“An epic backcountry adventure ride.
— Zach Allen
This is a proper adventure ride. If you want to feel 'out there' and don't mind doing some hike-a-bike and 6000 plus feet of climbing, this is a spectacular backcountry adventure.
From Georgetown, drive up and over Guanella Pass, then down the back side. Park at the parking area on the left at Burning Bear campground.
Ride the pavement back up to the Guanella Pass summit area. Take a left near the pit toilet and ride the South Park Trail #600
. The first couple of miles are very popular with hikers. Take a left when the spur trail to a lake splits off. Here, the trail takes on a much different character.
Follow cairns over the tundra, eventually dropping into the forest. This descent can have many downed trees. I stopped to cut 6-8 downed trees but there will be many more. Bring a pack saw if you have one!
About halfway through South Park Trail #600
, you'll cross a dirt road and then encounter a maze of horse trails. Stay generally high and right. You'll encounter a lot of hike-a-bike on this section and the trail is very faint and almost overgrown at times. Look for cairns.
Eventually the line of cairns will intersect the Red Cone Jeep Road
. Head left on this.
For a jeep road, this descent is incredibly fun. It starts off with high-speed descending through bermed turns, root drops, and rocks. Towards the bottom, it turns into one giant rock garden. If you choose a hard tail for this ride, you'll be regretting that choice right about now. Follow the fast, loose, chunky descent to the dirt road.
Turn left through the campground and watch for the Burning Bear Trail #601
on your left, across from a private driveway. It would be VERY easy to blow past this turn.
Climb Burning Bear Trail #601
over rocky terrain that gets steeper towards the top, but is mostly rideable. Finally, drop down the Burning Bear Trail #601
descent which is probably the best part of the ride. As the trail flattens out, head right through a cattle gate and back to your car.