Colorado Mountain Biking Adventures
Riding in the mountains can be the most fun you can have on two wheels. Although my considerable heft would break mountain bikes in half, I have several friends who make the trek to Colorado each year to enjoy the amazing bike trails there.
The road to Echo Lake in Colorado is extremely popular with riders. The route is close, and the mountain exposure can help eliminate cabin fever. Expansive views of mountain valleys add to the overall experience. The longer distance makes this an excellent training ride, as well. Park near the softball fields just east of Colorado 74 and Colorado 103. The shoulder is narrow, but this road is not heavily traveled. The climbing starts at 1.7 miles as the road begins twisting and turning. It's a mostly steady ascent with intermittent flat sections that allow for recovery.
Riding Elk Meadow is great too. This park has two pristine mountain bike loops. Both start on the Meadow View Trail, which climbs gently past the Sleepy "S" trail junction at 0.3 miles. A gentle climb through pine and aspen takes riders over a few rock obstacles and two switchbacks. At 1.0 mile, the Bergen Peak Trail loop climbs aggressively to the top of Bergen Peak. Continuing on the lower loop, pass the Elkridge Trail and continue north along the base of Bergen Peak as the path rolls in and out of the trees. At 2.2 miles, go right, passing the other end of the Bergen Peak Trail loop, and start descending. Take Painters Pause Trail right at 3.0 miles and continue as it parallels Colorado 74. Near the bottom, at 4.1 miles, go right on the Sleepy "S" trail. Pass the Elkridge Trail junction and continue climbing to the Meadow View Trail junction at 5.3 miles. Go left to descend back to the parking lot.
Evergreen Mountain Trail: This trail is in Jefferson County's Alderfer/Three Sisters Park, southeast of Evergreen. Majestic rock outcroppings known as The Three Sisters dominate the northern part of the park. To the south, Evergreen Mountain rises above picturesque meadows and offers beautiful views south and west. From the upper parking lot, cross the road going right on Wild Iris Meadow Loop and take a right on the Evergreen Mountain Trail. It is a steady climb to the Summit Trail Junction. Scenic views and interesting rock formations make this loop memorable. After making the descent to the Ranch View Trail, cross the private road and climb back to the parking lot.
Rage in the Sage is an extremely challenging ride. The famous Rage in the Sage racecourse encircles a vast, mazelike trail network in the Hartman Rocks area southwest of Gunnison. It is almost impossible to follow a described route because hundreds of alternating riding options constantly confuse riders. However, the majority of trails are contained within the main riding map's diagrammed area, offering endless riding possibilities and many miles of fun exploring. It can get hot, so take extra water and food. "When in doubt, take single track" is a good mantra to follow here.
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