Favorite Summer Rides… So Far

We’re most of the way through our summer trip season, so we thought it was a good time to look back on some of the best rides we’ve done.  Keep in mind- these aren’t necessarily the highest-rated or longest rides; instead, these have been our favorites based on personal preference and client feedback.  Not all epic rides end up being epic, and sometimes the unexpected routes turn into your best day on the bike.  You have to click in to see what happens!

South Boundary Trail (Angel Fire)

OK, we’re starting with an epic.  The South Boundary Trail, connecting Angel Fire to Taos, is a well-known ride for those willing to put in some effort to find it.  Starting around 9,000 feet (after the shuttle, of course), you begin with a tough 45 minute climb up a fairly technical combination of singletrack and fire road.  Sounds pleasant, right?  Don’t worry, it’s about to get a whole lot better.


Once you top out, you’ve got about a whole lot of descending and not much climbing, which makes for an incredible ride.  What made it even better for us, you might ask?  How about this… we rode almost 25 miles- on a Saturday- and didn’t see a single other rider or hiker until we got down into Taos!  Talk about a backcountry experience- we were truly “out there”.  Combine that with sections of trail like “Heaven on Earth”, and this is one of the best rides anywhere in the western US.


Ride stats: 25 miles, 2000 feet of climbing and 4500 feet of descent.


Hartman Rocks (Crested Butte)

OK, Hartman Rocks isn’t in Crested Butte proper- it’s actually in Gunnison, an easy (and beautiful) 30 minute drive to the south.  On the first day of our 4-day Crested Butte trip back in July, we got absolutely poured on.  The morning of the second day wasn’t looking good either, with light showers and rain in the forecast all day.  After talking with our guides, we made the call to head south to Hartman Rocks, a network of high-desert riding with over 100 miles of mixed-difficulty singletrack.  Looking back up the valley, we knew we made the right choice.


Hartman Rocks offers an awesome mix of smooth, fast, flowy trails and very technical rock features sure to keep just about anyone on their toes.  With a mixed group of riders, we were able to satisfy everyone during our full-day ride.


All told, we ended up with just over 20 miles of riding, while covering all of the Hartman Rocks highlights.  Plus, we got fantastic weather all day long while the town (and mountains) of Crested Butte was socked in with rain all day long.  Sometimes it’s nice to have options.


Wasatch Crest (Park City)

The Wasatch Crest trail is certainly no secret… it’s one of the most popular trails in Utah!  That said, on our recent 4-day trip to Park City we managed to do longer rides over the weekend, and keep the Crest for Monday.  Not a bad way to end a trip, right?


The ride starts with a shuttle to the top of Guardsman Pass (thanks White Pine!), which eliminates the need for almost 3,000 feet of climbing.  From Guardsman, you start off with a super fun, twisty mile of trail on Scotty’s before heading up Puke Hill.  Yeah, don’t worry- it’s not as tough as it sounds.  Once on top of the Crest, it’s 12+ miles of ridgeline cruising, with views to the left into Salt Lake City, and views to the right of the Park City area.


Flowing singletrack, a few technical sections, and ending with a bomber run down the Canyons flow trails is a heckuva way to end a 4-day trip.  And all that before 1:00pm!  We love to end our trips on a high note, and this one didn’t disappoint!



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AUTHOR: Steve Mokan

Steve is the owner (and founder) of Chasing Epic Mountain Bike Adventures, and contributes regularly to our blog. He's passionate about providing customers with incredible mountain bike vacations, and he loves photography and travel when he's not working. Truthfully, he loves those things when he is working too.