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Level: Intermediate
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +410/ -410 ft
Total: 362 riders

Mountain Biking Captain Jack's

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#25 of 1,362 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#143 in the world

The ride up High Drive is about a mile and completely uphill. At the top of the hill, take the trail to the right (labeled Penrose Multi-use trail 665). The other users of this trail include motorcycles so be careful! The trail is very well maintained and hard to lose. Alot of loose gravel, banked turns, and crazy mogul like jumps make this trail awesome. The trail goes down about 3 miles before ending at a parking lot. Go out the parking lot and turn right onto the gravel road. This road leads back to your car and goes through two tunnels and some high rock canyons. Very scenic, very fast, and very fun. Do the loop a couple times for a good workout.

First added by Jeff Barber on Jan 1, 2003. Last updated May 2, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Colorado Springs, take W. Cheyenne Blvd. west (access from I-25 via exit 140A [US 25 S] - right onto Ramona, turns into W Cheyenne Blvd.) Go almost to Seven Falls - just before Seven Falls, turn right into North Cheyenne Canyon. Continue into the park, past Helen Hunt Falls until the pavement ends (approx. 2 miles). Park at the parking lot here. Trail starts up High Drive.
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Captain Jack's Trail map

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mxcobra (on Jul 8, 2023)
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Trail conditions

Fair (on Mar 24, 2022)
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Captain Jack's videos

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mountain biking on Captain Jack's
mtb downhill with hard crash -…
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Rider questions

Q: Do dogs have to be on leash at all times?

Q: Does it go back to the parking lot?
A: It goes through lower gold camp tunnels and back to parking lot.

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  • Jim Cummings

    I started Captain Jack's at the top by riding up Gold Camp Road and Buckhorn Trail. That gives a total descent of 2000 feet over four and a half miles. It's a fast, exhilarating mainly down-sloping ride featuring lots of rollers, some swooping banked turns, and a few small drops. The surface is weathered granite - sandy, gritty stuff that gives an interesting "floaty" ride. It exits onto a parking lot on Gold Camp Road.

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  • jamzman

    I must have missed something but my gps took me to the parking lot next to the 665 trail. That was the only marking. Straight up!!! Straight down!!! Description seems to be of a completely different trail. Someone said long and flowy, but there was only about 200 feet that was not vertical. 70 degree downhills. Nonetheless the views were spectacular and refreshing. Just wished I would have hiked without my bike. Lol. I don't do downhill.

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  • Jimmy Johnson 11

    Fun, fun, fun
    Was on my XC bike was totally rideable but a bigger bike would be great

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  • cameronnichols

    This trail is awesome. Very fast, mostly flowy with some really fun and challenging technical sections. As of a week or so ago it's pretty rutted out from rain in spots which is a bummer but still very rideable, just adds different challenge. Fun mogul jumps too, all the rock drops are rollable with a 29er even though they don't look like they would be. I've only been in Colorado a few months and I've already done this trail 7 times, I'm hooked. Park above Helen hunt falls, from there you can ride up high drive (the easy way) or take goldcamp road west then climb the buckhorn trail, which is tough but not ridiculous, it's a decent climb and very rewarding. If you are in Colorado Springs and you haven't done this trail you are missing out

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  • levi.hunt

    Decided this weekend I wanted more of a challenge and while most of the time I ride up high drive road and come down captain jacks to get to the car I decided to ride up captain jacks. The grade is tuff but the loose gravel is what makes this a challenge. Wider softer tires will do well on this trail but be careful as it's very rocky and easy to pinch a tube. Last time I walked all but the first 500 yards down hill due to not bringing a spare tube and pinching the valve stem.

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  • CSgaraglino   ✓ supporter

    Captain Jacks is tore up pretty bad from all the rain. While rideable, in order to preserve the trials, it's not recommended.

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  • J.A.T

    This trail is one of my favorites (sometimes). I've found soil condition to be a huge factor here. Sometimes the trail can be ridden fast, and is a blast with all the various curves and little drops. Other times it is just dangerous because of the loose gravel and ruts that develop. To me the deep loose gravel is not the kind of challenge I enjoy because it is unpredictable. I feel safer riding a knarly black diamond rock garden than sliding around on loose gravel on an otherwise intermediate trail.

    This trail seems to be best after a some rain when the moisture holds the soil together a bit. I've had some of my best rides on Captain Jacks, but also several dumb crashes because of loose gravel and deep ruts. Give it try but use caution, especially if you are not sure of the soil conditions.

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  • apalten

    Maybe it was the day I was there but I found this way too sandy. Slipped and slid a lot.

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  • mongwolf

    Today, I rode Jack's, along with the Chutes and Stratton, for the first time in a couple of years. I just got back in the Springs last week. I wasn't as confident on the lose deep scree as I have been in the past, but it still was a ton of fun. This is one fine trail. I have to give it a five for sheer fun -- swooping through banked turns, going off drops, drifting through turns. It's good to see that the trail has recovered so well from the big storm a couple of years ago.

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  • skelldify

    Fast, kinda loose, pretty fun, but over way too quickly.

    Not real technical, but you can push it pretty hard in the turns.

    I kept wanting to go faster, but not trusting the kitty-litter-like gravel. You could get real good at drifting turns on this trail.

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  • [email protected]

    Awesome trail my favorite so far in the Springs area. The downhill portion of the trail is epic!

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  • ZE RO Serfass

    i just moved here in Nov 14.... so right now I am walking every inch of the trail before riding. I like to walk and know every inch before i go nuts. I have gone further everytime for a week. tomorrow i am going from the parking lot of 665 to high dr, then thru the tunnels back to the truck by foot, then i will have completed the first phase. most awesome walk ever so far. each time... funniest part is jumping to the edge of falling off the side to get out of the way for my fellow bikers..lolol... literally.

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  • ZE RO Serfass

    i just moved here in Nov 14.... so right now I am walking every inch of the trail before riding. I like to walk and know every inch before i go nuts. I have gone further everytime for a week. tomorrow i am going from the parking lot of 665 to high dr, then thru the tunnels back to the truck by foot, then i will have completed the first phase. most awesome walk ever so far. each time... funniest part is jumping to the edge of falling off the side to get out of the way for my fellow bikers..lolol... literally.

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  • Jeff Barber

    Classic COS ride and a great place to feel like you're in the backcountry on an after work ride. The gravel is deep on the lower section so bring your fat bike to really rail this one!

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  • nothinspecial

    The first time I rode this trail a few months ago it was raved as a friends "favorite trail of all time" so I rented a Krampus and yea it was a blast. I went back yesterday, made the drive from Denver now that I live here, 3 hours round trip and all I want to do is make the drive again!

    Currently it's pretty beat up after the rains so be careful, lots of sudden washouts. Still very very fun!

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    Oh. My. Gosh. I can't imagine giving this trail anything less than 5 stars! This was the most fun I have had on a mountain bike in a long time!

    Flying down the mountain at mach 10, whipping around berms and wall rides, threading through canyons and tech sections, launching off of drops, pumping through rollers... this is a rip-roaring descent that could either feel tame and enjoyable, or challenging as you try to keep your wheels from sliding out on the gravel as you corner at 20-30 mph.

    Whatever kind of riding you like to do, you can definitely enjoy this fantastic descent that holds such a well-deserved place in mountain biking lore.

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  • ***

    The ride down was extremely awesome on full DH bikes. Flowy berms with rollers for days. The hike up, however, was a total b*tch with full DH bikes... So I would definitely an enduro bike for this trail next time, but I don't have one of those, and I'm for sure never going to walk my 303 up to the top again, so I'll wait for the resorts to open up again.

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  • mongwolf

    I ran Jacks yesterday (up and down -- tough up) to survey the damage after our recent rain event. From High Drive, the first half mile was in great shape.

    Then there was some minor rutting here and there from this half mile point, where the trail begins to descend until you reach the tubs.

    The tubs have some rutting that will give some riders problems, especially on the bottom half. Also on the bottom half is a short area where all the scree is gone and it is just a relatively steep rock slab. So the tubs are a bit trickier than they were before.

    From the bottom of the tubs for the next mile or so, there are ruts of varying difficulty on the short dh runs. Some are no problem; some will at least make you hesitate and consider your approach and line.

    Finally, the bottom half mile (from just above the north pointing hairpin turn to the bottom THD) has been hit pretty hard by the storm. The ruts are deeper and more treacherous. There are small drainage crossings that require dismounts. Plus there is one section of the trail maybe 25 yards long that no longer exists. It has become a drainage bottom and is a gully about 3 feet deep. It is quite impressive.

    Overall, except for the bottom half mile, Jacks held up fairly well and still worth the ride. The bottom half mile will require some major trail work. The rest of the trail will only require minor work for the most part. Hope this helps.

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  • mturner

    I parked before the two tunnels and rode two miles up to the next parking lot, then up High Drive to the trail head. The uphill ride took almost 30 minutes. The ride down was very fun, gravely in spots, with drop offs next to the trail a lot of the way. The uphill ride was difficult, but the downhill reward was worth it.Round trip; 45minutes. I extended my ride by going back up through the two tunnels to the top parking lot, I could not bring myself to ride up High Drive a second time though.

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  • Gwardy

    This is from a motorcycle prospective. Glad to see newer reviews are not BASHING us. Maybe people understand this trail system like a lot of OTHERS were created a long time before there were even Mountain Bikes in this world. A lot of us also ride mtb's. CMTRA spends a lot of time and resources to make Captain Jack's possible for everyone to use. Maybe instead of complaining about trail conditions get out and volunteer to fix issues, maybe support the trails by paying $25.25 for that OHV sticker that goes to support the trails you like to mtb on!!! Just a thought...* Review edited 8/15/2012

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