December 14, 2013
First off, go to Pedal the Peaks and buy the Singletrack Maps Durango Colorado Trails map. It's worth every penny. Also, Cliff is the shop owner and he is a wealth of information!
We rode this trail the last weekend of April 2013, and it had just opened.
My buddy and I chose to do an alternate start and ride down Corral Draw for the first section of this ride. However, he was concerned about his Subaru crossing Hermosa Creek on Local Road 550, so we had to Death March it the rest of the way up. That took a lot of the fun out of our day.
But, Corral Draw was awesome! 4-inch wide, off camber trail, all gradual downhill, for over an hour. I have never been that focused on a ride! If you did go off the trail, there's nice soft grass, but you'd take quite a tumble! Every now and then there's a little rocky section to keep you on your toes!
We cross the creek and joined up with Hermosa Creek trail. It was mostly fast and open, with little rock gardens here and there that we just blasted through. This was an amazing ride until the last 25%, which was mostly constant uphill for a long time. We were toasted from our Local Road 550 climb, and this uphill was NOT welcomed. I have not suffered like that in a long time, if ever. Eventually it became an effort even to push my bike. We got back to the bottom of the trail, right at dusk.
Overall, this was an amazing ride. But, if I did it again, I would insist on driving all the way to the top. That Local Road climb was not a good way to start the day.
Also, keep in mind, this is a long back-country ride with consequences if something goes wrong! Be prepared!