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Coal Creek to Thompson Link Up

Difficult
 3.3 (7) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A real deal backcountry loop that samples some of the best trails in the Coal Creek and Thompson Divide area.


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Map Key

23.8

Miles

38.4

KM

70%

Singletrack

10,052' 3,064 m

High

7,687' 2,343 m

Low

4,165' 1,269 m

Up

4,260' 1,299 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Overview

Description

Note: the following description details a counter-clockwise loop. However, most locals are recommending this loop be ridden in a clockwise direction. Clockwise will result in a much more rideable experience on Lake Ridge Lakes Trail #2093, and excellent descents on Dexter Park Trail #1953 and Braderich Creek Trail #1952. Enjoy the challenges and adventure you'll find, either way!

Access the parking area at the end of Forest Service Road 307 (Coal Creek Rd) from CO 133 out of Redstone. From the parking area, head back down the road and turn north (left) up Braderich Creek Trail #1952 on steep, smooth singletrack through a large aspen grove. Reach the saddle between Coal Basin and Thompson Creek and take in the sweeping views. From here, drop into the South Thompson Trail #305 on fast, flowy, high alpine-feeling trail. Eventually, you'll hitting the Parsnip Flat #305.2B, turn left at Lake Ridge Lakes Trail #2093 and climb through pinyon pine, juniper forest. When you get to the top, the lakes are down the other side maybe a quarter mile.

Cruise down Lake Ridge Lakes Trail #2093 on the backside through a large Aspen grove. Eventually, cross South Middle Fork of Thompson Creek and take a left on Thompson Creek Road #306. Ride up the road and look for the Dexter Park Trail #1953 on your left. Ride up to the high point of the ride. Way above Coal Basin. From here, ride the steep descent of the Coal Basin Trail - North to the massive roads of Coal Basin Trail back to the car.

Contacts

Shared By:

MTB Project Staff with improvements by Mike Pritchard

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 7 votes

#2

in Redstone

#2976

Overall
  3.3 from 7 votes
5 Star
14%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
57%
2 Star
14%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Redstone

#384

in Colorado

#2,976

Overall
47 Views Last Month
2,370 Since Aug 20, 2020
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
17%
83%
0%

Photos

Lake Ridge Lakes.
Jun 20, 2016 near Carbondale, CO
You'll get great color in the fall on the Coal Creek Trail.
Sep 28, 2016 near Carbondale, CO
The view of Coal Basing from the top of the Dexter Park Trail.
Mar 29, 2017 near Carbondale, CO
View of Mt. Sopris from the climb.
Jun 20, 2016 near Carbondale, CO
The beavers have made a mess of the western portion of this ride.  This is one of two water crossing in this area.
Jun 20, 2016 near Carbondale, CO
The climb may be tough, but the effort is totally worth it!
Mar 29, 2017 near Carbondale, CO

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Check-Ins

Sep 5, 2020
Stephanie Striefel
parts were fun; did it as bikepack overnight; got lost 3 times 2nd day (bushwhacked a lot); rode anti-clockwise; largely not enjoyable