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Level: Intermediate
Length: 27 mi (43.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +803/ -830 ft
Total: 200 riders

Mountain Biking Phil's World

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#1 of 1,348 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#3 in the world

The trail is pure hard-pack singletrack, with about 750' overall elevation, although climbs are never greater than about .5mi and 200' elevation. Go through the gates near the parking lot, take the intro section and turn left at the arrow (next set of gates), follow left through the track and you'll have a great time.

The track is very fast, well-maintained and has a lot of great sections, including a rollercoaster section that allows you to get great speed and some air if you take them hard, and also some sweet jumps later on in the course. we had to backtrack about 4 times just to rehit a lot of the sweet sections. There is nothing exceptionally technical, just really fast and fun. The landscape is generally colorado desert, with some nice track along the rims of the cliffs and through some waist high juniper trees. This is a great track, and more than work the drive from Durango. After riding three trails there, this was a fantastic. All the locals we talked to recommended it, and I recommend getting a trail map from the local shop. There are many more trails in the Cortez area to be explored.

First added by joe on May 14, 2005. Last updated Apr 26, 2022. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: no
  • Lift service: no
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: no
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Right off of 160W between a shooting range and the Fairgrounds (the drive in is a little hidden, but next door to the shooting range, and practically across the street from the Fairgrounds). This is about 45 minutes from Durango.
System trails (13)
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Phil's World Trail map

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Local Info

Club Sponsor

Local Bike Shop

Trail checkins

Jeremy Gonzales (on Sep 26, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Dry (on May 3, 2020)
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Phil's World videos

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Phils World.mov
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Cortez, Colorado

| 2 mi
Intermediate | 9 mi
| 2 mi
Beginner | 6 mi

Rider questions

Q: Who is Phil
A: The Man

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  • Gdb49

    Great area to ride, but lacks any technical challenges. This a great place, not sure if it lived up to the hype. Gave it 4.5 stars, so obviously thought it was great, but wouldn't make my top 20. Been out twice and will be back.

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  • mtnryder   ✓ supporter

    Phil's World is the single best designed "trail system" I've ever ridden. I ride it at least once a year when I visit Durango. The trail system is 100% singletrack, directional and mountain bikers only. Pure heaven. The one knock on Phil's is the lack of challenging terrain and they recently added an off-shoot from Stinky Springs with some quality tech for those interested.

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  • stumpyfsr   ✓ supporter

    It's hard for other trails to compete with Phil's World. Not too hard, not too light, just right for good workout and still have fun doing it. Of course Ribcage is a blast and perfect way to finish your ride.

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  • oldbikerdude

    As enjoyable as any trail that I have ever ridden. Thanks Phil

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  • mtb_boyong

    Had a lot to offer, so fun with the wife who is a beginner. We did trust loop and connected to hippie house on our firt ride to get a feel. This is the easy loop. We then did the main loop loop following day. All in all it was worth the drive from Denver!!

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  • C2F

    Fun, was wet and seriously muddy. Would be great when dry

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  • Bill Mundy

    This trail was awesome! We've all ridden tougher, but I doubt more fun.

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  • abegold

    Fun network that has grown since last there. Even a stream for my dog to drink.

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  • rhulsey

    A really nice singletrack purpose-built for mountain biking. Most of the loops/trails are on the "lightly" technical side (green/blue), while some of the loops are much more technical; like the Ledge Loop (blue/black). Rib Cage is an absolute blast and we ended up going through it a couple of times.

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  • rhulsey

    You've gotta do the Ribs....just gotta!!! This is a very nice set of trails. As others have said, nothing particularly technical, but just enough to keep it interesting. The Rib Cage, however, is a hoot....but ends much to quickly, so back around for Mo' Ribs!!!

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  • FinishSTRONG7

    This ride is the best definition of a mountain biking smorgasbord I know of. Short steep rocky climbs, steady climbs (no lengthy ones though), smooth fast curved sections, sandstone ledges, rollers, and technical drops are all present here. Add in a few vantage points for great panoramic vistas of the Four Corners region. There is something for beginning to advanced riders to enjoy. This is the perfect place for the beginner to take that next step. The other outstanding attribute is the trails are one-way only. So no need to worry about having to keep alert for riders traveling in the opposite direction. There are several options for loops depending on how many miles and how difficult a ride you would like to do. You can also ride here for several hours without doing the same trail twice if you wish. Even when the trailhead is packed, you can feel a sense of solitude on your ride.

    No it is not Crested Butte, Monarch Crest, or 18 Road. Nor should people suggest it is in that class and compare it to those locations. Also it is not a system for those looking for something 'hardcore'. It is great in its unique way, for the reasons mentioned earlier. This is a must ride if you live in the Four Corners, or just visiting for a few days. The added benefit is this system is amongst the first to dry out in SW Colorado. As would be expected, it is hot and arid during the warmer months and there are remote areas, so be sure to take the usual appropriate precautions.

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  • UtPreacher

    I had a blast on this trail. It was my first time riding it and the trail was very well maintained and fast! It has enough going on to keep you on your toes for most of the ride and some great views. I honestly think this trail is a mix of many aspects some of the 18 road trails has. It isn't as fast but it makes up for it in its park like build. All in all awesome trail and can't wait to ride it again.

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  • TheRedMex50

    Awesome Ride! We did Lemon, Abajo and the Rib Cage! Did the Rib Cage 3 times! Ended up being 13 miles total!

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  • allmountain

    Wow. Everything it was hyped to be, and a little bit more. There's definitely sections to challenge expert riders, and sections that the freshest beginner can fall in love with. You should visit Durango for the southern terminus of the CO Trail, the incredible Telegraph Trail System, and a pretty good breakfast burrito at Durango Doughworks; and if you visit Durango you need to make the hour drive to Phil's World. It's as simple as that.

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  • Fernierocks

    Based on all that I had read about Phil's World I thought that it was going to be a very easy intermediate trail. It delivered so much more than I expected. I rode the entire trail at the end of September. I only ran into 2 other people and the temperature was perfect at 22C. The trail had more climbing than I expected (not long but constant short climbs that add up) and had more difficult sections than expected. I was on a Mtn bike trip of the SW and this was by far my favourite ride (on this trip I also rode near Zion and several of the classics in Moab). It really had a ton of variety and I was very tired at the end. Bonus was that I could ride to and from the trail head from where I was staying in Cortez. I stopped at the Kokapelli Bike shop and they were helpful but the trail is so well marked that you really don't need a whole lot of guidance. The only think I can't understand is why everyone is so stoked on the Rib Cage. Yes it was fun but just a bunch of rollers that were way down my list of things I loved at Phil's World. Only place that I have ridden that I liked better is Fernie, British Columbia which is Rocky Mountain riding vs desert/Mesa.

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  • mtndew24

    Maybe it's because I had just ridden trails like Monarch Crest and 401 and had high expectations for this one too, but it just wasn't there. I thought it was good and probably a great local ride if you live around but not something worth driving a long distance to. It does have some fun and tech stuff but it does not compare to Colorado's premier biking trails. Maybe I need to ride it again...who knows, but it was too normal for me. Also bring plenty of water because it's hot.

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  • skelldify

    Eh. I had really high expectations for this place as it gets rave reviews, but my buddy and I both found it kinda boring. It's a roadie's bike trail. There are no technical challenges whatsoever. You can only ride so many flow trails before they all start to feel the same: "pedal, pedal, pedal, turn, pedal, uppp, downnn, pedal, tabletop, pedal, turn..." Ride this area for 10 minutes and you've seen all you're gonna see.

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