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Level: Advanced
Length: 6 mi (9.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +288/ -280 ft
Total: 26 riders

Mountain Biking Mad Creek / Red Dirt Loop

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#55 of 1,353 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#379 in the world

I saw a blurb about this in a tourist magazine while eating breakfast in Steamboat and decided to check it out. Was very pleasantly surprised - although pretty short (even with the side trip out and back to the wilderness boundary) it was a worthwhile ride.

Head up Mad Creek Trail a couple miles at most. This is generally wide hardpack with a few broken sections - lots of dogs and hikers. You'll hit Saddle Trail on your left. You can take this or continue up the main trail all the way to the wilderness boundary (couple miles more) to add some fun, fairly easy singletrack. Take Saddle Trail and begin an "extended" climb to the intersection of Red Dirt. This starts a skinnier, fun singletrack descent back to the road. Here, ride south on the road about a mile or so back to the trailhead.

First added by stillfat on Oct 18, 2010. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Several miles north or Steamboat up 129. There's a large, well marked trailhead at Mad Creek.
System trails (4)
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Mad Creek / Red Dirt Loop Trail map

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freeskier46 (on Jun 30, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Aug 13, 2018)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Steamboat Springs, Colorado

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Intermediate | 5 mi

Rider questions

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  • kuala_tahan

    Great trail, especially after work riding with zero-minimal people. Rode up Mad Creek Trail (is it actually called Swamp-something?) until you reach the Zirkel Wilderness sign. Turn around, rip back down that tight singletrack (fun), and I stayed right at every junction possible. You'll eventually get to the junction with Red Dirt trail, where there's a trail sign. I went left to go down Red Dirt, which was a blast - steep in parts, rocky in parts, switchbacky, little bit exposed here and there. Fun all round, feels like you get in the backcountry quick. Multiple different ways to ride it looks like.

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter
    Reviewing Red Dirt Trail:

    Most of red dirt should be referred to as "black dirt," as the loam beneath the aspens is ridiculously awesome! This trail is a fast, fun descent, with a few techy sections and some great flowy, swoopy sections. I could ride this all day!

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    Great loop for as short as it was, with an awesome descent down Red Dirt. Also, there are some great additional out-and-back options that you can tack onto this loop.

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter
    Reviewing Mad Creek:

    The Mad Creek trail itself was a bit of a letdown, but it access other great trails like Swamp Park and Red Dirt

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  • *****

    Awesome ride around mad river side with the huge drop off to the one side and red dirt was real fun too but can't ride the whole way thru yet still snow

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  • chefmark

    Incredible views traveling up and some nice fast and thin downhill on red dirt. Holds up nice after a rain

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