TR -Colorado Trail Bikepack Sept. 2020

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Walleye, Oct 5, 2020.



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  1. Walleye

    Walleye Member

    Location:
    Vista
    Name:
    Bill P.
    Current Bike:
    Trek Fuel EX7
    Taking another cue from Evdog's 100 Places To Bike Before You Die, I skedaddled from SD a week and a half ago for to bikepack a section of the Colorado Trail, from Molas Pass to Durango. Flat out, it was the BEST biking I've ever experienced, with miles upon miles of glorious singletrack, through the Coloradan High country, with fall foliage in high gear to boot! You should DEFINITELY ride this one! On with the pics.

    Day 1 -Molas Pass to Celebration Lake, 21 mi., 3800' up, 3500' down

    Little Molas Lake
    1.0.jpg
    1.2.jpg
    1.3.jpg 1.4.jpg
    Looking back towards the start:
    1.5.jpg
    Sucking air south of Rolling Mtn. Pass:
    1.6.jpg
    Cruising down the other side:
    1.7.jpg
    1.8.jpg
    The bridge over Cascade Creek: 1.90.jpg
    Tin Can Basin, w. a view towards Lizard Head (the pointy one) & the Wilson Group of 14ers:
    1.91.jpg

    Day 2, Celebration L. to scenic ridge, 23.2 mi., 4100' up, 2900' down

    Celebration Lake, the next morning:
    2.0.jpg Hermosa Creek drainage, w. Kennebec Pass & Durango far to the south:
    2.1.jpg Took longer than I thought to get to Blackhawk Pass, but with these views, who cares?
    2.2.jpg
    2.3.jpg The pass attained, some fun (& colorful) downhill in my immediate future:
    2.4.jpg2.5.jpg
    2.6.jpg
    2.7.jpg
    2.8.jpg
    In the late afternoon, the wind picked up quite a bit; and with my gas tank pretty low, I made the call to stop for the night a couple of miles before Indian Trail Ridge. Evdog & others had painted it as pretty exposed, and I didn't want to get caught up there in weather at night. Glad I did so, as winds the next morning were in the 20-30 mph range.

    Day 3, scenic ridge campsite to Junction Creek terminus, 28.6 mi., 2900' up, 7200' down

    The wake-up view:
    3.01.jpg Gettin' on the Highline Trail /Indian Trail Ridge:
    3.02.jpg
    P1060585.JPG
    3.3.jpg
    Lotsa HAB on the Ridge, between the loose rock and the altitude (topping out at 12,310'). Glad I got to see it all in the morning light!
    IMG_20200927_100010.jpg
    Taylor Lake, at last:
    3.4.jpg
    Kennebec Pass:
    3.5.jpg
    Looking back up at the pass, from the bottom of the Sliderock talus slope. A hiker called me 'badass' as I skittered down this w. my rig. Raised my spirits!
    3.6.jpg
    Many miles of downhill greatness, punctuated by a soul-sucking 1,800' uphill in the middle:
    3.7.jpg
    3.8.jpg P1060572.JPG
    Gaines Gulch waterfall:
    3.90.jpg
    A smile at the Junction Creek bridge, before the ensuing steep HAB wiped it off:
    P1060589.JPG
    Views from the lower sections of the trail, before the end at Junction Creek campground (where my car was parked):
    3.91.jpg
    3.92.jpg
    This one's going to stay with me for a long, long time (as my Happy Place). What's next, Ev?
     
  2. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Spectacular :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  3. Luis

    Luis iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Sylmar
    Name:
    Luis
    Current Bike:
    Big Black 29er
    I almost broke my ‘like’ button on this. Way to capitalize on the inspiration of a fellow rider and accomplishing a epic ride of your own :thumbsup:
    Kudos to you
     
    ~JB~, Voodoo Tom, mtnbikej and 5 others like this.
  4. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    It's @evdog junior!!!! In both ride and photo quality. Well done sir!

    And to think, I used to live up Junction Creek Road (not far from your terminus) and DIDN'T own a mt. bike then! :facepalm: :bang: 604 Sunnyside Drive if I recollect correctly.

    Those photos are so refreshing to my eyes compared to the endless SoCal photos we post here. The blue sky, mirrored mt. lakes, grey and red peaks, green and gold trees and ribbons of red/brown singletrack definitely qualify as eye candy! TFPU and I agree with the hikers - badass for bikepacking.
     
    Cyclotourist, evdog, ~JB~ and 6 others like this.
  5. scan

    scan iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Wow Walleye!! Anybody join you on that excellent ride?
     
    tick, Voodoo Tom, mtnbikej and 3 others like this.
  6. mountaingirl sara

    mountaingirl sara iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    So Cal
    Name:
    Sara
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley
    WOW - WOW - WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks for sharing your journey and fantastic photos!
     
    Luis, tick, Voodoo Tom and 3 others like this.
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    North East Canada? , California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    ...and you are going to tell me you took those pics with your cell phone... :rolleyes:
    I'm going to have to face the fact that I'm not a photographer, and just an average Joe that takes snapshots... :oops::whistling:
    Wow! Great pics and write up. I can't wait to get back on the adventure train! :thumbsup:
     
    herzalot, Old&InTheWay, tick and 4 others like this.
  8. blixet

    blixet Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San Gabriel Valley
    Name:
    Tom
    Current Bike:
    Bronson
    You are badass definitely in my book. Great trip!
     
    Luis, Old&InTheWay, tick and 3 others like this.
  9. Walleye

    Walleye Member

    Location:
    Vista
    Name:
    Bill P.
    Current Bike:
    Trek Fuel EX7
    Thanks, Herz! I get the 'greater opportunities / wider world' thing; but why O why did you ever leave? Durango's one of those perfect gateway towns, & the mtb riding goes on forever! If I could only make it work financially, Durango's where I'd go.
     
    herzalot, Old&InTheWay, tick and 3 others like this.
  10. Walleye

    Walleye Member

    Location:
    Vista
    Name:
    Bill P.
    Current Bike:
    Trek Fuel EX7
    Scan, did it solo. Met 2 other bikepackers on the trip, along with maybe a dozen hikers and shuttle bikers (oh, and one illegal & karmically-challenged e-biker on the Kennebec section. Seems he was angry to have to stoop to HAB-ing his monstrosity).
     
  11. Ocpop

    Ocpop Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Paul K
    Current Bike:
    Pivot trail
    Really good stuff.
     
  12. TherealJohnG

    TherealJohnG Member

    Location:
    Yucaipa, CA
    Name:
    John Groenhof
    Current Bike:
    Orbea Alma 29er
    When it feels like I can't pedal anymore, I imagine building up to rides like this. Thanks for the stoke!
     
    herzalot, Mikie and Walleye like this.
  13. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    EXCELLENT IN EVERY WAY!!!
     
    herzalot, Mikie and Walleye like this.
  14. evdog

    evdog iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Good stuff Bill, thanks for the TR! Agree its better than seeing pics of parched Socal!
     
  15. Walleye

    Walleye Member

    Location:
    Vista
    Name:
    Bill P.
    Current Bike:
    Trek Fuel EX7
    John, thanks! That's what Evdog's TR's did for me!
     
  16. schillingsworth

    schillingsworth Member

    Location:
    Queen Creek, AZ
    Name:
    John Schilling
    Current Bike:
    Motobecane Ti 29er
    That's such a fantastic stretch of the CT. Great TR & pics. How were the nighttime temps? Another one you could do is a loop out of Silverton: Up Stony Pass, CT up & over the high point at 13,271', then hang a left at the yurt and drop down to Lake City. Return to Silverton via Cinnamon Pass.
     
    Cyclotourist, Mikie, Walleye and 2 others like this.
  17. Walleye

    Walleye Member

    Location:
    Vista
    Name:
    Bill P.
    Current Bike:
    Trek Fuel EX7
    Thanks, John! Nighttime temps got down to freezing, with daytime temps in the 50's -60's; wonderful riding weather. I like your idea for my next CO trip, been thinking about this variant: https://14erskiers.com/blog/2010/08/tr-lost-trail-creek-cataract-ridge-west-pole-creek-8-21-10/. Also, ever ridden near the Cimarron Ridge area? I hiked Wetterhorn a few years ago, and that region looks gorgeous.
     
    Cyclotourist and Mikie like this.
  18. schillingsworth

    schillingsworth Member

    Location:
    Queen Creek, AZ
    Name:
    John Schilling
    Current Bike:
    Motobecane Ti 29er
    A year before I did the Colorado Trail Race, I did a CW loop from Silverton: Up Stony Pass, CT then down W. Pole Creek then back up Stony to Silverton. We tacked on a short OnB beyond the W. Pole Creek turn to stay on the CT a bit longer. It was kind of a scouting ride for the CTR, but nothing really prepared me for the beatdown I was about to receive.
     
    Cyclotourist, Walleye and Mikie like this.
  19. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    Nice TR, looks like good weather. I had plans all set to ride Buena Vista to Durango Sep 2016, but cancelled last minute due to closing on my house conflicting. Still haven't rescheduled yet.
     
    Mikie and Walleye like this.
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