This ride features the maximum singletrack that gets you way back to Lost Lake.
This big ride starts with a short road climb up the paved Potato Patch Dr before a left turn gets you onto Red Sandstone Rd (700d). Follow this unpaved but smooth road up just a bit before the singletrack starts by turning right onto North Trail - Eastern Section
. This is a pretty relentless climb, but it's beautiful and doesn't have too many technical sections.
Take a left onto Son of Middle Creek
, on which you'll continue singletrack climbing through more aspens before starting a rolling cross-gradient stretch. You'll be thankful for the occasional downhills here.
Take a right at the intersection with Fire road to Lost Lake Trail
(786). This smooth fire road climbs gently but steadily back toward Lost Lake. After about three miles on this fire road, a left turn brings you to a rockier and steeper climb that continues until the trailhead on the left for Lost Lake Trail
Lost Lake Trail
from east to west starts with rooty, rocky climbs, and you'll really be ready for a break when you happen upon the beautiful Lost Lake. Find your favorite log and enjoy a snack and serenity.
When you're ready, continue around the right (north) side of the lake over and around logs to regain the trail. You'll encounter a very challenging, rocky climb before the midway point of this trail, after which you'll enjoy a pretty long, fun downhill stretch with plenty of rock launches.
Take a left onto the unpaved Piney Lake Rd (700)
(or Red Sandstone Rd) for just a bit before a gradual climb begins again after a right turn onto Red and White Mountain Rd
(734). This will be your last significant climbing for the day, on a scenic and fairly smooth unpaved road.
Look for the beginning of the singletrack Buffehr Creek Trail
at a right-hand switchback in the road. Enjoy well-earned fast turns and great scenery as you head down toward Vail.
Take a left at the intersection with North Trail - Middle Section
and experience a quick drop in elevation via tight switchbacks and cliffside moments. Watch for other trail users on this stretch in particular. There are a lot of blind corners and not much room for error. This trail will thankfully return you directly to your parking spot.