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Emerald Mountain Intermediate Tour

 3.9 (15)

8.2 Miles 13.1 Kilometers


95%

Singletrack

1,131' 345 m

Ascent

-1,135' -346 m

Descent

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

7,797' 2,377 m

High

6,706' 2,044 m

Low

Shared By Nick Wilder

Conditions


All Clear 5 days ago
Dry: perfect conditions History

Getting forecast...

A tour of lower Emerald Mountain's best singletrack.

Nick Wilder

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

This ride links together a lot of great singletrack on the lower half of Emerald Mountain. It would be easy to make a much longer (or shorter) ride if desired, but plan ahead as the trail quality varies (in general, avoid the dirt roads).

This area is a dense network of short trails. They can be confusing, and the signage is sometimes okay, but not great. Plan on using the MTB Project mobile app to keep you on the best trails.

Description

From the parking area, head south of the Howelsen Hill ski lifts and look for wide singletrack heading uphill. This will become Bluffs Loop which climbs up and gently goes up and down around a bench above the Yampa River. Views of the town and ski area abound. There are a couple rocks and slightly steep sections, but this is generally a low-intermediate trail. Take a left on the Overlook Trail for more similar riding with great views.

Veer left on Howelsen Meadows for some easy, flat cruising through more wildflower-filled meadow and left again on Ricky's Ridge. Smooth and fun switchbacks gently climb up the mountain. The turns are a great place for beginners and intermediates to work on switchback skills - they're quite wide and great for practice.

Take another left on the beautiful Lupine Trail and follow it for half a mile until you hit Blackmere Road. Find Larry's Trail directly across. Larry's is a favorite trail and has a little bit of everything: meadows, aspens, flowers, expansive views, and great trail flow. This skinny trail is one of the best in the area.

Take a left on Prayer Flag Road, pass a couple singletracks heading uphill, and you'll eventually find Blair Witch. Enveloped in Aspen and Fern groves, Blair Witch is a beautiful trail. The trail boasts some easy, flowing contour riding as well as a long boardwalk feature.

Blair Witch ends on a different section of Prayer Flag Road, which you take to the right (downhill) a short ways until you find MGM. You are now set up for a great descent. From the top (near a watering trough - make your dog happy!), wind down through aspens and lush fern forest on skinny smooth singletrack. Break out into open meadow and make big sweeping turns with great views of town and mountains to the east.

Finish on Orton Trail with very skinny, and very fast descending until you hit Blackmere Road, which you can follow a short ways back to the start.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Jun 25, 2018
cynthia weisinger
Jun 13, 2018
Ben Bohannon
Jun 7, 2018
Denise Miller
Nice loop. Flow fest is a little better but both are great. Liked climbing Larry’s
Sep 24, 2017
Sina Rapchat
Sep 9, 2017
Matt Lufkin
Aug 20, 2017
Betsy Williford
bluffs loop lupine NPR mile run 7mi
Aug 5, 2017
David Sandoval
8.2mi
Jul 16, 2017
Tal Thevenot
Awesome trail with beautiful views of town and the ski mountain!

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 15 votes

#1354

Overall
  3.9 from 15 votes
5 Star
47%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
7%
1 Star
13%
Rankings

#190

in Colorado

#1,354

Overall
412 Views Last Month
8,848 Since Jun 24, 2014
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
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90%
10%
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I was not impressed with the trails at Emerald Mountain - poor design has resulted in erosion and deep ruts in many places. Given the choice, I would ride elsewhere. Aug 22, 2017

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