“A great cross country descent when you're tired of lapping the gondola.”
— Nick Wilder on Nov 2, 2012
Overview2:03 average ride time for 10.3 miles. Details
Enjoying all that free downhill vertical from the gondola rides, but tired of the crowds or looking for something a bit more cross-country? This is a great alternative. Don't confuse this with Cougar Ridge which also descends to Minturn, but at a harder grade caused by severe erosion.
DescriptionFrom the Eagle Bahn gondola, head west on the paved path (Eagle's Loop) to its farthest point. Pass some warning signs (saying that you're leaving the ski area), and head through meadows straight down the beautiful ridge. You eventually come to an unsigned intersection: the right branch is the Matterhorn Trail (harder, but a shorter loop that ends in West Vail). This Game Creek Trail ride takes the left branch, which turns back sharply to the left and heads into lower Game Creek bowl. A pleasant descent through the aspens ends near the creek in a peaceful meadow.
You now follow the creek all the way down to Minturn. There's one short technical section where a rock slide covered the trail, but otherwise it's smooth sailing.
The trail end is kind of weird - basically in somebody's back yard - but it's completely legal (with National Forest signage and all). From here, follow the neighborhood road to the bike path and cruise back to the gondola for another lap!
ContactsLand Manager: USFS - White River National Forest Office
Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association
May 19 Saddle Ridge Trail Project
May 8 2013 Trail Work Dates
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