Dragon's Back

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SHARES
  
AVERAGE RATING
*****
4.70 out of 5
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Expert
12
miles

Singletrack
↑ 5,400 ft
↓ 5,500 ft
1,763
elevation (ft)

Network
Trail Description
About this trail
Park at the grouse trail and start climbing. The beginning is very rocky then it changes into really fun switchbacks. As you get closer to the top, the trail gets rocky again and the switchbacks are nearly impossible to climb. There are also so many leaves in places too that make you slip. It\'s like every leaf in Virginia blew onto this trail! The grouse trail is about 2.5 miles long. At the top is the ridge trail and there is a sign. You can go left to the turkey trail or right to the deer trail. If you turn left on the ridge trail, it is 3 miles to the turkey trail. This ridge trail is very technical because of all the sharp rocks sticking out in all directions. It\'s the rockiest trail I\'ve ever seen! You\'ll see the turkey trail on the right. This is a very nice DH with some impossible switchbacks on the first half of the trail. Then the trail gets straight and fast with some cool obstacles. Back at the fire road, turn left and go about 4.4 miles back to the grouse trail if you parked there. This part is very boring because fire roads suck.
added by aabikingSingletrack
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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System Trails (3)
System Trails (3)
Turkey
Grouse
Deer
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (6 total check-ins)
  Helena Kotala   on Jun 3, 2017
  BestRidesDC   on Jun 26, 2016
  lokicat   on Mar 8, 2016
  RoadWarrior   on Apr 6, 2014
  chefmark   on Apr 27, 2013
Photo & Video Gallery (44)
Trail Photos & Videos (44)
 
Reviews (8)
 

Granny Gear

February 13, 2016
Jackofall Granny Gear  
 
Review: Very cool Pro level riding.

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Granny Gear

February 13, 2016
Jackofall Granny Gear  
 
Review: Very cool Pro riding.

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Granny Gear

September 15, 2014
markader Granny Gear  
 
Review: WOW! Did the trail last weekend and would firmly place this trail in the full day adventure category. Started at Dragon's Tooth parking lot and rode / pushed up the North Mountain trail to top of the ridge. (approx. 1,100 ft. straight climbing). Once on top of the mountain the North Mountain trail is a narrow ridge line with ups and downs and lots of rock outcroppings. I mean lots and lots and lots of rock outcroppings. Boulders, lose rocks, sharp rocks sticking up straight out of the ground waiting to destroy bike parts. I was truly amazed neither one of us ripped off a derailleur or blew a tire. We rode and pushed 6 miles of North Mountain trail to Turkey trail, which minus a few impossible switch backs was a lot of fun. After the Turkey downhill it was 7 miles of dirt roads and a couple miles of 311 back to the car.

Major take away from the trip...
Be prepared to push your bike. A LOT!
Not something I would ever consider doing alone.
Be in really good shape with really good low speed technical skills.
Bring way more food and water than you think you need.
Bring spare bike parts.

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Gnarly

August 26, 2013
mtberik Gnarly  
 
Review: One of the reasons I like the trails here is because of the back country trails that make you feel in the middle of nowhere even though you are 15 mins to downtown Roanoke. The Turkey trail is pretty much impossible without hiking you bike for 15% of the trail. I think the best trail is North Mtn trail from Deer trail to the highway. I still haven't been on Deer trail but i am hoping to do the next time I go.

Similar Trail: Spec Mines

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World Champ


November 18, 2012
Greg Heil World Champ  
 
Review: This is a classic old school backcountry mountain bike ride! Complete with gravel road connectors, hike a bike singletrack, rocky Ridgeline riding , gorgeous views, and blazing fast technical descending, this ride hardens back to the days when men were men and boys stayed at home and hid behind their mothers aprons. To be sure, this ride isn't easy--but it is very rewarding! (Ps if you've ridden snake creek gap in Georgia, the ridge top riding here reminds me of a much easier and much more fun version of the snake.)

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Singletrack


May 2, 2011
 
Review: Trail is open, clear, well signed, and blazed, with maps at all TH's. Dragons Back is part of the 28 mile North Mountain Trail System. All the trails are signed as more, or most difficult. Great trail for strong and advanced level riders. Trails up the mtn are steep but rideable, except for some of the switchbacks. Top of the mtn is classic Va. mtn top riding, rock mixed with sweet singletrack. Tread width ranges from 18" to none. Probably the best TH is Dragons Tooths, which is on Rt 311 before the forest rd. Got family that doesn't ride? Send them hiking to Dragons Tooth while you go ride the back. Group I rode with had everything from SS Ridged to Full Sup. We all had a blast.

* Review edited 5/2/2011

Similar Trail: Carvins Cove is near by, and has a large variety of trails.

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Granny Gear

November 2, 2007
cjk133 Granny Gear  
 
Review: dragon's back is a ride where you must accept your bicycle only as a means to facilitate mobility. There are hike-a-bikes, trees, rocks...no one cleans this trail from beginning to end. It's backwoods, it's best in fall or spring, and it can easily take up most of your day to ride it out. Take several lunches, and 11 bucks for the home place restaurant 1 mile east on 311. If you rode the ridge, you're gonna want all you can eat mashed potatoes. I prefer to park at dragon's tooth, cross the street and board the ridge from there. Trail head is hard to find...just keep looking. It's there. Descend the ridge at 1 of 4 places and ride wilderness road back...the return on the road can make for a long grind if you rode the whole way out, but not so bad if you have some legs. It's an excellent single speed trail, as alot stands to break on a geared bike and the ridge traverse is pretty mono-tonic speed wise.

* Review edited 11/2/2007

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Singletrack


July 26, 2007
aabiking Singletrack  
 
Review: Last ime I rode this trail was in January and there were hugh trees across most of Grouse trail. The trail has really went down hill. All the attention is being paid to Carvins Cove which is an incredible ride for all levels if you know where to go. Talk to the guys at Just The Right Gear for their recomendations for where to ride but be sure to let them know your skill level and what you are looking for.

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Dragon's Back MTB Trail 4.70 out of 5 based on 8 ratings. 8 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
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