while you ride. It's small but if she gets bored she can just go drink beer at OB. Pick up a sandwich at St Vrain market before you roll out of town.
 

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I'm no shill but if you're in Lyons and don't stop into Redstone Cyclery you've missed out.

On a completely different note, is Crosier dead and buried post flood?
 

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Years ago (mid 90s), I got my first taste of Colorado mountain biking on a trip to Estes. I remember one of the trails we did started from the YMCA of the Rockies. I have no idea if they still allow MTB there or not, or if the quality of the trail is inflated in my mind these years later (especially coming from a then 19 year old Midwesterner on his first CO visit). But I figured if I threw that out either somebody might know what I'm talking about or it could give you something to research.
 

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"Technically", eh? Man, hard to imagine that it wasn't blown out to some degree. At least that price that dropped into the stables there in GH.

I may not be a shill but appreciate the info, Dave! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the responses. I still haven't worked out the exact details of where in the park we will be but I am flexible on that anyways. I will probably get a feel for what trails I want to ride and make camping reservations based on that.
 

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Sorry for the OT stuff. East side of the park I'd drive to Lyons and hit that stuff. You could also come down 34 and ride Devils Backbone out of Loveland. For my money I'd camp on the west side of the park and ride over there. Better mountain experience, imo.
 

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Back to the OPs thread, I agree with jugdish - the west side of the park has a ton less tourists, better scenery, and better access to good riding. Grand Lake is right at the bottom of the west side of the park. It's a cool little town and there is good riding nearby as well.
 

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Bummer to hear about Lion's Gulch and Hermit Park. Liked both a ton.
 

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+1 for west side. and forget about even saying the word "bike" in the park, u can't sneeze in that park wtihout a permit, I don't even think they allow pictures of bikes on the trails. If you end up on the west, Grand Lake has some nice stuff, a lot of it is moto-accessible tho, so you';ll be dealing with a lot of texas wheel chairs. The best way to find the best riding there is with an app called RideOracle on iiphone. its got all teh Trails GPS'd for ya. it'll cost you a few bucks, but its better than spending $12 for a trails illustrated map.
 

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If you are planning to drive over Trail Ridge road to the west side of RMNP, you could maybe conspire to ride up Fall River road (one way uphill on the old dirt road to the alpine visitor's center) while your GF drives (either Fall River or Trail Ridge).

It's a shame that Lion Gulch and Hermit Park are out of commission. That takes a decent bite out of the Estes area riding, and access to some beautiful country. I hope that Hermit Park can reopen soon, at least for camping.

Ignazjr, do you think there is much to find via Little Valley and Pierson's?
 
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