If you’re a regular reader of our blog posts, then you know this series is usually called “One Big Ride”. But when we put together the idea of our 2020 Wildcard trip, we wanted to push the envelope for our riders. And that’s where “One Big Day” comes in, because it’s not just one ride. It’s two.
The Monarch Crest Enduro trip– which will be a staple on the Chasing Epic calendar for years to come- is all about the descents. Over the course of four days, we put in almost 100 miles with over 22,000 vertical of downhill singletrack. It was simply amazing, and our clients agreed. On the third day, we did a double shuttle of two of the most fun descents anywhere in Colorado: Greens Creek and Fooses Creek.
Part 1: Greens Creek
After being dropped off at 11,300 feet on the top of Monarch Pass, the morning’s ride started with a fairly mellow 4-mile climb that gains about 600 feet; it’s as beautiful a singletrack climb you’ll find anywhere. After topping out around 12,000 feet, it’s nothing but 10 miles of rippin’ downhill to the bottom.
Greens Creek is likely as rowdy and rocky a trail as you’ll find on a Chasing Epic trip this side of the Whole Enchilada, and probably one of the toughest trails you’ll ride. And after a night of rain? Yep, it was fun. In an “epic” kind of way.
All told, the Greens Creek ride was 17 miles with 4,000 feet of descending, but only 800 feet of climbing. How’s that for a climb:descend ratio?!? After a quick refuel of water, Gatorade, snacks, and energy gels, the crew was shuttled up to the top of Monarch Pass again to start the second ride of the day: Fooses Creek. We were originally concerned with the weather, as the first two days of the trip saw afternoon storms roll through, but on this day we were spared. The clouds were breaking and the weather was absolutely perfect.
Part 2: Fooses Creek
Fooses Creek starts with the same climb as Greens Creek, but drops in about a mile before… and then you get 6 more miles of rippin’ singletrack! It starts with a super steep and rugged drop in, transitions to some of the best wildflower-covered singletrack you’ve seen, then turns rowdy. Oh, and then the last couple miles flatten out a bit and offer high-speed forested singletrack that certainly keeps you on your toes. You get a bit of everything on this one!
All told on the day, we rode right at 30 miles with over 8,000 feet of descending. And not just any descending, this is world-class stuff off one of the most popular trails in the United States. Rider feedback was amazing, as just about everyone described the day as a “top three, if not the best ever” of what they had experienced on a mountain bike. Our Wildcard trips are usually a one-and-done itinerary meant to showcase an area and then change the following year; but the Monarch Crest Enduro has officially earned “keeper” status, and you’ll see it on our calendar for a long, long time. What a way to kick off our 2020 season after months of waiting!