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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: -
Total: 7 riders
 

Mountain Biking Emerald Valley

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#829 of 1,344 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#9078 in the world

Thge first few miles of this trail is exceptional singletrack. It gets very narrow and after some smooth flowy stuff, there are some challenging rock moves. The woods are beautiful and there are occasional views of notches in the mountains and the prairie beyond as well as fantastic rock formations. There are ponderosas, firs, and great aspen stands. After a few miles, the trail turns to doubletrack. If you're a singletrack purist, turn around and enjoy the ride back to the car. If you don't mind riding some gravel-laden doubletrack, continue on. The secenry gets even better and there are wildflowers everywhere. After about 3.5 miles, the "trail" heads straight up the side of a very steep mountain following the pipeline. It is possible to do a loop here, but be warned, it gets dicey. First, you will hit a good mile of the most brutally steep, bottomless gravel hike-a-bike you can imagine. Your reward for the slog up the hill will be trying to find your way back to Gold Camp Road on trails that are not marked and seem to peter out in the most inconvenient places. Bring a map and/or GPS, know how to use them, and be prepared for a longer-than-expected outing with some difficult route finding and most likely some bushwacking. Once you find Gold Camp Road Follow it downhill to Old Stage to 371 and back to the start. If you do decide to try the loop, you may want to consider doing it in reverse--there will still be a lot of route finding, but there will be less hike-a-bike.

First added by John Fisch on May 1, 2020. Last updated May 1, 2020. → add an update
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Getting there
Head out of Colorado Springs on Old Stage Road. About 6.3 Miles after turning on to Old Stage, look for FS 371 on the left. Follow it up the hill where there is parking at the high point or go on down the other side--0.4 miles from the start of 371 is a pullout big enough for 2-3 cars or 0.5 miles is a pullout just big enough for one car right next to the trialhead. Beware if it's been raining as FS 371 requires a steep climb back out and there's some ruts, so a 2wd may have a rough time of it. Be sure to take the right trail--from the third pullout, there's two trails--ignore the one above the pullout and take the one below--you'll know its the right one as there's a concrete slab partially concealing a pipeline.
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  • apothideus
    ***

    Just rode Emerald today. There is still some snow on the trail but it doesn't stop riding down the pipeline. It did stop me in a few spots where I had a small climb. Most of the trail is ride-able with a few spots to dismount through some rocks or over some trees. The ride down the double track and then up FS 371 is a good way to end it.
    4.6 miles of riding from the trailhead start-finish.

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