Beautiful views and a significant number of technical features make this network one of the more interesting places to ride in the area.
Parking is plentiful and free in a large lot right off Highway 82 at the bottom. Hikers and trail runners on trails. Not allowed on B-line.
Take Three Gulch Trail
which starts out immediately on red sandstone. It's a beautiful trail with a very accurate black rating for elevation gain at altitude over distance traveled, numerous steep grades (the steepest and longest at the top), and technical sections.
After reaching the top, the terrain thankfully flattens and the trail joins Blue Ribbon
for a short distance to the intersection of Bogus Trail
. By now, you should be breathing normally again. Turn right and follow Bogus past Roller Coaster
and both turns for Faerie Trail
and turn right again on Elk Traverse
. You'll soon find yourself back on the beautiful red sandstone you encountered on Three Gulch Trail
but in a more enjoyable grade! You can include Outer Loop
for some more distance or continue past it.
Upon reaching Northside Loop
continue straight past the first intersection of Sage Loop
and turn left at the Big Top Trail #82951
sign. Apparently this trail is named differently on the two ends! It has more downhill ridden counterclockwise. Ride it back to the Sage Loop
sign and go back to the intersection with Northside Loop
. Continue back to Elk Traverse
and retrace your ride to Faerie Trail
. Turn right on Faerie and return to a five -way intersection.
For this ride, we took Blue Ribbon
which includes numerous technical rocky challenges until we reached an intersection for a newly-built downhill named B-line. Mountain bikers and downhill only. It took us past the exit for Blue Ribbon
and to the bottom of the road climbed up on in the beginning. It is steep with numerous tight switchbacks and rocks.
Overall a very fun combination of skill levels and almost every trail feature you can think of.
In a Special Recreation Management Area. Owned by the BLM, numerous fundraising efforts have contributed to its acquisition and management by the Aspen Valley Land Trust, even though it lies entirely outside of Pitkin County and is located within Garfield county on the edge of Carbondale.