MTB Project Logo

Recommendation for father/son MTB trip


Original Post
chris barg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

Hi All,

Apologies if this is being posted in the wrong section of the forums.

I've been mountain-biking for quite a while and my son is into biking as well. He is good and can hold his own but I wouldn't want to put him in any dangerous situations (huge cliffs, hills/overhangs, et). That said, I have this perhaps crazy idea to fly to some destination if needed with our bikes and do a week long journey on our bikes - where we'd be only camping along the area and on our bikes each day away from it all. We live in the Northeast which is beautiful in its own right, but I used to live in Denver so Id prefer to head back out that way and show him a totally different part of the country if possible. Doesnt have to be there though.

Perhaps this is too tall of an order given his age, as he is only 9 years old, but if anyone has suggestions of destinations/trails with their respective states/trail names and any other related info I would be grateful. Or you can tell me I am nuts and he is too young at 9 years old.

Thanks in advance!

Adam Kagy · · Victor, ID · Joined Sep 2007 · Points: 2,941

so you want to bikepack? If so I would suggest maybe looking at riding some segments of the CO trail. Another option is to go later in October, fly into phoenix and ride sections of the Arizona trail between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon.

A few shorter point to point rides (100-140mi) would be to look at riding the Kokopelli trail or White Rim. Both are mild (mostly backcountry dirt road) miles and would be good for younger kids as long as you took your time. Plenty of camping and it's away from it all for sure.

Chris Chaney · · Stanton, Kentucky · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 2,126

+1 on the Colorado Trail. Specifically check out the Buffalo Creek area. There's a lot of good singletrack there as well as some nice doubletrack roads and you can see forever due to the wildfires long ago.

It is remote, so you need to be 100% confident in your backcountry abilities.

You could probably do a more tame trip by heading up Waterton Canyon from the south Denver area and getting onto the CO trail far enough for legal camping. You could do it out and back as an overnight and hit some singletrack in the area for day trips.

BlakeV Vanier · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 284

Keep in mind that the colorado trail has some pretty tough sections and if you're bike packing it's going to make it all the more difficult to ride them. Another option is to just go some where that has a lot of good trails and just camp away from it all. We just got back from camping in Crested Butte. We had a camp site next to a creek and no cell service. It was nice. Though I'm not sure if Crested Butte has any amount of mellow riding. Plus it's pretty high in altitude.

I think Adam's idea of the White rim or Kokopelli trail for bike packing are great options. It will be a whole new world compared to the Northeast. The kokopelli trail runs along the colorado river for some points and it can be a little intimidating with the drop off, but as long as you don't intentially throw yourself over the edge, there's really no risk (since you had mentiond cliffs as a concern).

chris barg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

Adam/Chris/Blake,

thank you guys so much for the detailed info - these are all great suggestions. Really appreciate you taking the time.

I am investigating the Kokopelli/white Rim trails now - will def let you know if any further questions on those. I also dig the idea of starting in south Denver and hopping on the CO trail - that actually sounds like a winner. **need to explore the CO trail further though as you mentioned...it may be too difficult.

thanks again!

BlakeV Vanier · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 284

Yeah of course. Sounds like you are going to plan a pretty awesome trip for you and your son. He's lucky. The only mtb trip my parents went on was to moab, and they left me at home.

One final comment on the CT. When looking at where you want to ride it, keep in mind there are sections of the CT that run into wilderness sections and are off limits to bikes which requires a road detour to get connected back to the CT you are allowed to ride.

The first segment from waterton is pretty good, Like Chris said, the stuff around Buffalo creek is top notch. You run into a wilderness section at the end of this trail and need to detour though. mtbproject.com/trail/331667…

Markk Knowles · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 2,720

I say skip the week long backcountry journey for such a young kid. If something goes wrong you could find yourselves in over your head. The smallest failure could lead to a ruined adventure.

Instead get a campervan and hit a series of the best riding out west. Sedona, Flagstaff, Hurricane/St. George, Moab, Fruita, Bend. All THAT awesome riding would leave a lasting impression instead of some epic possible disaster.

Just my 2$

Paul Hyland · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 15

Chris,
I live in Denver and work close to the mouth of Waterton Canyon. This summer (2015) has been unusually wet and rainy. Denver usually has ~2-7 days/month of rain, and it seems that we have had 1/2 of the days of May, June and into July having some rain, and some full days of rain. So, doing anything on the front range would need to include rain gear. Probably what you are used to in the NW.

I haven't done any bike packing on the CT, but am looking into it as well for me and teen kiddos.

Best,
Paul

keith wakefield · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 0

I'd recommend one of the San Juan hut trips (sanjuanhuts.com). I've done both trips, once with a 13 year old kid and he did fine. Start with the Telluride to Moab trip which is the easier of the two. These trips are a little spendy, but they take care of the camping and food logistics and are a ton of fun.

Good luck!

Aaron Caveglia · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 548

For a completely different suggestion, consider going to Kingdom Trails in northern Vermont. You'd get the small town feel of East Burke and more amazing East Coast singletrack than you can chew through. There's nothing there with a big penalty for failure, and the bike park neighboring the trail system even has a couple trails appropriate for a competent younger rider (Rolly Grail, Jester come to mind). You could tent camp or book a tiny cabin or stay in a B&B. More like "getting away from most of it".

I think it's really awesome what you're trying to do, but taking a kid that young into the backcountry might make me a little nervous. I mean, it's one thing when you choose the level of risk you're comfortable with, another when you're bringing someone who can't decide for himself. Perhaps take a smaller trip and do the big backcountry adventure in a year or two if a smaller trip goes well?

Sam Ornelas · · Fresno · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 0

I would say ANYWHERE in Eureka/Humbolt county.

mike gibson · · Rapid City, SD · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 0
Markk Knowles wrote: I say skip the week long backcountry journey for such a young kid. If something goes wrong you could find yourselves in over your head. The smallest failure could lead to a ruined adventure.

Instead get a campervan and hit a series of the best riding out west. Sedona, Flagstaff, Hurricane/St. George, Moab, Fruita, Bend. All THAT awesome riding would leave a lasting impression instead of some epic possible disaster.

Just my 2$

^^^^^ This.

Keep it simple.  Dont break his spirit.
csproul · · Davis, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 4
http://www.bikepacking.com

If interested in overnight bike packing route, check out some of the routes here.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Bike & Gear Discussion
Post a Reply to "Recommendation for father/son MTB trip"

Log In to Reply