Bowmans Shortcut to Two Elk
ElevationAscent: 1,195' 364 m
Descent: -4,023' -1,226 m
High: 11,702' 3,567 m
Low: 8,002' 2,439 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 28% (15°)
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“An epic ride with spectacular singletrack, scenery, and a 4,600' descent.”— Nick Wilder
After catching your breath and enjoying the views in all directions, continue on Bowman's Shortcut down to Two Elk Pass. This stretch of trail is very steep and quite rutted. It's the worst section of the ride, but it's short, so just get it over with.
From Two Elk Pass, a bunch of trails diverge. Don't worry too much as long as you're on one that is going downhill to the west, under the Mongolia bowls of Vail ski area. Other trails make some other good rides... but that's for another day.
There is evidence of an older version of the Two Elk trail that goes is deeply rutted and goes straight down the drainage. The new trail is now very smooth, easy, well built, and winds around the open meadow.
Continue down, passing the bottom of ski lifts. You'll cross a few roads, but never stay on one for more than 100' or so, and you'll find the singletrack again. You might have to look around in a few places, but it's all there.
Once you leave the ski area behind you, the forest gets thicker and the trail rockier. It follows Two Elk Creek for several more miles of moderate to difficult (due to rocks) until eventually popping out at the valley floor.
You'll be at the end of Cemetary Rd (and a shooting range, which is a little disconcerting after so many miles of backcountry riding). If you got a lift to Vail Pass (there are many shuttle services available), you can ride back through Minturn and all the way to Vail. Otherwise, you hopefully have arrived at your car.
Biked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed
Local Club: Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association
Aug 7, 2017: Adopt A Trail Mid Season Review
Land Manager: USFS - White River National Forest Office