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Cougar Ridge

 3.4 (19)
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Map Key

4.9 Miles 8.0 Kilometers


269' 82 m


-2,761' -842 m



Avg Grade (7°)


Max Grade (17°)

10,688' 3,258 m


8,195' 2,498 m


Shared By Nick Wilder



Getting forecast...

An adventurous and scenic route starting with awesome singletrack and ending with newly built switchbacks.

Nick Wilder

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-


Starting from the Grand Traverse trail, pass Vail's helpful sign warning you of impending doom (no lift service, etc).

Fantastic singletrack slowly winds down the ridge, mostly through meadow and dying pine forest. It's a smooth, easy, gentle ride up and down for quite a ways to the end of the ridge, where there's a 100 yard spur path down to a rocky outcropping. Fantastic views abound. You can see the "Lionshead" rock formation if you look down and to the right.

Up to this point the trail is blue, or even green, and not very steep, so you could turn around and head back the way you came.

To continue down from here, follow the trails as it rapidly descends through a host of new switchbacks built by volunteer trail crews. When you get to the Lionshead rock formation, hop off your bike and enjoy the scenery.

Back on the trail, the grade eases up as you enjoy nice forested, wide singletrack to the Game Creek trail junction. Cross the stream, and follow that trail to the end.


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Your Check-Ins


Sep 8, 2018
Raúl Gross
Sep 7, 2018
Jul 24, 2018
barry Sandler
Awesome ride through gamecreek bowl to Minturn. Some of the downhill in the lower 1/3 is pretty rocky and sketchy. My 15 yo son was off his bike alot
Jul 6, 2018
Mimi Short
Started at Eagles Nest & rode the Grand Traverse first. Beautiful day!! Lotta downed trees on Cougar ridge before the steep descent. 11.2mi
Sep 13, 2017
Aaron T.
Sep 2, 2017
Jonah Lefkoff
Beautiful afternoon ride. No one on the trail! 4.9mi
Nov 6, 2016
Ethan Fitzcharles
Aug 12, 2016
Marilyn Lenox
Beautiful challenging ride.

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Trail Ratings

  3.4 from 19 votes


in Vail Resort


  3.4 from 19 votes
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in Vail Resort


in Colorado


17 Views Last Month
4,290 Since Sep 16, 2012
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Brian Rodine
Vail, CO
Brian Rodine   Vail, CO
Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) are in the middle of a multi year project on Cougar Ridge - learn more and sign up to volunteer here:… Aug 3, 2016
I can only hope the trail work skills the new corners are some of the worst I have encountered in any trail system and the new rerouting seems to just wander around possible trail features versus finding enjoyable forest features to incorporate within a trail. May 20, 2018
Conditions vary greatly on this trail. Early on it is quite easy, but later gets into some very steep, loose, and rocky switchbacks. Conditions when I rode it (July 2018) were very dry, so the terrain was also loose and sandy in spot. I would also recommend some armored tires, such as Schwalbe Snakeskins, as there are many rocks you will hit at speed. I got one puncture on the way down with my Snakeskin Nobby Nics, but Orange Seal Endurance was able to seal it up before I hit Minturn. If you are bored with the normal flow trails down the front of Vail, I would definitely recommend exploring and giving Cougar Ridge a go. The ride back to Vail isn't too bad. Jul 13, 2018

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