Top Rated Summer Rides

Across our four summer destinations- Crested Butte, Durango, Park City, and Telluride- there are literally hundreds of different rides that cover thousands of miles of trails.  We all have our favorites, but we wanted to crowd-source the top trails and tell you about them: so below we have the top-rated rides from our partners at MTB Project, the leading source for ride mapping and trails in virtually every area of the United States.

You’ll probably ride most of these when you come on a Chasing Epic trip, but don’t be surprised if you spend a few hours on trails that aren’t even mapped on MTB Project yet!


Crested Butte: Teocalli Ridge Loop




Start by driving out Brush Creek Road (738) East from Colorado Highway 135. Once the road starts climbing there will be an intersection with West Brush Creek Road (738.2A). Take a right here and look for an informal parking area approx 1/5 of a mile on your right. Park here.

Start riding back west on the road and take West Brush Creek Road (738.2A). Once on West Brush Creek Road the climb starts to get steeper and climbs up and around the hillside. In approx 1/2 mile you’ll come to another intersection, take a right here at the sign directing you toward The Teocalli Mountain Trail. Soak up the views in the next couple miles along the West Brush Creek drainage.

When the road ends you’ll take a right to get on Teocalli Mountain Trail. This is where the climb gets tough. If you have legs of steel and the lungs everything will be rideable. When you get near the top of the ridge you’ll take a right onto Teocalli Ridge Trail. After a short downhill you’ll be in for some more climbing.

After awhile you’ll come to a nice view point and stopping area, with great views of Teocalli Mountain, Castle Peak, Pearl Pass, and the Middle Brush Creek drainage on your left. This is a good place for lunch.

The trail continues along Teocalli Ridge and then begins a gradual downhill at first with fun roots/rocks. Eventually the trail comes to several switchbacks reminiscent of the Deadman Gulch switchbacks. Be careful here as some of the switchbacks and the trail itself comes very close to the steep mountainside. A fall here is definitely not recommended. Since the new re-route/downhill changes by the forest service, the downhill is much more sustainable. Many of the very steep/technical spots have been taken out which makes this more of an intermediate trail now.

Eventually the trail opens up into a fast flowy meadow and dumps you back out onto Brush Creek Road/Pearl Pass. Take a right here and follow the road back to the standard parking area.


Durango: Tour de Engineer




Start at the top of Coal Bank pass. Go up pass creek, which is somewhat technical but goes pretty quickly. Turn right on Engineer Mountain Trail. Some of this section is badly eroded and you’ll probably get off your bike. Look out for the great views to be had here.

Next, look for the hard to find White Creek Trail which isn’t marked. You need to look for a feint trail to the left AFTER engine creek. You go though a campsite, cross a little creek and you should see a prominent trail going up across the hill. White Creek Trail is super tight singletrack and rides well. At this point, you’ll hit the Colorado Trail.

Ride down and up out of the upper cascade creek. Then at 11,500 feet look for a vague intersection with Greysill / Cascade Divide Trail. There should be a small sign marking this intersection. The trail is pretty well maintained and is somewhat tame. Stay on the trail until you get to the lower part of cascade creek and stay on the south side of it for about 2 miles then cross cascade creek when you see a good opening. Follow the USFS road down to US 550.


Park City: Park City IMBA Epic




Starting at the Spiro access and kiosk, begin climbing up a two track for 500 feet. Take a hard right onto Armstrong and settle in for 10 miles of climbing to the high point of the ride.

Armstrong is steady up but a fairly easy pedal while Pine Cone will test you a bit. The punchiest parts come right before topping out on the Wasatch Crest.  Bask in the awesome views to west from the Crest. Ride north along a generally descending route with a few little climbs here and there.  These are in the form of a series of red dirt bluffs called the Fakies.

After the technical rock ridge, keep descending to the Dog Lake intersection. Stay right for a short easy climb.  After this climb, continue to stay left at the intersections that lead to view points on the ridge until arriving at a big meadow. Here a Y intersection will take users back to Park City or into Salt Lake City. Staying right into Park City is the only way to go. There is a big brown sign on the left hand trail saying No Bikes Allowed.

From the meadow intersection, the trail continues to descend with a short climb on the Crest Connector trail to the Mid Mountain Trail intersection. Bear left here and continue down to Ambush.  Follow Ambush to the end and bear left to ride out to Hwy 224, pedaling back to the beginning of the ride.


Telluride: Wasatch Trail Loop




This is an amazing trail with considerable elevation gain that brings you to 13,000 feet over nearly 18 miles. Plan carefully and expect to be exposed above treeline for 2-3 hours on this epic-inducing loop. I used 2L of water on the ride, wished for 3L. If you are wary of hike-a-bike this ride is not for you. The descent is expert terrain, with difficult switchbacks, loose rock, and consequential falls. This ride is not for the faint of heart. An enjoyable and safe ride will only reward those who are fit, experienced, and ready for “type b” fun.

Bring 2-3 liters of water, 5-6 energy bars, tools, spare tubes, and a camera. If you’ve never been at altitude before, know how your body reacts before you get there; you’ll be above 12k for many hours. There is no cell service roughly from the powerhouse to the pass, so plan accordingly.

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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.