Favorite Trails of 2019
After every Chasing Epic trip, we send a questionnaire to our riders requesting feedback on the trip experience – and one of those questions asks about their favorite trail. So we thought… which trails came out on top? We scoured through the survey results, put some short descriptions and images together, and tallied the votes.
Keep in mind the question was about the specific *trail*, not the ride… most of the these trails are part of a bigger ride, where we’re doing 20+ miles over the course of a full-day. Now on to the winners from each destination!
Brevard Winner: Middle Black Mountain
Middle Black is the quintessential Pisgah trail: 3-4 miles of technical, fast, rooty riding that will push your skills and limits; but it does so in a way that will keep you smiling and wondering how you got through it alive. It starts with a stiff climb up Clawhammer Road, but once you point the bike downhill, it’s party time the whole way down. Combine this with Lower Black (another 1.5 miles of DH), and you’ve got a hell of a descent.
Runner-Up: Trace Ridge
Crested Butte Winner: Doctor Park
Narrowly defeating Teocalli Ridge in 2019, Doctor Park was the winner in Crested Butte; it may have something to do with the nearly six miles of continuous descent. Or maybe the three extremely different trail types from top to bottom. Or maybe the world-famous “Jedi Woods” section of non-stop aspen riding. Whatever it is, we can’t count the number of times we’ve heard “that was the best trail I’ve ever ridden” once we end the ride on the banks of the Almont River.
Runner-Up: Teocalli Ridge
Fruita Winner: Horsethief Bench
Before you ask, no- no one on a Chasing Epic trip has ever cleaned the famous “Horsethief Drop In”. And yes, we do discourage anyone from trying it because we’ve seen several people get pretty messed up as a result. But after you get past the first 500 feet, the rest of the trail is a mountain biker’s dream: amazing flow, lots of technical challenges that push even the best riders, and views above the Colorado River that will keep you coming back for more. It’s such a great 4-mile loop that we’ve been known to loop it twice.
Runner-Up: Zippity Do Dah
Moab Winner: The Whole Enchildada
Not really much of a surprise here, as The Whole Enchilada tends to be at or near the top of every mountain biker’s bucket list. Depending on where you can start the ride, this trail is anywhere from 20-30 miles of almost all downhill, and it throws every kind of technical riding available at you. High-alpine and steep? Check. Super chunky? Check. Slickrock? Check. Slow-speed tech with exposure? Check.
Runner-Up: Captain Ahab
Revelstoke Winner: Mt. Cartier
Although not an official customer ride in 2019, we took an informal poll of our trip leaders on the August scouting trip, and Mt. Cartier was the clear-cut winner. Starting off with a heli-drop on the top shoulder of Mt. Cartier, this trail throws it all at you over the course of 11 miles and 7,000 feet of descent. Major exposure up top, technical rock features, and some of the steepest continuous terrain you’ll experience.
Runner-Up: Boondocker (Boulder Mountain)
St. George Winner: Gooseberry Mesa
Another close vote, Gooseberry and Little Creek Mesas always go neck and neck for the top trails of the trip. In this case, it came down to one vote! Gooseberry is unlike anywhere you’ll ever ride, with some of the coolest and most interesting slickrock riding on earth. There’s a playground around every corner, and more lines than you can ride in your lifetime; it needs to be on the bucket list of every true mountain biker.
Runner-Up: Little Creek Mesa
Sun Valley Winner: Edge of the World (Oregon Gulch)
Just like the name suggests, starting at the top of Oregon Gulch in Sun Valley makes you feel like you’re standing on the edge of the world. To the north lies Galena Pass and the Sawtooth Mountains, to the east are the Boulders, and below you is six miles of fast, rowdy, and unbelievable singletrack. Starting off steep for the first mile and a half, it eventually transitions into forest riding and then a little bit of meadow skipping at the bottom… but man, what a ride!
Runner-Up: Greenhorn Imperial