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North Trail - Western Section

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.2 (22)

The best of the North Trail, with aspens, wildflowers, and jaw-dropping views.


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Map Key

5.4

Miles

8.7

KM

Singletrack

9,198' 2,803 m

High

7,912' 2,412 m

Low

834' 254 m

Up

1,350' 411 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Closed April 15-June 20.

Description

Pick your direction (it's good either way, so don't sweat it). With some excellent trail rebuilding in 2019, the western half is now in fantastic condition and very rideable up and down. My preference is east to west (tougher grind up, faster/funner ride down).

Access the start of this trail by either riding North Trail - Middle Section or up the short and easy Buffehr Creek Connector. This trail is also called Trappers Run.

Start up an easy, smooth, gradual ascent up deep aspen forest. It's thick and lush here with lots of wildflowers, and you can't hear the highways, which is a nice bonus. It's a good climb, but relatively easy for this area.

Arrive at the top of the climb to a meadow with expansive views from the Gore Range all the way to the Holy Cross Wilderness. This is one of the better views in the entire Vail Valley.

Start the descent with well over a mile of gradual descending through beautiful aspen forests. Enjoy switchbacks and really nice, rolling trail through aspens and flowers. This part of the trail was rebuilt in 2019 and it's a huge improvement over the rutted steep trail of earlier days.

Arrive at a dirt road. If you're tired, there's a quick escape to West Vail to the left, but to get some more singletrack, go right. Follow this road into and out of a creek and find the last bit of the North Trail singletrack on your left after half a mile. This last section has some smooth, pretty easy switchbacks down to the valley floor.

This trail isn't very long, but it's damn good!

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Wilder with improvements by Brian Gillette and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 22 votes

#1

in Vail

#742

Overall
  4.2 from 22 votes
5 Star
32%
4 Star
59%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
5%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1

in Vail

#184

in Colorado

#742

Overall
198 Views Last Month
6,019 Since Jul 6, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Tired of aspen forest?  How about a meadow with wildflowers?
Jul 6, 2013 near Minturn, CO
Rocky Mountain Columbine - the CO state flower - line this part of the trail.
Jul 6, 2013 near Minturn, CO
Superb riding here!
Jul 6, 2013 near Vail, CO
Aspens and wildflowers.  If you like them as much as I do, you're going to enjoy this ride!
Jul 6, 2013 near Vail, CO
Smooth, easy, and fun riding.
Jul 6, 2013 near Minturn, CO
Wildflowers in the way!
Jul 6, 2013 near Vail, CO

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Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 25 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Sep 2, 2020
Nick Wilder
Aug 30, 2020
Ravi Patel
Aug 15, 2020
Caroline Wagner
1h 30m
Jul 19, 2020
Nick Wilder
wildflowers are primo right now!
Jul 18, 2020
Josh Holmes
Fox and I... burner but good! 9mi — 2h 00m
Jul 5, 2020
Jacob Mutz
Jun 26, 2020
Nick Wilder
Jun 24, 2020
Trent R
Nice ride. Nothing good or bad. Good shade. — 1h 18m