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Just back from 5 days of trail riding around Cortez, CO.  8 riders. I don't have a lot of pictures since I was videoing and figuring out the new helmet cam  I'll try to post more as everyones pics trickle in. Day 1 we rode the Aspen Loop Trail out of Delores (thanks to Dave and Paul for trail info). We rode the main trail and added a twist with some single track called the West Mancos Trail. It turned out to be challenging but not crazy difficult just some steep switchbacks near the end. Lot's of fall colors.

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Here's a link to a video one of the guys posted: ://www.dropbox.com/s/e12vvuoubz8er5v/Cortez_2019_Day_1.mp4?dl=0

Day 2 we rode from Deer Creek to the 3 Step Hideaway (https://3stephideaway.com/). Scott and Julie (the owners) are just great people. In addition to providing accommodations year round they also put on two events annually - The Desert Rendezvous and the Alpine Rendezvous. Bagstr and I attended the Desert Rendezvous last year and had a great time. I encourage you to attend if you've never been. It's open to both big and little bikes with tracks provided for both.  Normally they don't serve lunch but I contacted them in advance and they graciously agreed to prepare lunch for us. Getting there we followed the ridge above the Delores river with one interesting section right before the Slickrock Bridge. That trail didn't look like it had been traveled in many years and had one big rock slide that we had to clear  to circumvent but we made it and all was well.

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Day 3 - Stoner Mesa and the Willows

Stoner Mesa is in the mountains northwest of Mancos near Rico. Here you'll find endless singletrack and much of it is black diamond stuff. One thing about CO is they don't rate the trails either on the maps or on the trailhead signposts so you're pretty much on your own. We rode the Stoner Mesa Trail and it did not disappoint. Several difficult rocky climbs and endless switchbacks descending off the mountain. Still overall just a fantastic trail and worth the effort.

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Day 4 - The Canyon of the Ancients

This turned out to be a much more challenging day than we anticipated. Some of the backroads in the COTA are pretty rough with a generous sprinkling of large rocks - uphill and downhill. Near the end of the day we took a very old two track and descended deep into a canyon. Unfortunately it hadn't been ridden in so long that is was overgrown with brush and generally not passable. After spend considerable time looking for a way out and with daylight fading we decided to make the difficult climb out backtracking the way we came in. Fortunately all in the group were experienced riders and we all got out without major difficulty. Got back to the trucks right at sunset.

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Day 5 - The Delores River Canyon

We staged at the Bradfield Bridge and rode to the Delores River Access out of Deer Creek. Spectacular scenery riding along the river. The plan was to cross the river but upon arriving at the crossing we found it was pretty wide\deep still and very slippery.  One rider walked his bike across and made it to the other side but the consensus was to abort and take plan B back to the trucks. Probably a good decision as the trail was deteriorating and as usual we were behind schedule. The ride back along the river was just as spectacular as the ride in.

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All in all a great week of riding. A few minor bike issues and no serious mishaps so it's all good.

Oh yeah we stopped by to say hi but apparently Eli was out back on the track prepping for the MEC!

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3 minutes ago, Bagstr said:

I don't know why anyone rides in that area.   🤷‍♂️

It sucks. Don't go!

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Nice report!  Wish I knew you guys were there.  I've been in Durango for the last two weeks and rode a couple of times with a friend who moved to Cortez a couple of years ago.  We rode Boggy Draw last week (very easy trails) and did part of the Morrison trail and Aspen Loop Trail on this past Tuesday.  I also did a couple of rides on my Super Adventure (mostly highway and forest roads.) . Leaving for home tomorrow.

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That Dolores River Canyon below McPhee Reservoir appears to be a nice ride. I will check that our next trip.  Unclear if that turned out to be an Out and Back route because of the river hight. Deer Creek?  

Did your crew explore to the east north of Hesperus Road 124? 

Love the Forest shots.

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14 hours ago, Bagstr said:

That Dolores River Canyon below McPhee Reservoir appears to be a nice ride. I will check that our next trip.  Unclear if that turned out to be an Out and Back route because of the river hight. Dear Creek?  

Did your crew explore to the east north of Hesperus Road 124? 

Love the Forest shots.

Brain fade. Dove Creek. In the Delores River Canyon we ended up doing an out and back. There were a couple of reasons. The first 10 or so miles after you enter the canyon the road is in reasonable condition (allegedly county maintained though it was not in that great of shape). At that point you go through a gate where there's a sign saying end of county maintained road. They're not kidding. The road becomes extremely rough\rocky with multiple difficult rocky uphills\downhills all the way to the river crossing. The river crossing itself was about a 18" deep and very slippery. We had a route planned to climb out of the canyon on the other side up river a mile or two. All stuff from maps and Google Earth so unknown quantity. Based on what we saw up to the river and knowing the climb out could be even more difficult we decided to bail. If I were going to do it again I think I would try to do it in reverse (we did it clockwise).

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Hey Randy,

After having time to digest the big trip to Cortez, I wonder what trails you would focus on if you went back. Different maps show different motorized access, so a bit confusing.

Did you try that Sharkstooth Pass trail. Appears it could be like the more difficult stuff like Stoner Mesa.

Keep You gas Fresh,   Dave

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My son would be totally jealous of the Tomac ranch.  I’m jealous of everything else, well done!  

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17 hours ago, tntmo said:

 I’m jealous of everything else, well done!  

+1

 

Looks amazing..such a nice time of the year. Those pics have me contemplating loading up the truck :upsidedown:

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On 10/6/2019 at 11:10 AM, Bagstr said:

Hey Randy,

After having time to digest the big trip to Cortez, I wonder what trails you would focus on if you went back. Different maps show different motorized access, so a bit confusing.

Did you try that Sharkstooth Pass trail. Appears it could be like the more difficult stuff like Stoner Mesa.

Keep You gas Fresh,   Dave

Sorry I’ve been off the grid for a few days. Currently camping in Mammoth on a non-moto trip. There’s a ton of singletrack around Rico. From the terrain I saw some of it could be “challenging”. There’s a reason the locals all ride 300 2- strokes:) The only issue is that as I mentioned they do not rate trails so you just need to dive in I guess. Part of the adventure.

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