A Closer Look: Our Fall 2022 Trips
Wrapping up the 2022 trip overview is the fall series of trips, which covers Squamish, Crested Butte and Brevard. If you’re looking for a more diverse set of trips in a two month-stretch, you won’t find it! From uber-technical riding in coastal British Columbia to epic high-country riding in Colorado, to quintessential east coast tech in Brevard… we can’t wait until next fall. Read on below to find out what each trip is all about!
Squamish: September 8-12, 2022
Technical Level: Advanced to Expert
Physical Level: Intermediate+
Summary: New to the Chasing Epic lineup for 2022, we’re super excited to be heading to Squamish in mid-May. The area is a virtual playground for mountain bikers, with terrain and tech that will challenge the best riders anywhere. We’re also excited because Squamish allows us to offer a natural progression in riding for our long-time riders (and new ones too!) where it’s a step above trips like Brevard and Fruita/Moab, and will push riders in all the right ways. Definitely bring your A-game for this one.
From slabs to skinnies to flow trails to steep backcountry lines… Squamish will throw it all at you. Sometimes even on the same day! Expect to be challenged beyond anything you’ve likely ridden before, on features you probably didn’t think were rideable. But it’s all about progression, and you’ll leave Squamish a much better rider than when you showed up on Day 1!
Day 1: Alice Lakes Loops. The perfect area for showing you the ropes, Alice Lakes is on the north end of town and offers a little bit of everything. We’ll start the day with slightly more “mild” blue trails like Pampelmousse and Leave of Absence before getting into more rowdy blacks like Entrails and Rupert. Oh, and we’ll give you a small taste of some delectable slab riding today too. Expect around 18-20 miles with 2500′ of climbing and descending on the day.
Day 2: Diamond Head to Valley Cliffe. Starting with a big shuttle to the top of the Diamond Head trails, we’ve got a lot in store for today’s ride. Today is a mix of steep natural trails, flow, and slab riding like you’ve never seen. All told we’ll ride about 20 miles with about 2000′ of climbing and 5000′ of descent.
Day 3: Big backcountry loops. Today it’s all about steep, rugged, and natural. We’ll start with a big, steep climb to gain access to the trail system… it’s going to hurt a bit, but it’ll be so worth it. Once we’re on top, we’ll choose our own adventure on trails that define steep and gnarly; it’s a mix of slabs and steep lines that were built for mountain biking. Today’s ride will be 15-18 miles with about 3000′ of climbing and descending. ** Depending on early-season snowfall, we may be able to get even higher up into the backcountry for some true high alpine riding on the September trip… fingers crossed!
Day 4: Slabtastic tech Point to Point. We’ll start our day over in Diamond Head again, hitting trails that we missed on Day 2 like Powersmart and Yer Sister. Trails that will build on our tech skills and push you to the limits one last time. The Shred Shuttle will be there to pick everyone up and head back to the Vancouver airport this afternoon to wrap things up.
Expected Weather: Spring in Squamish usually means temperate weather in the 60’s and a chance of rain most days. Don’t worry though, the dirt gets better with moisture, and the slabs are still as grippy as ever. But still, make sure you bring a good rain jacket and maybe some rain paints on this trip.
Recommended bike: Squamish is all about the tech, so we recommend a full-on enduro bike for this trip. A minimum of 140mm rear travel and 150-160mm up front is a must!
The Final Word: Our Squamish trip is all about progression and pushing yourself, so be prepared. This trip is most definitely for our advanced/expert riders! You’ll be riding trails unlike you’ve ever seen before, with features and sections that you’ve only viewed on YouTube videos. Everything in Squamish is SO well-designed and built though, that you’ll be amazed at what’s possible on a bike. If you’ve got questions about whether your ability level is up to the challenge, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email.
Crested Butte: September 23-27, 2022
Technical Level: Intermediate+
Physical Level: Advanced
Summary: One of our most popular trips every year, Crested Butte in the fall is absolutely magical. Cooler temps, perfect trail conditions, and changing aspens… this is a 5-day trip you won’t soon forget. Don’t underestimate what’s needed to have fun in CB though: make sure you put in lots of training miles beforehand, as you’ll need them. This trip has BIG climbs above 11,000 feet and big days in the saddle- but don’t worry, it’s all worth it because descents like Teocalli, 403, and Doctor Park are world-class.
Outside of the big climbs and hard riding, we’ll work in a few shuttles to maximize the trail connections and put together rides you’ll never do on your own. We know the trails here like the back of our hand because our guides helped design and build them, and we always put together a unique and amazing itinerary. There are definitely some tough technical sections on trails like the ones mentioned above, so make sure you can handle some high-speed chunk and the occasional steep line. We’re already dreaming about late September in Crested Butte, we can’t wait.
Ride Day One: EPIC ALERT! Today’s ride will push you beyond your limits, but we promise you’ll thank us afterwards. This ride is a Chasing Epic original, combining some of the best trails in the world like no one else can. We’ll hit some of the best upper Cement Creek-area trails for a “warmup” in the morning for around 10-12 miles. Once we hit the bottom of the second big descent, we’ll grab lunch and then begin the second half of our day on Doctor Park: one of the best trails you’ll ever ride, promise. All told today we’ll knock off about 25 miles with just under 3000 feet of climbing, but almost 6,000 descending thanks to a morning shuttle!
Day Two: We’ll head just south of town to the Cement Creek trails for one of our newer (and favorite) loops including Farris Creek, Point Lookout, and the new Middle Cement trails. You’ll get some longer, grunty climbs mixed in with some absolutely amazing singletrack… we can’t wait to show off this route! This ride will cover about 20 miles with ~3000 feet of climbing, with an end-of-ride option to add 3-4 miles as well!
Day Three: Another combo ride here, and this one’s been in the Chasing Epic arsenal for years… Teocalli and Strand Hill. Combining these two incredible trails gives us one big climb, one epic descent, one smaller climb, and another epic descent. In the fall, you can expect perfect dirt, golden aspens, and incredible riding on both trails. All told, expect about 20 miles and 3400′ of climbing today.
Day Four: We always like to finish up our trips on a high-note, so today we’re putting together our “804” ride, which combines the world-famous 403 and 401 trails. We’ll start off with a shuttle up to the 403 trailhead, followed by a short mile-long climb before we hit the goods down 403. Once we hit the bottom, it’s a steady climb to Schofield Pass and beyond, to the top of 401. Once we reach the top of 401, you’ve got 5+ miles of sweet, flowy singletrack all the way down to the vehicles. Today’s ride is about 14 miles and 2,200 vertical.
Expected Weather: Crested Butte in the fall can be a mixed bag… but on average, expect highs in the 60’s and low’s in the 30’s (or lower) during the mornings and evenings. We’ve seen everything from snow to 80* and sunny on our fall trips here! We’ll do our best to make sure you’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store for us; the changing weather is always part of the experience!
Recommended Bike: Another “it depends” recommendation from us here. If you’re a solid climber and don’t mind pushing a few extra pounds uphill, then by all means go with an enduro bike like the GG Smash on this trip. Trails like 403 and Doctor Park most certainly justify that decision. That said, we think the smart play is to go with a 130-140mm travel trail bike so you’ve got a little more efficiency with climbing, while still being able to handle the descents just fine.
Final Word: We can’t say enough about our late-September trip to Crested Butte each year. It’s challenging, but the rides and downhills are so rewarding. There’s a chance you’ll push yourself harder and farther than before, but there’s also a good chance you’ll ride some of the best trails of your life. All in an environment that’s mind-blowing, and you’ll get to share it with a group of other riders having just as much fun as you are.
Brevard, NC: October 7-11, 2022
Technical Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Physical Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Summary: To us, Brevard in the fall is very similar to Crested Butte. With the changing leaves and peekaboo views, it’s quite magical in its own right! Pisgah National Forest sits just below the world-famous Blue Ridge Parkway, and has many similar traits with amazing forest riding and a beautiful landscape… but don’t be fooled, because hidden under the canopy of trees is some of the most technical riding on the east coast!
The key word when it comes to the riding in Brevard is “rowdy”, as we’re focusing all our energy on getting the best of Pisgah NF on this trip. In Pisgah National Forest, just a few minutes north of town, you’ll see what east coast technical riding is all about: from the uber-tech trails like Black Mountain and Bennett Gap to the intermediate-level stuff like Daniel Ridge and Sycamore Cove. The climbs are typically on steady logging roads with a bit of steep singletrack mixed in, and the descents are long, rooty, rocky and damn fun. This is our favorite place to ride east of the Rockies; join us, and you’ll see why.
Ride Day One: Just east of town is Mills River, home of some of the best Pisgah trails we’ve ridden. Today we’ll link together a “triple loop” combining Trace Ridge, Spencer Gap, Fletcher Creek and a couple other bonuses- the perfect mix of trails if you ask us. Expect some old school tech on Trace Ridge, along with “new school” man made features on Spencer Gap to give you the perfect Pisgah experience. Lunch at the trucks halfway through the ride will give you a good chance to refuel and take a break! Expect about 20-22 miles with over 3,000′ of climbing and descending today.
Day Two: We’ll start with a quick shuttle up one of the many National Forest service roads to knock off some climbing, but don’t be fooled- we’ll still put in some big vertical. The climbing in Pisgah is typically done on fire roads, and the descents come in the form of super technical, rooty and rocky trails. Today we’ll combine the tough trails like Bennett Gap, Avery Creek, and Black Mountain – expect some bumps and bruises, even for the best of us. Expect about 18-20 miles with a solid 2500-3000 feet of climbing but even more descending. There’s an option at the end of the ride to add another 4-5 miles and 800′ for anyone that has the legs!
Day Three: Today’s ride is going to combine a few of the more off-the-grid trails with a point-to-point shuttle ride. We’ll start by driving about 15 minutes northeast of Brevard to drop off near Mills River, where we’ll start the day with a mellow climb up Cantrell before hitting Squirrel Gap: the definition of Brevard chunk. From there, we’ll get a few shorter DHs and climbs before entering in the Black Mountain area, where we’ll get a couple huge descents before ending our day at the Hub for a post-ride beer!
Day Four: Last day of the trip, but it doesn’t mean that we’re going to take it easy on you. That said, we’re heading over to Kanuga Bike Park for a bit of “all you can eat” bike park riding. Kanuga is a self-powered private bike park that has it all: flow trails, jump trails, singletrack, etc. We’ll stick around all day if you want, just keep riding until you can’t anymore!
Expected Weather: Generally, early October in Brevard is absolutely perfect with temperatures in the 70s and lower chances of rain. That said, Pisgah National Forest is a temperate rain forest, so there’s always a chance for showers and wet conditions!
Recommended Bike: Since most of the climbing here is on old logging roads, you can definitely get away with a longer travel bike like our GG Smash or Revel Rail (~150mm of travel). That said, if you like a quicker handling trail bike, you’ll do just fine here with that as well.
Final Word: If you couldn’t tell by now, Brevard is all about classic east coast chunk. Advanced (or above) riders will absolutely love it here, and we think intermediate riders will too… although there are certainly some sections you’ll walk. But it’s all about progression and having fun, and Brevard delivers that in spades! Adding another layer of awesomeness is the timing of this trip, as the leaves will be changing and the trails should be in perfect condition.
Brevard is totally different than any of our trips out west, and we absolutely love it for that reason. We’ve been running trips here for three seasons and each year we can’t wait to come back for more!