Favorite Trails of 2020- Rider Submitted
After every Chasing Epic trip, all of our clients receive a survey asking us how we did, and to rate different aspects of the trip: lodging, guiding, our trip leaders, meals, and everything in-between. We also ask them which ride of the trip was their favorite, and why… so we thought it would be fun to go through our 2020 survey answers and compile the favorite rides of each trip we did!
With a shortened season in 2020, we don’t have favorites for all the locations; but below you’ll find the top trails for our Monarch Crest Enduro, Sun Valley, Crested Butte, Moab, Brevard and our custom Crested Butte Enduro with BKXC.
Monarch Crest Enduro Winner: Greens Creek
To us, Greens Creek off the Monarch Crest trail is probably one of the best 3-5 true downhill trails in the United States: it’s 8 miles and almost 4,000 feet of pure bliss. That said, make sure you’ve got your skills and fitness level up when you ride this with us, as Greens Creek is probably one of the chunkiest, rowdiest trails you’ll ride on a Chasing Epic trip this side of the US-Canada border! This trail has it all with steeps, rock gardens, flowy aspen forests, and everything in-between.
Runner-up: Fooses Creek
Sun Valley Winner: Red Warrior
When it comes to popular trails in the Sun Valley area, Red Warrior is typically not one one you’ll hear on a regular basis. That’s likely because it’s not easy to get to (it’s remote and it requires a stiff, long climb) and it ends 10 miles outside of town up a dirt road that parallels Warm Springs Creek. However, by utilizing shuttles and with a strong crew this past fall, we were able to combine Castle Creek and Red Warrior into a double-descent for the ages.
Red Warrior by itself is about 5 miles and 2,000+ feet of incredible descent, starting with a fast bench-cut trail before transitioning into a steep, loose, rocky ripper through the trees. By the time you hit the last mile, you’re cruising on more mellow singletrack that’s just above a creek (and through it, quite a few times!) before you have to wade through thigh-deep Warm Springs and head back into town.
Runner-up: Imperial Trail
Crested Butte Winner: Doctor Park
No surprise here, as Doctor Park is the perennial favorite on our Crested Butte trips; with good reason, as it’s one of the best trails in the country (or in the world?). The whole descent of Doctor Park spans about 6 miles and 2400 vertical while giving you a little bit of everything from top to bottom. The trail starts in a wide open meadow just below treeline before dipping into a rough, rooty technical stretch where speed is your friend. After that, get ready for one of the best sections of trail on earth: the Jedi Woods, a 2.5 mile ride through the most magical aspen forest you’ll ever lay eyes on.
Once you’ve “had enough” of high speed flow, the bottom two miles brings you back to reality with steep, rocky trail that’s got enough features and rocks to keep you on your toes. On our Chasing Epic trips, we typically combine Doctor’s with the Flag, Bear and Deadman’s Creek trails for an all-day epic 25 mile ride.
Runner-up: Tie, 403 and Strand Hill
Moab Winner: The Whole Enchilada
No surprise again, as The Whole Enchilada is one of the most famous trails in the world, and a ride experience for the ages. For the first time in years, ALL of our fall trips to Moab (we ran three consecutive trips in October) were able to ride the Whole Enchilada from the very top, starting at Geysir Pass and climbing to 11,000 feet on Burro Pass.
Over the course of 30 miles, the Whole Enchilada throws it all at you: a tough climb to treeline followed by steep, rooty forested singletrack, followed by wide open flow and speed on the Hazzard County section, then slow tech and slickrock on LPS and UPS, before hitting endless miles of chunky “road” on Porcupine Rim, all ending on Porcupine Singletrack which is likely one of the best 4 mile stretches of techy singletrack you’ll ever ride. This trail has it all, and is world famous for a reason.
Runner-up: Captain Ahab
Brevard Winner: Bennett Gap
In somewhat of a surprise upset, Bennett Gap reigns supreme on this year’s Brevard trip; typically we see Trace Ridge or Middle Black take the title of favorite trail in Pisgah Nat’l Forest. It most certainly isn’t undeserved, however, since Bennett Gap has some uber-technical sections that challenge the best of riders, and with the 2020 trip coming after the leaves had fallen and covered the trail, it added an extra spicy element this year!
Bennett Gap by itself isn’t all that long, at around 3 miles with about 1500 feet of drop… but it makes up for that with non-stop features that keep you wondering what’s next. From spicy rock rolls to root gaps, to side-cut high-speed bench trails, Bennett is non stop fun until you pop out onto Avery Creek Road. On our trips, we always start the day with a shuttle so we can combine the best in the area, adding Avery Creek, Black Mountain and more to the full-day ride.
Runner-up: Trace Ridge
Crested Butte Enduro Winner: Agate Creek
This fall we put together a “hybrid” trip for our friend BKXC, an enduro-style shuttle-oriented four day weekend based in Crested Butte that was filled up by his fans, friends and followers. The trip was entirely based around shuttles so we could maximize the descents and minimize the tough climbing at altitude. In a surprise win over Doctor Park, our ride on Agate Creek (off the Monarch Crest, on Day 2) took the prize.
As the only trail that drops off the west side of the Monarch Crest, Agate Creek proper is almost 9 miles long with around 3500 vertical descent. There are about 15 creek crossings on this ride, but they come lower on the trail and don’t interrupt the amazing tech and flow this trail offers. Starting at treeline just over 11,000 feet, you’ll be treated to it all with a loose, dusty track followed by amazing tech and flow through the forest, before having to work for it near the end with endless creek crossings and slippery rock to contend with. All that said, Agate Creek offers an amazing ride experience and it’s one we’ll include for years to come.
Bonus Content: Staff Picks
Our trip leaders and guides chose their favorites from our 2020 trips as well!
Winner: Greens Creek (Monarch Crest)
Runner-up: Doctor Park (Crested Butte)
Third Place: Black Mountain (Brevard)