April 7, 2014
If there was one word to describe Devil's Backbone, I would choose 'chunky'. The trail starts out as fairly smooth singletrack for about two miles. Then begins the mild climbing. It's enough to put me out of breath. There's also some technical features that are extremely challenging going up, but super fun going down. You'll get to a trail fork. Going right is nearly expert level. Lots of slow technical stuff. Going left is mild, but still some walking parts. Once you get to an overlook, if you continue dropping down into the river valley, you're on Blue Sky. So, if you just want to do the backbone, turn around. I work 15 minutes from this trail, so I do it quite a bit. It's a good trail for someone who is intermediate level, because it will have challenging parts, parts to admire being able to get through, and parts that you can fly though. So it's a good mix that keeps you from getting bored. Some of the trail is also very very wide. So you can 'choose your line' to make it as difficult or easy as you like. The large rocks make this one of the few trails that made me wish I had a nice full suspension 29er vs my 26. Definitely bring your full suspension mountain bike, and knee pads if you have them. The trail will have a bit of hikers and runners and dogs, but mostly in the first few miles. Also watch out for equestrians, too. I'd say this trail is a bit more challenging than many other 'blue/intermediate' trails listed on Singletracks. Physically, it's fairly easy due to little climbing compared with many CO trails, but it's almost 6 miles of chunk. Don't go on this trail unless you are used to obstacles that can easily cause over the bars or 'superman' crashes.