June 18, 2012
Yeah this is a rocky, not overtly technical (not more than moderate. I'm an ole man and ride a Moots soft tail YBB), double track "meat grinder" of ~ 900 ft of vertical. I rode it last weekend for the first time with a bunch of locals and former locals on the way up to Four Corners and the Van Horn Valley for more single track through the trees. These upper trails provided some incredible vista views at 10K feet looking up at the Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak to the west.
Smuggler's is a very popular trail for ambulatory locals with their animals up to the 'platform'. Thus I would only consider descending this early in the am or pick another great descent, like screaming down Red Mtn. Above Smuggler's you will see a rare runner but nearly only mtbrs. Supposedly, the unofficial record is 11.5 mins set by one of the European pros before last year's America's Pro Cycling Challenge (road cyclist).* Review edited 6/18/2012
similar to some of the double track climbs on the LT-100 course (not nearly as rocky as the upper section on the way to Columbine Mine).