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Cougar Ridge

Difficult
 3.7 (31)

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


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Map Key

5.6

Miles

9.0

KM

Singletrack

10,675' 3,254 m

High

8,209' 2,502 m

Low

103' 31 m

Up

2,569' 783 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

37%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Description

Note this trail was rebuilt (through October 2020) and is very different (better!) than in years past.

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Wilder with improvements by Man Rider

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 31 votes

#6

in Vail Resort

#1044

Overall
  3.7 from 31 votes
5 Star
29%
4 Star
32%
3 Star
23%
2 Star
10%
1 Star
6%
Trail Rankings

#6

in Vail Resort

#241

in Colorado

#1,044

Overall
175 Views Last Month
6,388 Since Sep 16, 2012
Difficult

0%
0%
19%
11%
70%
0%

Photos

Fall colors from the top of Lionshead
Oct 7, 2020 near Minturn, CO
A few wildflowers left as the aspens decide it's fall.
Nov 6, 2012 near Minturn, CO
Nice Work Trail Crew!
Oct 26, 2020 near Minturn, CO
Highway 24 and the Minturn valley far below.  Taken near the "Lionshead" rock formation that you can easily see from the valley floor.
Nov 5, 2012 near Minturn, CO
The top of Cougar Ridge is mellow... and beautiful!
Nov 16, 2012 near Minturn, CO
Yer gonna die!  Well, probably not, but a stern warning from Vail resort anyways...  This is where Cougar Ridge Trail branches off of Grand Traverse.
Nov 5, 2012 near Minturn, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 79 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Aug 18, 2021
Patrick Burns
Hell ridden down. Way way over built.
Oct 7, 2020
Nick Wilder
So much better now!
Sep 8, 2018
Raúl Gross
Sep 7, 2018
C P
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