The Prince Creek (PC) Trail system is a great alternative to its more technical neighbor, Mushroom Rock. PC is less technical and appeals to a wider range of skill levels. The trails are less rocky than Mushroom Rock and the climbing is less challenging making it less strenuous.
Parking is limited so do your best to car pool or ride from town. The area is also BLM land so be aware of grazing cattle.
Park at the "Bull Pen" Parking Lot Trailhead (managed by Pitkin County Open Space & Trails), just up valley from the big turn and big red barn on Prince Creek Road. Starting your ride on the Prince Creek Trail
, which is designated as climbing only for bikes. This trail coincides with a dirt portion of Prince Creek Rd. for a 100 yards, before the singletrack portion continues (look for signage on your left). At the top end of the Prince Creek Trail
, you'll meet an intersection with Monte Carlo
, make a right to keep climbing and stay on this loop.
runs, for the most part, parallel to Prince Creek Road and can be tight and twisty. You soon pass Christmas Tree
on your left and shortly after that, you come to the actual Monte Carlo
car, which the trail is named after. Either go up and over the car or around, the choice is yours.
will come in on your left shortly after the Monte Carlo
, THIS IS A ONE WAY DOWNHILL ONLY TRAIL
. Taking a hard right to avoid the exit of Ginormous
, you'll descend through a field, followed by more climbing. Twice during your climb you'll pop out next to Prince Creek Road, stay on the left side of the road, following singletrack.
After the second appearance of Prince Creek Road, you'll climb once more and come out to a dirt road, BLM Road 8320
. Monte Carlo
goes straight at this point, but you'll be taking a left onto BLM Road 8320
. Follow 8320 until a right-hand turn to a small camping area. Here you'll join the Highline Trail
, which climbs from the start. In the midst of this climb you'll have a few short descents, but not much reprieve until you reach the sage fields further up the trail.
The upper end of Highline Trail
dumps you back onto BLM Road 8320
. Follow the road to the right. The road will descend, turn to the left and climb to a right-hand bend. At this bend, turn left. This is the start of Trough
is a quick and very fun downhill that takes you to South Porcupine
. Be careful as you exit Trough
onto South Porcupine
as it's steep and blind. You want to go left, south. Porcupine traverses the hillside all the way back to BLM Road 8320
Shortly after the dip in the trail, you'll see the entrance of English Trim
on the left. Keep going, and about a 30 yards after English Trim
will be the entrance of Ginormous
. (An alternate loop version to consider: Make a right at the bottom of Trough
, and continue on South Porcupine
to the north, then make a left and descend down the lower extension of the Father of Ginormous
is a super fun romp down an old wash. The sides of the wash have been sculpted so one can ride the walls or rail the turns. Multiple lines offer some hip jumps or easy rollers. Beware, this trail is built for riders of varying skill levels. Ginormous
will eventually dump you out back onto Monte Carlo
. You'll want to retrace your tracks by going right following the trail back to Prince Creek Road. Note that Monte Carlo
is a two-way shared trail until you arrive at the intersection with the Prince Creek Trail
. From this point down, Monte Carlo
and Lower Monte Carlo
are downhill only trails with only brief two-way trail segments shared with Prince Creek Trail