“An enjoyable ride before the La Garita Wilderness detour; combines easy riding on some doubletrack and singletrack.”
— Jaime Castelblanco
This is an easy section of the CT.
Do not continue onto section 19 of the CO Trail - This is a Wilderness area and bikes are not allowed. Take the La Garita detour at the end of section 18. Google Maps will plot this route perfectly from County Rd 17FF to Spring Creek Camp Ground in the biking mode. Make sure you have downloaded the off-line maps for the area, it worked perfectly for me (6 hours ride).
This easy section of the Colorado Trail begins at Highway 114. If you're coming from Sargent Mesa, turn right onto the highway and follow it for a couple hundred feet until you reach a small bay on the left side of the road with a cattle gate. Rejoin the Colorado Trail here.
The singletrack wanders through fairly flat terrain for about a mile before it climbs ~700 ft for another 2.5 miles on an old service road covered by a lot of small pine trees. This is a fairly easy climb, except for a very short section near the top which is very steep. At the top of the hill, riders will encounter another gate, join another access road to the left and begin a 2.5-mile descent down the other side.
Where you meet County Road NN14, take a right and follow it for a couple hundred feet to find the next section of singletrack. Start a section of short climbs and descents that rolls along for the 4.4 miles to County Road 17FF.
Make a right there to start CT - Ride Around: La Garita Wilderness Detour
: ~65mi / ~6100 ft climbing and ~4800 ft descending to Spring Creek Camp ground. The detour section is very rewarding as the climbs are very mellow; most of the 65 mi are flat lands with some amazing views.