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Old, Slow and now FAT! :)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My family are about to book a cabin in Steamboat for Mid July for a week's get away. Considering the snowpack this year, can I expect the higher trails to be clear by then? I generally considered the rule of thumb to be after July 4th is okay but isn't it a bumper snowpack year?

I assume I would be better in early August but that may not be possible.
 

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Old, Slow and now FAT! :)
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I should add that we will be renting up by Steamboat Lake which is actually about an 1hr north of Steamboat Springs and given that this is more a family getaway rather than a "daddy goes biking" week what are the furthest northern trails that I should be exploring on the basis that I will have limited riding time?
 

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While Sb has done well this year for snow they really are about average and barring any huge snowfall this spring, July should be fine.
 

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One Cog Short
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I was riding in Steamboat in late May last year...you'll be fine by July. I have only ridden trails within a 10 mile radius of the town...so not much help on trails an hour north.
 

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K,
Look up Seedhouse Rd trails. It's right by Clark, near the lake. And, mid July "should" be okay. But if you're up that way, look to do the CTD from Rabbit Ears over to the ski resort down, or Fish Creek Canyon down...one of the best rides up that way. If you come down the ski resort, you can go catch the southern side then ride back up a bit to catch their new "DH" trail down (your TBLTc would do just fine on their DH trail). But if you prefer a bit of slower/techier riding, Fish Creek is the more challenging down.

Edit: Oh, I think you can ride up Hans Peak too.
 

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Old, Slow and now FAT! :)
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Edit: Oh, I think you can ride up Hans Peak too.
I've noted that one. I should be able to ride that straight from the cabin (if we manage to get it - it still shows availability but you never know). Isn't it pretty much jeep road to the top?
 

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Thanks for the suggestions so far.



I've noted that one. I should be able to ride that straight from the cabin (if we manage to get it - it still shows availability but you never know). Isn't it pretty much jeep road to the top?
Yup, but still worth going up there.

Sent from my MyTouch 4G Slide using Tapatalk
 

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K,
Look up Seedhouse Rd trails. It's right by Clark, near the lake. And, mid July "should" be okay. But if you're up that way, look to do the CTD from Rabbit Ears over to the ski resort down, or Fish Creek Canyon down...one of the best rides up that way. If you come down the ski resort, you can go catch the southern side then ride back up a bit to catch their new "DH" trail down (your TBLTc would do just fine on their DH trail). But if you prefer a bit of slower/techier riding, Fish Creek is the more challenging down.

Edit: Oh, I think you can ride up Hans Peak too.
Correction to the above statement, 'CDT' Continental Divide Trail
 

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123 inches up top as of Saturday. But we are only at 300+ inches for the season so far. We have been in melt down since mid February. In any case, even in a record year I have ridden the CDT(up high) in mid July.

Hahns peak is a jeep road indeed.

In my opinion Seedhouse road has the best "trail system" in North Routt. The trailhead areas are around 10 miles south of where you will be staying.
 

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Old, Slow and now FAT! :)
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
123 inches up top as of Saturday. But we are only at 300+ inches for the season so far. We have been in melt down since mid February. In any case, even in a record year I have ridden the CDT(up high) in mid July.

Hahns peak is a jeep road indeed.

In my opinion Seedhouse road has the best "trail system" in North Routt. The trailhead areas are around 10 miles south of where you will be staying.
Thanks :thumbsup:
 

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Old, Slow and now FAT! :)
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Turns out that we couldn't get the cabin we wanted after all so we headed south and got something near Wolf Creek Ski resort instead. So this summer I'll be exploring biking in the Rio Grande area between Pogosa Springs and South Fork. There appears to be a bunch of trails in the area though nothing that stands out as a must do, but this site has some details: Mtn Bike

Unbelievably I turned down the chance of a cabin just minutes away from Monarch Crest :madman: Well, perhaps another year....
 

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Your guys' suggestions won't wasted though!

I'm going up next weekend, I'll be sure to check out the CDT and Han's Peak since I've snowboarded both areas over the years. Besides Seedhouse what else should I check out?

I'll be supporting the GF whose doing the half marathon honey stinger. Any trails over there to check out while she is running it where I can see here start and finish?

Also, I don;t have the $$ for a cabin, what camping options are close to the town and free? I'm thinking National Forest land
 

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Camp up on buff pass. There are two trails down from there (BTR and R2D2) that get you above Spring Creek which will take you right into town. Instead of Seedhouse rd, park at Pearl Lake and enter the trail network on the west side of Pearl Lake. Killer primitive trails out that way.

If you can, get dropped off on the way into town at Rabbit Ears pass (Dumont lake) and ride into town over Mt. Warner.
 

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Turns out that we couldn't get the cabin we wanted after all so we headed south and got something near Wolf Creek Ski resort instead. So this summer I'll be exploring biking in the Rio Grande area between Pogosa Springs and South Fork. There appears to be a bunch of trails in the area though nothing that stands out as a must do, but this site has some details: Mtn Bike

Unbelievably I turned down the chance of a cabin just minutes away from Monarch Crest :madman: Well, perhaps another year....
Creede/Lake City would have been a better choice. Some epic $hit up around those parts. You should know better than planning a vacation without consulting me. ;)

I have a mate that has ridden around in the Pag/South Fork area. Lots of old FS roads and obscure trail down there from what I understand.
 

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Old, Slow and now FAT! :)
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I got back from South Fork yesterday. I only rode the one morning (the rest of the trip was pinned down to "family time" Ahhhggg! :))

I rode up the Lake Trail as that was bike able from the cabin and was rated as easy in one guide and expert in another! Easy it was not. While technically bikes are allowed on it I would not ride a bike up it. The lower section was hard in the extreme. The trail was also non existent in places and route finding took my many years to trail riding/hiking to find. When lucky the trail was 6 inches wide, when unlucky it was a two foot spongy mud animal track that was recently been trodden to death by a herd of cattle. At other times there was no trail and I had to spot for posts sticking out of cairns.



Of the 3000ft ascent it took me close to 3 hours to complete and I probably hiked-a-bike for probably 1/2 that time. When I was cycling I was probably not going much more than walking anyway stuck in my 22x32 and 22x36 ratios. Sections of the route took me through the burn area from a couple years back. The ground was heavy in moisture and I could still smell the scent of burnt wood in the air.





Even though the route was hard, the primitive nature of it, the true back country - no one's every been here - feel of it made it worth it.

I was going to ride as an out-n-back but I determined that the descent would be no fun at all. This was a time when the climb was probably better than the descent. I like to go quick downhill. This trail would not have been much quicker going down than going up.. So I changed to a loop and headed along the forest road that bordered the wilderness boundary to reach the top of the Trout Creek Trail. Trout Creek was one of only two trails in the South Fork area that were included in the Colorado Guide to Mountain Biking.



The Forest Road ended after climbing to 11,000ft and then started to descend on a washed out, but fun ATV track. It reached a meadow that had a post that stated that hazardous conditions existed ahead and that this was decision time for turning around indicating that I had reached the top of Trout Creek though no trail was visible on the ground! From the NatGeo maps I was carrying and my GPS I set forth... Eventually I found a slight indentation between the trees. I had found the trail. Gradually the trail became more apparent and quickly entered extreme gnar! Downed, burnout trees, flash flood washout, ruts and huge boulders on about a 25% grade. It took all my technically skill to ride but still had to get off many times to cross over trees. Luckily after a few hundred feet of descent it started to mellow out but then the trail vanished again.







There's a trail on the ground behind me.,,


Cairns on the ground pointed the way and eventually after some more flash flood terrain riding the "trail" became more normal. At this point I stopped with the photos and got my GoPro out (I'll post up the link to the video later)

Much of the trail from this point was smooth dirt, 3-12 inches wide with occasional rock gardens and smattering of rocks throughout. Creeks (some large) and trees had to be forded and crossed, but this was a great ride. After a while I came to a gate. This was the end of the upper section of Trout Creek and the start of the lower section. This widening to double track but in spots would also shrink back to single track (or at least narrow double track - 2-3 feet wide). Here I was able to get some speed on! Part way down a large brown bear (why is it that everything says that brown bears don't exist in CO and that we have black bears but all the ones I see (that's four to date) are brown?) runs out onto the trail in front of me and bolts down the trail for about a 100 yards before climbing up the hill side. I get the whole thing on my GoPro (I'll post it later).

Towards the bottom I make a wrong turn and end up on a private track so I have to backtrack. To my horror what I thought was an easy run down to the road now turns out to be a longish climb over two more mountains before I get to the road. The two additional descents are fun but the climbs, while not technical - the trail is smooth here - are brutal on their steepness after such a long day in the saddle. Finally I make it to the road and finish up with a 40 minute road burn along 160 - not particularly fun but the quickest way back.

So in the end the ride was near 7 hours in length, climbed 4400ft and traversed 30 miles. It was hard, I walked too much, but it was totally worth it.

Mountain Bike Ride Profile | South Fork, CO - Lake trail and Trout Creek Trail loop near | Times and Records | Strava
 
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