French Creek Trail
ElevationAscent: 71' 22 m
Descent: -1,522' -464 m
High: 10,313' 3,143 m
Low: 8,862' 2,701 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 24% (13°)
Current trail conditions
Popular rides nearby
Matilda's Alpine Loop
11.7 mi 18.9 km • Loop • 1,238 ft Ascent 377.23 m Ascent
Singletrack Centennial, WY( 5 )
Libby Flats Loop
22.1 mi 35.5 km • Point to Point • 2,748 ft Ascent 837.47 m Ascent
Singletrack Centennial, WY( 6 )
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“Premier singletrack. Not Purpose-Built in the modern sense, but flowy, feature-laden, and scenic.”— John Marno
This ride starts at over 10,000', so saying it is seasonal is an understatement. Don't plan on riding it until July. Laramie Bike Shops sometimes have knowledge of conditions, and there is year-to-year variation depending on how the past winter's snowpack was. However, it is always a dandy when ridden in August, September and early October.
French Creek Canyon is very scenic, with several waterfalls worth a stop and look. Sunshine Falls is marked with signage.
One of the most fun characteristics is that most small stream crossings have large cobblestones for crossings and can all be ridden and are wicked fun.
The only cautions on the FCT proper are:
- There are several old school water bars where some very sharp rocks were used as reinforcement and riders may experience flats if they are not aware of them.
- expect a few trees to be down because the remoteness and ruggedness mean that people rarely do chainsaw involved trail maintenance. On October 10, 2015 there about 5 that required a dismount.
A favored option for local riders is to make the whole Tipple-French Creek Trail complex part of an Epic Ride that ends up being at least 25 miles and, unfortunately, ends with a hefty climb back up to the top on an old Forest Road (FR 275).
More epic is that once the top is regained, stout riders can then extend the ride by dropping down into the Libby Creek drainage, or over to the North Fork drainage, and have themselves a 33 or 40 miler. Leave a vehicle at the USFS Centennial Visitor Center and then head to Centennial for beer, pizza, burgers and more at one of the fine establishments down there.
Biked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features, E-Bikes Allowed
Land Manager: USFS - Medicine Bow & Routt National Forest Office