10 Trails I Can’t Wait to Ride in 2014

While it’s currently the dead of winter here and we’re mired in the muddy mountain biking off season, I am already dreaming about several trails that I can’t wait to ride this year! Some are familiar, fun rides, and a few are new ones that I’ve just recently heard about:

1. Western Rim in Rabbit Valley 

I’ve talked about this trail so much that I don’t even need to say anything.  It’s long and scenic and has a variety of technical spots and fast, flowing singletrack.  The fact that it’s often empty is just a bonus!

Biking in Crested Butte

2. Crested Butte’s Lupine Trail

Last year we combined this one with several other Crested Butte trails for an epic 25-mile ride.  The Lupine Trail itself has very few climbs and winds in and out of aspen forests.  You’re treated to a great, well-built singletrack trail with views of Mt. Crested Butte, the Peanut Mine, Oh-Be-Joyful Creek, and more!

3. The Jumbo Trail System in Paonia, CO

Since it’s only 1.5 hours away and will be cooler than Grand Junction in the summer, I’m thinking this area might make for a great day trip!  I’ve heard great things about this 20+ mile trail system and the area in general.  Plus, Revolution Brewing has a tasting room there!

Enjoying the surrounding aspens on Snowmass's Government Trail

4. The Government Trail, etc. at Snowmass Village, CO

For a while, Snowmass was our go-to Labor Day destination.  We’d take the gondola up the mountain and then do some cross-mountain riding on the Government, Tom Blake, and Cross-Mountain trails. Lately, though, we’ve been traveling around during Labor Day week, and I’ve missed my Snowmass rides. I think because we spend time there every winter, Snowmass feels a little like home.  I like that familiarity, and I love riding down narrow trails like Anaerobic Nightmare, surrounded by aspens.

5. Phil’s World, Cortez, CO

Speaking of familiar, I can’t wait for our annual Durango/Cortez trip and a chance to ride Phil’s World again.  That place is just plain fun!  I’ll happily make a donation to the trails group for a chance to ride Ribs over and over again.

Smooth sweet singletrack in Cortez, CO at Phil's World

6. North 40, Moab, UT

Moab’s North 40 trail at the Brand Trails area definitely got our attention this past fall.  We like the Brand area anyway, but the North 40 trail was the perfect mix of technical rock riding and flowing singletrack.  In particular, I think my biking buddy Adelle would really enjoy this one, so I hope we can get over there for a weekend and do some serious riding.

7. Dead Horse Point State Park, Moab, UT

While we’re checking out Moab’s North 40 trail, I also want to head up to Dead Horse Point to ride the new additions to the Intrepid Trail System there. According to the Moab, Utah Facebook Page, several new trails have been added (see map below). Since I think the views from Dead Horse Point are unbelievable anyway, I’m excited to do some more biking there.

8. Mack Ridge, Fruita, CO

The Kokopelli Area’s Mack Ridge became one of our favorites this past year.  During the busy seasons especially, and even during the heat of summer, we’d climb up Lion’s Loop for a chance to bomb down the incredibly rocky, yet always entertaining, Mack Ridge trail. You can bet we’ll be on it at least once a month this year.

9. Hartman Rocks, Gunnison, CO 

I can’t believe it’s been two years since I last biked at Hartman’s! Usually the last day of our Crested Butte trip involves a ride at Hartman Rocks in Gunnison. This past year our Sunday ride got rained out; the year before we opted to do Doctor Park on our final day. Still, Hartman’s is an awesome place to bike. With fast, flowing trails and super technical ones too, you can get a little of everything all in one ride.  It reminds me of a combination of 18 Road and Lunch Loop.

10. The Colorado Trail @ Keystone Ranch

Whenever we head to Frisco, CO, to visit friends, we do this ride.  Usually we start at a trailhead just off Tiger Road in Breckenridge.  We ride up the Powerline Trail to the Blair Witch Trail, and then turn off onto the Colorado Trail. Towards the end of the ride we make our way through a section of hairpin switchbacks that I just love.  While parts of the ride are a sufferfest for us lowlanders, most of it is fun, and all of it is beautiful.

Open meadows on the Colorado Trail

Your Turn: What trails are you ready to get back to this spring?