August 6, 2012
When I saw this route on the map, I wondered why I'd never heard of it before. Now, I know. Getting there is a bit of a chore and requires either a 4X4 or a lot of brutal climbing on fire roads. Then, to do the ride as a loop requires about 5 miles of tiring 4X4 road, even if you drove all the way in. Lastly, the singletrack is very narrow and much of it overgrown or sandy. Having said all that, don't let this scare you away if you are an adventurous rider looking for something new. There are lots of technical goodies along the way including an excellent final descent (including at least one rock "staircase" that will invite most to dismount) and the scenery in the area is fantastic. You will pass through deserty shrubland, riparian wetlands, ponderosa and aspen forests and even spruce and pine forests higher up. You will see the remains of an old homestead and all the while, you will be surrounded by magnificient granite rock formations with occasional views of the Collegiate Range and all it's 14ers. This one is fairly high on the adventure scale and ya' gotta work a bit for it, but if you're okay with that, it's worth a stop.
If you want something less threatening in the area, head for the old Midland Railroad Grade trail.