North Trail - Western Section

Consensus:    (details)
  4.3 from 3 votes
blue  Intermediate from 1 vote
Rank: #3 in the Vail area
#213 in CO, #2,193 Overall
Views: 1,674. Last 30 days: 15
Trail in the area near Vail,
“The best of the North Trail, with aspens, wildflowers, and jaw-dropping views.”
Nick Wilder on Jul 6, 2013
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4.47.2 milesKilometers 875’267 m Ascent 9,202’2,805 m High 10% Avg Grade (6°)
Singletrack Type -1,390’-424 m Descent 7,911’2,411 m Low 27% Max Grade (15°)
Closed April 15-June 15.
This trail is better ridden east to west, as shown here. Access the start of this trail by either riding North Trail - Middle Section or up the short and easy Buffehr Creek Connector.

Start up an easy, smooth, gradual ascent up deep aspen forest. It's thick and lush here with lots of wildflowers, and you can't hear the highways, which is a nice bonus. It's a good climb, but relatively easy for this area.

Arrive at the top of the climb to a meadow with expansive views from the Gore Range all the way to the Holy Cross Wilderness. This is one of the better views in the entire Vail Valley.

Start the descent with well over a mile of gradual descending through beautiful aspen forests. The trail then gets quite steep for about a half mile and a little looser. This would probably be rated difficult if you were ascending here, but the descent is not too hard.

Arrive at a dirt road. If you're tired, there's a quick escape to West Vail to the left, but to get some more singletrack, go right. Follow this road into and out of a creek and find the last bit of the North Trail singletrack on your left after half a mile. This last section has some smooth, pretty easy switchbacks down to the valley floor.

This trail isn't very long, but it's damn good!
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Forecasting the weather...
4.8 (6)
A life-changing 485 mile ride on the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango.
near Columbine Valley, CO
4.7 (15)
A grand tour combining amazing alpine scenery with Vail's finest flow trails.
near Red Cliff, CO
4.5 (11)
An epic ride with spectacular singletrack, scenery, and a 4,600' descent.
near Frisco, CO

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PHOTOS of North Trail - Western Section
  5.0 from 2 votes
Tired of aspen forest? How about a meadow with wildflowers? (Minturn, CO)
  4.7 from 3 votes
Superb riding here! (Vail, CO)
  4.5 from 4 votes
Rocky Mountain Columbine - the CO state flower - line this part of the t... (Minturn, CO)
  4.0 from 2 votes
Smooth, easy, and fun riding. (Minturn, CO)
  4.0 from 2 votes
Aspens and wildflowers. If you like them as much as I do, you're going ... (Minturn, CO)
  4.0 from 2 votes
Wildflowers in the way! (Vail, CO)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Nearing the top, and the views are getting good. (Vail, CO)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Starting up the North Trail singletrack (Minturn, CO)