Commando Run

4.75 out of 5
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4x4 Trail
↑ 1,800 ft
↓ 5,000 ft
elevation (ft)

Out & Back
Trail Description
About this trail
Once on the mountain ride up the Village Trail to where you can see Chair ten about 1.5 miles in
and take a left continuing uphill.stay on this road an pass all spurs untill ontop of Benchmark at
abou 10 miles in. Turn right then a quarter mile later left. The right should keep you heading
west not heading south. If it takes you south you took did not see the spur on the left (the right
turn). When you are done soaking in the veiw turn around and trace your route back to Vail.
added by LancefanGnarly
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
Rider Questions
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Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Heritage Park
Red Rocks / Dakota Ridge
Porcupine Rim
Monarch Crest Trail
Mary's Loop / Horsethief Bench
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (36 total check-ins)
  Daniella Lugo   on Aug 25, 2019
  eastonnorth   on Jul 31, 2019
  the_salaminzer   on Sep 30, 2018
  Daniella Lugo   on Sep 9, 2018
  Daniella Lugo   on Sep 7, 2018
Photo & Video Gallery (9)
Trail Photos & Videos (9)
Reviews (7)

World Champ

January 26, 2018
Greg Heil World Champ  
Review: Fantastic alpine Singletrack! A Colorado Classic!


July 7, 2014
Review: We started in Minturn and rode up Game Creek to the top of the Gondola. This is a very steep climb. From the Gondola take The Grand Traverse until you reach a road that ends or passes Two Elk Lodge. Climb past Two Elk Lodge and take single track or service road until you are at the top of Mongolia Bowl (Inner Mongolia I think). That is where the descent begins. Oh yeah, the climb from Minturn until that point is around 4,200 feet (not for someone who just came from sea level as it tops out above 11,000 feet). The descent is twisty and the trail is only about 8 inches wide with lots of Aspen and Willow branches ready to whack you in the face (wear eye protection). In July, the flora is big enough that it is hard to see down the trail so be careful there are a lot of rocky sections that would love to bounce you off the trail and down the ravine toward the river. If you are up for a long day, 23.8 miles and 4,200 feet of climbing, I would highly recommend this trail. If that sounds like a lot of work there are other options, such as parking in Vail and riding the Gondola or shuttling to the top of Vail Pass and riding from Shrine Mountain Road. Both of these options cut the mileage and the climbing.

Similar Trail: Monarch Crest, Trail 401



March 3, 2015
Endo Alley Gnarly  
Review: I've done this ride many times. A good way to ride this is down Two Elk creek back to Minturn from the top of Benchmark. That is a truly great downhill that goes on for many miles. Another climb option is backwards up Cougar Ridge at the fork about a quarter mile from the start of the trail. Also not a climb for the faint hearted. Or from Vail up Lionsway to Fred's Lunch, to Grand Traverse. I like your attitude. That is a great way to get to the top of Benchmark. You must be strong.

Similar Trail: not much is similar to this.



March 3, 2015
Endo Alley Gnarly  
Review: The best descent from China Wall at Benchmark where you headed east is south back to Minturn down Two Elk creek. Incredible downhill. I've done this ride many a time. Another option is climbing Cougar Ridge backwards instead of Game Creek. I like your attitude. That is an aggressive climb.

Similar Trail: Not much like this one.


August 19, 2013
Review: We shuttled this starting at Vail Pass, riding Bowman's shortcut to Two Elk, through the back bowls of Vail and ended in Minturn. It was a LOT of steep climbing, some 1900 feet, but actually less than I anticipated. I walked a few sections trying to save my legs, but had I known 'we were almost to the top' I could have ridden all of it...and so can you if you whip out the gnar. The first section of downhill is steep, rooty, rocky, twisty, and, well...awesome. However, you quickly bump into another steepish 20% grade climb that is a few hundred yards, then it is all downhill from there. Honestly. Once you see the sign that says "Two Elk Pass" go right to go to Vail, or continue straight to go to Minturn...our route...which turns into very narrow, overgrown, loose, twisty singletrack into the back bowls. It is awesome....but I took a digger on a washed out corner trusting too much in the loose berms. Once your reach a road next to a lift, stay on the trail by continuing down the singletrack towards the creek. You will ride the undulating creek for several more miles before you are done. This section is muddy, also overgrown, and full of rocks in awkward places that are definitely fun but require fitness and finesse to see them and maneuver to get up over them. Some features come up quick due to the thick vegetation, and there is a high cost of failure in a few places (you will see). So have fun but take this part seriously. Unfortunately it is not flowy or fast in most places, and requires pedaling up/over/around obstacles which interrupts speed and keeps your eyes off of the amazing scenery. Once you cross the small foot bridge, you are almost done, finishing with a fast, flowy, smooth singletrack back to the Two Elk trailhead. The views are incredible, but it is hard to look around because instead of focusing 50-100 feet in front of you, you pretty much have to focus on the trail in front because the grasses and weeds obscure your view in most of the backcountry sections. I can't wait to go back...

Similar Trail: Monarch Crest Trail

Bunny Hop

August 11, 2010
Review: 8/08/10, started in East Vail, rode up Vail Pass bike path (slog), rode up and over Shrine Pass, up Bowmans Shortcut, down to Two Elk Pass, then down Two Elk trail to Minturn for a total of 29 miles. Bowmans and Two Elk are all singletrack, with the last five miles of Two Elk a technical ride on a 6" wide trail with rocks hidden by the tall grass.

Similar Trail: Monarch Crest with Rainbow Trail finish

Granny Gear

September 7, 2009
WJS5117 Granny Gear  
Review: Our stats for this ride were 18.78 Miles; 2:16 minutes moving time; 1978 feet ascent; 4657 feet descent. We did this as a shuttle ride, with a car left in Minturn. We started riding at Vail Pass, parking on the west side of I-70. Climb Shrine Pass Road, past Shrine Pass, continuing to near the intersection of Timber Creek Road and Lime Creek Road. Continue on singletrack, switchbacking up to ridgeline that heads west and then tops out at about 11,700'. Continue following the ridgeline as it turns north and hooks up with the Two Elk Trail at Two Elk Pass (11,000'.) Turn west and follow the trail through the back bowls of Vail, eventually dumping out at the RR tracks south of Minturn, and head north and northwest into town to your shuttle car.

* Review edited 9/6/2009

Similar Trail: Although Commando Run is more technical, its similar to the Colorado Trail segment that begins east of Breckenridge & north of Georgia Pass, and ends at the Gold Hill Trhd on Hwy 9, north of Breck.

Granny Gear

February 20, 2008
bjunge62 Granny Gear  
Review: We combined the ride with Two Elk. Started at the FSPS at Minturn and rode the 5 miles into Vail. Lots of climbing at altitude. Topped out at a place appropriately called "Top of the World" Then some sweet singletrack descent through the back bowls at Vail. Finish off with 5-7 miles of rock garden next to the river with a quick ride back on the highway through Minturn to the USFS parking lot.

* Review edited 2/19/2008


August 21, 2007
Lancefan Gnarly  
Review: This is a great ride with alot of amazing views. This ride can also be combined with either Two Elk or Bowman's Short cut by taking heading down to Two Elk Pass using the Two Elk Connecter Trail.

Commando Run MTB Trail 4.75 out of 5 based on 7 ratings. 7 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed