All aboard the Whiskey Tango Express (WTX)! This a very fun, primarily downhill trail, that traverses along the rim and parallels the Roan Plateau's semi-famous JQS Trail. This ride is also shuttle-able, a major bonus! A bit of a bugger to find so be sure to use the MTB Project mobile app
to help you navigate.
The best way to get to the top of WTX is take an unnamed jeep road straight west paralleling the singletrack. This will make a tight loop but still feels better than an out and back and keeps the flow of the singletrack a surprise.
To find the jeep road, come to the 3 way intersection on the gas pipeline of WTX, Balanced Rock Trail
, and Faceplant
(not marked). See in the photos of the gas pipeline marker to use as a navigation point. When you see that marker, head straight west on the jeep road. It's an easy climb and WTX will be just to your left through junipers. You may see bits and pieces of it on your climb up. After about a mile or so, you'll come to a dispersed campsite. This marks the entrance to WTX.
Ride towards the rim, and you'll pick up the trail heading east right along the rim. You may have to fumble around a bit to find the start but once you're on it, it's easy to stay on. Flow your way along the rim of the JQS Trail and take in incredible views of Garfield County, North Mamm Peak, and Mount Sopris. The trail is fast and flowy with some interesting features to fly off of.
There are two dangerous parts of the trail. 1. The soil here is expansive so if your front wheel wiggles off the hard packed singletrack, be prepared for a washout and subsequent dab or faceplant. 2. There is a section of trail that cuts across the rim that has washed out (see photos). It is rideable but keep up your speed to carry you through. A fall here could end a good day fast. You've been warned! My preferred route is just to go around it to the left.
Fly through and finish back up at the intersection of Balanced Rock Trail
, and WTX. For added fun, blast across the gas pipeline and take on Faceplant