My son and I are doing a cross country mountain biking trip on our way to drop him off in CA for an internship. We mountain biking fun begins in Louisville, KY at Mega Underground Bike Park – We’d like to ride CO, but realized that early May might not work due to snow.
I’ve read the single track articles on 5 best places to ride in CO, but they don’t seem to mention if they can be ridden in early May.
Can someone confirm the chance of riding Colorado Trail, Monarch Crest Trail or the 18 Road Trails in early May?
We can only ride 1 trail so we’d like to pick one that we can likely ride.
Lastly, we are intermediate to slightly advanced – would you recommend a private guide or a local to show us the trails or should we pick a place with a shuttle service? Not sure how smart it is to ride these without previous knowledge.
Thanks so much for your time and any advice,
btw, we are doing Moab, but CO is in on our way and I really want to ride CO, it is so beautiful and don’t want to simply see it through the windshield.
I would keep an eye on the weather a week or two before to see what happens. In Colorado it can snow very late into the year. With that being said 18 roads in Fruita I would suspect to be fine that time of year. Colorado trail will depend on what part you are talking about as there are many sections to it, but just like the monarch crest trail there are parts above timberline which may or may not have snow. Being that it is above timberline it will melt fast but the parts in the trees just below might still have snow. Now all this may or may not be the most accurate as I tend to ride the higher stuff later in June.
Yes, you can do 18 Road in May. Like Brian said, snow conditions vary from year to year but with 99% certainty I would say Monarch Crest will not be open in early May.
The Colorado Trail stretches from Denver to Durango so there will probably be some stretches that are dry in early May, though certainly not the high alpine sections. Your best bet would be the sections closest to Denver, including my favorite, the Buffalo Creek area. Of course if you have a fat bike, you can ride there anytime. 🙂
This is great feedback, thanks for the time – I can’t imagine a trip out west without riding CO so we feel it has to be on our list
We don’t have fat bikes, we both ride 27.5″ full suspension bikes. (Yeti and santa cruz.)
We will explore 18 Road and Buffalo Creek with Buffalo Creek being the most attractive at this point. As someone new to the area, can we ride this alone without issue or is it better to get a local rider to ride with us?