February 26, 2017 at 10:50 #209009
My wife and I are preparing a 6month tour of the US (mostly west and southwest) and we’d like to know which areas/trails are suitable for us. We are both in good shape and train regularly despite our age (53 and 58), and are proficient Mountain bikers but we don’t like the technical trails and certainly would like to stay away from
you fall you die
kind of terrain. This being said, we love the flowy kind of trails with berms and machine made features, as long as they are in the intermediate realm. For those of you who are familiar with Burke, trails like the
are favorites of ours.
So let’s hear your suggestions!
Thanks, and happy riding!
February 26, 2017 at 11:34 #209010
The glory of your situation is that you will be able to find trails meeting your specifications anywhere throughout the West/Southwest. The bad news is that, since everyplace has what you’re looking for, it makes it harder to pare down the list! But since you’re talking about a six month tour, you shouldn’t need to pare it down too much–that time frame allows for a lot of riding!
You could merely plan your trip based on where you would like to go/what you would like to see independent of mountain biking and simply fold in the great intermediate trails that are along the way.
That said, it does sound like you’re a prime candidate for Fruita, especially the 18 Road and Kokopelli Trail networks. PBR at 18 road sounds like it was custom made for you; you’d be hard pressed to find a flowier trail and its loaded with easy to moderate man-made features (in this case, PBR stands for “Pumps, Bumps and Rollers”).
Although known for serious gnar, the worlds #1 mountain bike mecca, Moab, has plenty of options to get a full Moab experience without threatening ones self:
Dotto Sedona, which is also the most scenic destination anywhere. Check out Chuckwagon and the Llama trail networks.
The Colorado Front Range is chock full of the types of rides you’re talking about. Going a bit further into the mountains, there’s world famous Buffalo Creek, which is intermediate heaven as well as tons of riding in the areas around Breckenridge, Vail, Steamboat, and many more.
In New Mexico, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos all have many options, along with very cool culture and awesome food.
Lots of great exploring to be had in Wyoming and Montana as well:
In the Bozeman area of Montana, you should love Leverich, South Cottonwood, Emerald Lake and the Bangtail Divide.
And there’s more intermediate heaven around the state Captol, Helena:
If you start to zero in on specific locations and what time of year you’ll be there (the season can be short in the high country), we should be able to offer more comprehensive and specific recommendations.
February 26, 2017 at 12:22 #209013
February 27, 2017 at 09:33 #209033
Hi! Those articles that John mentioned is a great starting point for planning your trip. However there’re so many nice trails (and some disappointing ones) are hidden between those famous rides.
I’m suggesting to check the trail database here on Singletracks. Trails are marked on the map, which makes easier to plan a route, and every trail is rated from beginner to extremely hard. Also every trail has description, directions, photos and reviews to give you some idea on what you’ll be riding. In most cases that rating and reviews are close to reality.
After some homework done you’ll go on a unique trip. Good luck
February 28, 2017 at 19:07 #209133
Some great advice from experienced riders. I’ll throw in a few trails in the SW I haven’t ridden yet but dying to ride. Three in New Mexico: South Boundary (rather strenuous and long; come prepared for some navigation); Winsor (a blast of a dh shuttle); and Valles Chaldera (good cross country style riding in beautiful sub-alpine scenery; unique geology). In CO of course there is Monarch Crest if you are up for it. One that is not so well known and much shorter than Monarch Crest is Treasure Mountain (off of Hwy 160 and Wolf Creek Pass), sitting in the exceptionally beautiful San Juan Mountains. Great intermediate dh. IMO, if one goes to the SW, he or she should not miss traveling Hwy 550 from Montrose to Ouray to Silverton and finally onto Durango. This is an exceptionally beautiful route. A plus to this is that some of the best downhills on the Colorado Trail are just north of Durango and accessible from Hwy 550. The Arizona Trail just north of Flagstaff is a quite chilled beautiful ride. In summary for beauty and riding in the SW, I would focus on Northern New Mexico (in and around the Taos area, SW Colorado (San Juan Mountains) and Northern Arizona (in and around Flagstaff and Sedona).
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