Bowmans Shortcut To Vail
ElevationAscent: 1,704' 519 m
Descent: -4,377' -1,334 m
High: 11,702' 3,567 m
Low: 8,154' 2,485 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)
Popular rides nearby
Frisco Peninsula Lakeshore Loop
6.1 mi 9.8 km • Point to Point • 217 ft Ascent 66.09 m Ascent
Frisco Peninsula Long Loop
11.0 mi 17.6 km • Point to Point • 777 ft Ascent 236.92 m Ascent
Colorado Trail: Copper Mountain to Searle Pass
19.3 mi 31.1 km • Loop • 2,773 ft Ascent 845.15 m Ascent
Lower Grouse Creek
6.1 mi 9.8 km • Loop • 1,126 ft Ascent 343.17 m Ascent
Red Sandstone Rd to Son of Middle Creek
7.6 mi 12.3 km • Loop • 1,545 ft Ascent 470.99 m Ascent
Buffehr Creek Loop
14.3 mi 23.1 km • Loop • 2,087 ft Ascent 636.04 m Ascent
“A grand tour combining amazing alpine scenery with Vail's finest flow trails.”— Nick Wilder
Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown
Need to Know
Once at Two Elk Pass, ignore the Two Elk Trail (it will look very tempting, and it is fabulous, so come back for it some day!). Head up the unsigned trail that goes up Mongolia Bowl (this is the Two Elk Connector). Though it goes up a couple hundred vertical, it's surprisingly easy and non-technical.
Pass straight through the Poma lift and you'll find yourself on a ridge on top of Vail ski area. Great views on either side. Keep your eye out on the left side of the ridge and you'll find an obvious notch that you must downclimb about 30 feet. This is the only way off the ridge.
You are now at the top of the Orient Express lift. Follow the major dirt road along the top of the ridge, passing the Two Elk lodge and a few more lifts until you get to Patrol Headquarters. This is easy to identify as the intersection of 3 major lifts and you'll find signs for the Grand Traverse Trail.
Follow Grand Traverse downhill through fantastic singletrack across bowls and through forests. Really fun! After a couple miles, you'll be at the top of the Lionshead gondola.
There are many options here, including getting a beer and the riding the gondola down (for free)...
But you're at the top of some great trails, so pick one. The one that best fits this ride is Radio Flyer, a really fast and fun flow trail. From the bottom of Radio Flyer, the best intermediate sequence down is Lower Radio Flyer to Big Mamba to Hank's Hideaway, or if you're getting tired, just stick on the dirt road.
After roughly 20 miles and almost 5,000 feet of descending, you end up at the base of Lionshead Village in Vail, hopefully with a huge smile!
History & Background
Local Club: Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association
Aug 7, 2017: Adopt A Trail Mid Season Review
Land Manager: USFS - White River National Forest Office